The first thing 28-year-old Rosatta Mukanyana does when she wakes up is look at how wet it is between her legs. The next thing she does is thank God that this morning when she will have surgery has finally come. The day when her time as an outcast comes to an end. The day when the rapes stop.
Rosatta Mukanyana married at the age of 18, moved into her husband's house in the little village of Giterani and became pregnant almost immediately. But there were complications during the birth. The baby couldn't get out.
Rosatta Mukanyana fought. So did the baby. On the fourth day her husband took her to hospital. By then it was too late. The baby died. The four days that Rosatta and her baby struggled together caused serious damage to her womb. Rosatta Mukanyana left the hospital without realizing that a fistula, a hole, had formed between her uterus and her bladder. The problems started as soon as she got home. Basically, Rosatta Mukanyana just couldn t control her bladder.
"I'm couldn't stop it", she says. She was eighteen and an outcast. Her husband, and the villagers, treated her like a smelly pariah. A disgrace.
"He has not talked to me since then", she says.
Not one word in ten years. Not even when he rapes her.
"He comes home in the evenings and takes me when I don't want to. He is violent, and it hurts me both in my body and in my heart. My body isn't ready for him, and neither am I," she says.
The World Health Organization estimates that two million young women live with untreated fistula, particularly in sub-Saharan countries in Africa. Every year, 100,000 women is affected by the disorder.