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Title: Experiences of women with obstetric fistula in Nigeria : a narrative inquiry
Author: Degge, Hannah Mafo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 2477
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2018
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Obstetric Fistula is an abnormal opening between the vagina and rectum resulting from prolonged and obstructed labour. It occurs mostly in developing countries and is a neglected maternal health issue in Nigeria. Women’s experiences of living with fistula often reflect gender inequities. This study explored how women attending a reintegration service described their experiences of living with fistula. Using narrative inquiry methodology, 15 women (treated and rehabilitated) were interviewed. Data were analysed using the core story creation and emplotment method of narrative analysis. A reconstructed narrative provided plot headings of ‘fistula ordeal, treatment process, and returning to life’. Fistula formation was linked to the influence of others, geographical remoteness and transport and poor health systems. Fistula survivors and families facilitated access to treatment; aided to cope with incontinence that triggered stigma issues. Negative identity changes through incontinence were: ‘Leaking’ identity, ‘Masu yoyon fitsari’ (the leakers of urine identity), and ‘spoiled’ identity. Attending the repair centre conferred hope and relief through mutual survivors (‘Masu yoyon fitsari’) support. ‘Spoiled’ identity reflected the challenges of the ‘leaking’ identity in the face of ‘failings’ as a woman with respect to sexual and reproductive responsibilities. Reversing the negative identities was pivotal in the women’s resilience in seeking a cure. The ‘improved’ identity achieved after fistula repair and rehabilitation provided continence control and improved financial status. This research is the first known comprehensive empirical study of the experiences of treated and rehabilitated obstetric fistula survivors in Nigeria. The prevalence of fistula in Nigeria reflects inequitable distribution of health care compounded by socio-cultural practices. This research is the first application to women’s health in the African context using Frank’s narrative typology. The study contributes to the empirical evidence of women’s pathway through developing fistula, to treatment, and rehabilitation into family and community life in Nigeria.
Supervisor: Hayter, Mark ; Laurenson, Mary C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Health sciences