This project is dedicated to my late and beloved husband, Gilbert L. Kujovich,
the most brilliant, thoughtful and loving man I have ever known.
Protect Your Sister Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women. We protect our sisters, mothers, daughters and wives in developing countries by improving their health, education and empowerment. Our goal is to increase understanding of the causes and treatment of obstructed labor and obstetric fistula.We partner globally with the best organizations to eradicate obstetric fistula. We also strive to increase awareness in the United States about this problem and seek support to end this needless tragedy.
"Obstetric" pertains to labor or delivery. "Fistula" is a hole or pathway.
Obstetric fistula is one of the worst things and yet, you probably have never heard of it. Think of every woman you have ever known who has needed a Caesarean Section (C-Section). Imagine now, if your loved one, your sister, mother, wife, daughter needed a C-Section, but could not get one.
In remote areas of developing countries a woman with obstructed labor may not understand the need for surgery or be empowered to go to a hospital. Instead, a woman suffers unimaginable pain for up to a week. If the woman survives, the infant usually dies. Where the infant presses upon her bladder or rectum a hole will form, making a fistula to the vagina. This leaves the woman incontinent of urine and/or stool.
To make matters worse the cause of obstructed labor is not understood. In many cultures, if a woman goes into obstructed labor, it is sometimes considered a divine or supernatural punishment for an imagined wrongdoing (usually infidelity). Therefore, the woman may not be taken to a hospital, but rather to a local priest or traditional birth attendant who may use dangerous, even fatal methods to get her to deliver.
The resulting incontinence frequently leads to being divorced, shunned or isolated, having to endure extreme shame and loneliness. Thus, she is both physically and psychologically destroyed, and all of this could have been prevented with better education and increased access to health care services.
The Protect Your Sister Project is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of Obstetric Fistula, as well as helping the women who suffer with this condition.