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Fistula Politics

Birthing Injuries and the Quest for Continence in Niger

Alison W. Heller (author)

ISBN: 9781978800373

Publication Date: Sep 2018

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Obstetric fistula is a birth injury caused by prolonged obstructed labour that results in urinary and fecal incontinence. In Western humanitarian and media narratives, fistula is presented as deeply stigmatizing. Alison Heller illustrates these popular narratives only serve the interests of humanitarian organisations, the media, and local clinics.
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Obstetric fistula is a birthing injury caused by prolonged obstructed labor that results in urinary and fecal incontinence. It is nearly non-existent in the Global North. In contrast Niger, in West Africa, has one of the highest rates of fistula in the world. In Western humanitarian and media narratives, fistula is presented as deeply stigmatizing, resulting in divorce, abandonment by kin, exile from communities, depression and suicide. In Fistula Politics, Alison Heller illustrates the inaccuracy of these popular narratives and shows how they serve the interests not of the women so affected, but of humanitarian organizations, the media, and local clinics.
Pages 220
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Sep 2018
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Series Medical Anthropology
Subject/s Social theory   Gender studies: women   Gynaecology & obstetrics   Social & cultural anthropology   Public health & preventive medicine   Illness & addiction: social aspects   Medical anthropology  
Alison Heller is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland in College Park.

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