We are giving away the novel by José Manuel Devesa “Take me to Farafangana” for free

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We are giving away the novel by José Manuel Devesa “Take me to Farafangana” for free

Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017. In order to raise awareness about the affliction of obstetric fistula, in 2013 the Women for Africa foundation (Mujeres por África) sponsored the publication of the novel “Take me to Farafangana" (“Llévame a Farafangana”). On its pages, the surgeon José Manuel Devesa describes the Odyssey of a young Malgasy lady who is suffering from the condition. It is a story shared by thousands of African women throughout the continent.

As stated by Almudena Grandes, who presented the novel together with our president, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, it is “a story about an the ceaseless pilgrimage of a young lady suffering from fistula who travels around the island of Madagascar following in the tracks of some doctors who can end her misfortune.” 

Now that the book has sold out and as a contribution to Women for Africa on International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, we are publishing the novel by Dr Devesa on our website so that everyone may read it for free and thus better understand the terrible consequences of the affliction of obstetric fistula. It is calculated that up to 2 million women may be suffering from it in Africa. Between 50,000 and 100,000 new cases appear every year.

The wound appears due to obstructed or prolonged birth deliveries without suitable medical attention. First-time mothers, especially young ladies in Africa, are the biggest group at risk of suffering from it. Sexual aggression may also play a part in the appearance of this blight. Its clearest consequence is that it allows urine and faeces to pass into the vagina. But the worst thing for the women who suffer from fistula is that they usually also have to face rejection from their husbands, families and communities, from whom they are usually separated.

Women for Africa has been working since it was founded to eradicate this scourge through the "Stop Fistula" project, which is dedicated to preventing and curing an ailment whose visibility may help tackle it.

“Stop Fistula” has been under way in Liberia since 2013. The project involves preventive action aimed at young women who are at risk of obstructed delivery, and provides reconstructive operations on women who are suffering from the affliction and also a training programme aimed at birth assistants and healthcare staff. The foundation has created a fistula unit at the Saint Joseph Hospital in Monrovia, where health care is given to women in need, totally free of charge.

Since the project was launched, Women for Africa has sent five surgical admissions to Monrovia made up of Spanish medical and healthcare staff headed by the gynaecologist Javier Salmeán. Reparatory surgery has been performed on a total of 165 women, approximately 3,500 birth deliveries at risk have been assisted, and about 13,000 medical consultations have been carried out.

Women for Africa thanks José Manuel Devesa for his commitment and generosity on freely authorising the publication of “Llévame a Farafangana”. We invite everybody to read it. There is no better way to understand the tragedy entailed by obstetric fistula for millions of women around the world, and especially in Africa.

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