Video outlines Ethiopian women’s childbirth plight

TRAIL — When Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Women’s League met March 1, president Teresa Mandoli reminded members about the 2011 Diocesan Convention in Nelson May 4-6. Registration must be submitted by March 15.

She also asked members to be involved with the soup and buns luncheon on March 23,by supplying soup, buns and help for the day. Anyone willing to help can contact her.

Ruth DuBois, a Selkirk College nursing instructor and Rossland CWL member, was the guest speaker, presenting the video, “A Walk to Beautiful,” which was attended by 29 members from the local CWL groups.

This video was about three poverty-stricken women in Ethiopia who share their stories of devastating childbirth injuries known as obstetric fistula and how it has affected their lives. Obstetric fistula is a severe medical condition that develops after prolonged labour. If not medically treated, the blood supply to the surrounding tissue of the vagina and the bladder (and/or rectum) is cut off. The tissue dies and rots away leaving a hole (fistula) which produces chronic incontinence of urine and/or body waste.

These women talk about their hopelessness, their shame, and being shunned by their husbands, villagers, and family. With the help of Dr. Catherine Hamlin, an Australia gynecologist, and her late husband Reginald, the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital was founded in 1974. Since then, they were able to give back the dignity to many women and young girls.

After the video, DuBois engaged the ladies in some discussion about what they had just watched; how they felt about this condition and how these women must live each day in isolation with this problem. She also mentioned that this video was available to borrow from the Castlegar Selkirk College library.

The next meeting will be April 5 at 6:30 p.m.  The group will be voting on the 2012 dues increase and will be carpooling to St. Anthony’s at 7:15 p.m. to listen to guest speaker Terry Jesusdason.

For more information about OLPH CWL, contact Teresa at 250-364-1831.