Friday, October 20, 2006


Today's dreams come from the country of Ethiopia. Abeba Zerehun is a young woman who received treatment for an obstetric fistula at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. The UNFPA estimates that more than two million women suffer from fistulas. The hospital in Addis,
". . . provides free fistula repair sugery to aproximately 1,200 women every year. . . "1

This month the Impulse Book Community is reading the Hospital by the River, written by Dr. Catherine Hamlin of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. Impulse has issued a challenge for us to donate enough money to provide fistual repair surgery for one woman. (click here to read more about donations) So far we've collected $50 and we have $400 to go. Consider donating as a birthday present for a friend or family member.

What is obstetric fistula? It is time for us to learn and to educate others. The UNFPA has a 60 second video that helps explain the condition.

Meet the dreams of Abeba Zerehun, age 18, from the southern region of Ethiopia.

I studied in school until 7th grade. I helped my mother at home with housework, but I didn't have to carry too many heavy things. I got married when I was 15. I met my husband for the first time on my wedding day. My parents chose him for me. I felt sad that I had to quit my education, but otherwise I liked my husband. He was a good man.

I got pregnant one year later. My pregnancy was fine. My labor started at three in the afternoon and my husband and my mother were with me. A traditional doctor told me to go to the hospital. I got a free letter from my kebele. I went to Asosa Hospital and they operated to take out the baby, but it was dead.

After the baby died, I went back to my village and two months later my husband married another woman. My friends were there to help me in the village. I lived with my mother. When I came to Fistula Hospital, I was very happy. I knew this was the place where I would get cured. It has been 15 days since my operation and now I am dry.

I have made friends here. We have fun together and we talk about our health and our operations. We ask each other, what will you do when you are cured?

When I am cured, I want to go back home and continue my education. I want to study and I want to become a doctor like the doctors here and help girls like me who have this problem.

When I go back to my village, I will tell other women to go immediately to a hospital so that they won't have a problem with their labor. Most people don't know that a hospital can help them, but if they knew, they'd go.



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