A Story of Salome Joel Maguha: “My husband had married another woman, he said I was smelling urine”

Born at Nyang’anga village in Sukuma ward in Magu, Mwanza region, forty-two -year old Salome Joel Maguha has had two miscarriages due to fistula. “In September, 1999 at around 14:00, I had labor pain and was expecting to deliver at home with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant….However, on the second day, at around 20:00, the traditional birth attendant failed to help me, and, instead, advised me to go for referral at Magu District hospital,” narrates Salome. Unfortunately, the doctors tried to help her but the child had already died inside her tomb.  During this process, the doctor had inserted a urinary catheter. Salome’s problems started immediately the catheter was removed. 

“On the 3rd day the urinal catheter was removed and urine started leaking without control…I told the doctor but was nevertheless discharged home,” says Salome. However, as the leaking persisted, she decided to go to a nearby dispensary, from where she was referred to Bugando Hospital where she was admitted. “During my admission, I got to share my experiences with other patients I found in the ward. I was operated on the third day, and stayed dry,” she narrates. 

After one year, Salome got married, and in November, 2004, she delivered a live and healthy daughter. In 2007, she conceived again. “At 3rd November, I started labor and went to Buhumbi dispensary at 16:00. I was attended to at 20:00. Unfortunately, the nurse that attended seemed to be worried on her face.  On the 2nd day, I was referred to Magu District hospital.  At around 15:00, I underwent an operation and the next day I was informed that my child had died.  After one week I was discharged while urine was still leaking,” narrates Salome. 

For Salome, the situation was unbearable as she experienced excruciating pain. She decided to go to the hospital again, where she was re-admitted. When the wound healed, the doctors operated on her for fistula and she was discharged after removing the catheter. However, urine was still leaking, and she was told to come back for review with the specialist in June 2008. By the time I came back, my husband had married another woman because he said I was smelling urine, and could not have a child with him,” she says. She did not give up. I have been visited by a Fistula Ambassadors and was informed that Amref would help her.  “I thank them for their support and am preparing to go for the operation. I advise my fellow for early hospital delivery to prevent this problem,” she says.