When they attacked, I was outside my compound. I started running, but I was pregnant so did not run fast enough. [The attackers] caught up with me and beat me on the head and I fell down. When I was on the ground, they opened my stomach with knives and my baby fell out. I was eight months pregnant. I have one other child in the hospital. They kicked the head of my child. She was suffering a lot, but now the child has been in the MSF hospital and is better.
17-year-old female patient from Wek (Uror county), treated in Nasir (Upper Nile state), March 2012
Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has had a devastating impact on tens of thousands of people, with many forcibly displaced and further cut off from health care due to the destruction of medical facilities. A new MSF report contains harrowing accounts of civilians caught up in attacks on villages.
On this Mother’s Day, let’s remember that 1,000 women still tragically die every day in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications that are preventable with skilled clinicians, drugs and equipment. Maternal death is an ongoing crisis, but it is an avoidable crisis and it deserves our attention.
My perspective definitely changed. This program has absolutely had a positive impact in Nigeria. In 2011, we performed more surgeries than any other fistula hospital in the country, and we had many women leaving our hospital dry, or at least able to live some semblance of a normal life.