This condition is a stigma in African society. It is a prevalent problem but discussion of this condition is swept under the rug and dismissed. Women with this condition are usually shunned and separated from everyday life around them. If more doctors knew how to repair the fistula it would stop the suffering of hundreds of women.
We have an entire VVF team on board including 2 surgeons. The surgeons are performing 6 surgeries per day, which is amazing.
Akissi is a spirited teenager. Her gleaming white teeth shine bright each time she breaks into one of her contagious smiles. Some things get lost in translation, but not Akissi’s gregarious behavior. When asked for a photo, she swiftly poses with clenched fists showing off her buff arms, and that award-winning smile to top it off.
Akissi was overwhelmed with happiness.
A few days later Akissi took part in a ceremony honoring the women who were blessed with successful surgeries. Drums, clapping and singing echoed through the ward as the women filed into the room in traditional African dress. Akissi wore a cobalt blue gown with touches of golden yellow. Her face was lit up with joy.
Akissi stood up, amongst her peers and a large crowd attending the ceremony, and said, “Thank you to all the doctors and the nurses. Now, I can be among people. I no longer hide at home. Thank you Mercy Ships for all you have done.”
Thanks to the entire Mercy Ships VVF team, Akissi will return to her village and look forward to a normal life: A life free from shame and filled with her jovial and cheerful spirit.
Akissi showing off her guns and that bright smile!
Connect Four: VERY popular game in africa! ;)
Akissi and Alizma play together before they return home to their village after SUCCESSFUL surgeries!!!