Photo by Stephanie Sinclair @stephsinclairpix @tooyoungtowed // Kadiatu, a teenage obstetric fistula survivor,
reacts to being able to walk safely and independently with the use of splints on her feet. She was participating in "Fistula Camp" at the Aberdeen Women's Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Obstetric fistula is one of the most devastating and serious childbirth injuries and is the result of extreme pressure and tissue damage during prolonged or obstructed labor. When the fetus cannot fit through a mother’s pelvis due to her small stature stature, and if a Caesarean section delivery is not available to end the ordeal, the baby is usually stillborn and a fistula — or abnormal opening between the vagina and rectum or bladder — forms, resulting in severe incontinence. In many cases, like Kadiatu’s, women and girls can also experience peroneal nerve injury, resulting in leg weakness, foot drop and difficulty in walking. Those who attended the camp underwent surgeries to repair their fistulas, treat their decreased mobility, and improve their self-esteem.
This image is part of a 175-image exhibition titled “Too Young to Wed,” which is the inaugural exhibition at the new L’Arche du Photojournalisme, atop at the prestigious Grand Arche de la Defense in Paris, France. Many of the images were made #onassignment for @natgeo, including this one. The show ends tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 24, and is complete with educational information about the dangers of #childmarriage and the efforts underway around the world to end the practice – including our work at our nonprofit organization of the same name, @TooYoungToWed.
For more information about the exhibition please visit the link to my blog listed in my bio @stephsinclairpix . #endchildmarriage #tooyoungtowed #paris #freetown #sierraleone #fistula #healing #photojournalism #girls #education #letgirlslearn