Fistula Politics

Birthing Injuries and the Quest for Continence in Niger
by Alison Heller
rrp $54.18

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

Series: Medical Anthropology

Publication Date: October 15, 2018

ISBN: 9781978800380

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Obstetric fistula is a birthing injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor that results in urinary and fecal incontinence. It is nearly non-existent in the Global North. In contrast Niger, in West Africa, has one of the highest rates of fistula in the world. In Western humanitarian and media narratives, fistula is presented as deeply stigmatizing, resulting in divorce, abandonment by kin, exile from communities, depression and suicide. In Fistula Politics, Alison Heller illustrates the inaccuracy of these popular narratives and shows how they serve the interests not of the women so affected, but of humanitarian organizations, the media, and local clinics.