Patient Stories: Agness


Agness (44) was married at the age of 15 and lived with fistula for 5 years.

She married so young because she was living in poverty and needed someone to support and care for her financially. Her first husband left her with 3 children. She remarried and had another child with her new husband.  

Agness went into labour with her 5th baby was was quickly rushed to the nearby health centre. Unfortunately she experienced complications and was referred to the district hospital where they operated. Sadly she had already lost the baby and was left with an obstetric fistula.

Over the years Agness visited many hospitals but was not helped and to make matters worse her second husband left her due to her condition. She returned to her village to raise her children alone.

Agness came to the Fistula Care Centre in Bwaila in 2015, after she heard about the Centre over the radio, and received treatment the same year.  

After being discharged from the centre, Agness became a patient ambassador and brought 8 patients for treatment before being employed full time at the centre. During her stay with us Agness would ask for employment should an opportunity ever arise and in November 2018 Agness was invited to work with us at the centre as a kitchen assistant. She helps prepare meals for patients and staff and has been with us for 5 years.

Since she started working at the centre Agness has built a house for her brother and pays school fees for her brother’s children in addition to supporting her 4 children. She has invested some of her salary into a banana and avocado selling business which enabled her to buy land in her home village where she plans to build a house for her family.

Not only is Agness fistula free, through her hard work Agness has lifted herself out of poverty and provided for her family.

I am very grateful to the centre for everything they have done for me.  I have suffered for a long time, 5 years was just too long. I use to smell and my friends use to laugh at me, but now I am dry and I am a whole woman again.  Thank you so much for changing my life for the better.