“I married her because I love her... Her family is now my family... How could I leave her? I am going to stay right here till she gets healed... I know she was very scared of the operation so I'm happy I was here for her... We will go back home together... If it was the other way around, I know she would have done the same for me... And when she gets better, we will have other children...”
Ahmed, Samia's husband
“I know that some men change and become more distant when their wives get sick... but I am not ashamed of my wife... She did not become incontinent because she sinned, as some people seem to think... All I know is that it would have been a sin if I had not stayed by her side. ”
Samir, Fatima's husband
"When her labor became critical, her husband brought her to me and then he just took up and left... he disappeared... I've been taking care of her ever since... It's not just because she is my daughter, I would have done the same for any other women... no one should suffer like this... but her husband is a coward, really..."
Karim, Halima's father
"My mother has been incontinent for the last 34 years... After she contracted fistula, she stayed with my father and they had me... but after 5 years together, my father decided he no longer wanted to live with her... So they divorced... She raised me all by herself... Now that I've become an adult, I am taking care of her... I brought her to this Centre so that she can find her peace again... What my father did is unacceptable... what I want to say to men is that, you should not run away when your woman gets ill... It's your responsibility to help her get better... "
Gizaw, Alem's son
The men we saw at the WAHA Fistula Centre in Assella epitomize the unconditional support that fistula sufferers need as to completely heal from their visible and invisible wounds. Their testimonies have shed light on one essential dimension: obstetric fistula is not exclusively a women's issue. Men should be just as equally concerned.
By WAHA’s team in Ethiopia