I have a chronic ulcer underneath my ostomy bag that I use wound dressing for on a daily basis. Today I ran out of my dressing and was told I would need to buy them myself because they aren’t subsidised by the government like Ostomy bags are. I became very anxious because these dressings are extremely expensive and a 10 pack can cost up to $200 which would only last me a month or so. I made a post on Instagram about this and had someone I know reach out to say they could get some for me because they work in the health industry.
I’m am so lucky to be able to have this kind of support and access to free medical supplies but millions of people in this world aren’t so lucky. 20 million people world wide suffer from chronic wounds and many people in impoverished countries don’t have access to proper supplies which can lead to infection and even death.
I’ve done quite a lot of research about people in developing countries who have ostomy bags. Sometimes these people simply aren’t able to afford the extreme cost of these medical supplies which leads them to make their own makeshift bags out of plastic, tin cans or anything else they can find. They use things like tape or string to secure them to their stomach which as you can imagine causes many issues.
Another problem that faces many girls in developing countries is obstetric fistulas. Millions of girls in these countries suffer from fistulas because of childbirth, something which is nearly unknown to women in privileged countries because they have proper access to health care before and after delivery. I have a fistula because of a completely different reason, my Crohn’s disease but I know exactly what these women go through.
The fistulas they develop are completely preventable and treatable but more often than not they go untreated. These women become ostracised from their communities because of incontinence issues which regularly causes them to smell. Their husbands abandon them, they become unable to support themselves and even resort to sex work which can worsen their fistulas.
I can’t help but think how lucky I am. I’m able to receive the proper health care and supplies so I don’t need to deal with these issues. These women do not have this, they don’t have a voice and there isn’t many people that even know of their suffering.
In many of these countries women and girls are the first to be denied an education. If 50% of these populations aren’t educated that means half of the people aren’t utilised to help with these issues that cause poverty. Not only are woman more likely to live healthier happier lives if they’re educated, they also can benefit society as a whole. More people educated equals more health care professionals, teachers, scientist and so much more.
https://www.fistulafoundation.org is an organisation run to support women in these countries with fistulas. A little more than $500 can give a woman a life changing surgery. If you donated just $100 that’s 20% of the money needed to literally change someone’s life. People so often become desensitised to these kind of things because there’s so much suffering you turn a blind eye, and to be honest I probably would be too if I didn’t suffer from it myself. But I know how much something like this effects your life. It’s embarrassing, causes incontinence and can cause serious infections. If you want to help someone in need you can donate here
There’s also an organisation helping to educate girls which is something that is so important. If you’d like to donate you can do so here
Awareness is key and even just reading this post has made you aware of something I bet you didn’t even know about. Thank you for reading this far this issue means so much to me. We can change the world you just have to believe we can.