A 75 years old, Yambe Gamo was born and raised in the southern region of Ethiopia. It was 15 years back that she first noticed a bulge coming out of her vagina. She was very scared and wondered what was happening to her but chose to keep it quiet as she was embarrassed to disclose it to anyone.
To support and feed her large family, Yambe has to do a six hour walk, twice a week from Merab Abaya to Dega Brbr, carrying cotton, teff and other commodities to the market place. In addition, all household chores, childcare and cooking, fetching water and collecting firewood are some of her daily routines. She used to carry 25L of water on her back and travel barefoot for hours. Due to the physical intensity of workload, she developed severe back pain and spinal deformity. However, this was all part of normal life and Yambe didn’t feel able to complain. This was what was expected of her just as it is for women and girls in the area.
Yambe, looking down to the floor with her eyes filled in tears said, “What is even worse is living with this mass for many years. When I walk, it rubs against my thighs, in times it bleeds, very uncomfortable and painful.” The suffering related to the prolapse has severely affected her emotional well-being and even her relationship with her spouse. She was stressed from enduring the symptoms of her condition, which ranged from persistent vaginal pressure to urinary complaints.
“It was on 16th March, a blessed morning that I heard about this campaign from the Weredas health extension workers.” Her face started to light up as she continued to talk, “I remember I had a mixed feeling, a relief looking forward to get a solution but at the same time I was also surprised to find out that many women in my community were living with similar problem. I wish I could have known this earlier to share my silent suffering with one of the women at least”. It was comforting for her to know that she was not alone in this fight or cursed. She didn’t consider getting a second opinion, but rather, she grabbed the opportunity to have the treatment and rushed to the free surgical campaign.
Thanks to the medical team of Wings of Healing, after going through all the necessary investigations, she got the surgery and was discharged from hospital without any complications. Yambe is now starting a new chapter of her life, filled with joy after 15 years of suffering. “I bless the whole team for putting an end to my misery” were her last words leaving the hospital.