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Photo: Dr. Shirley among medical staff

I am Shirley Heywood, from UK living in Nepal since 2003. I am unmarried and my family, mother, brother and sister are in UK. I am a gynaecologist, qualified in 1985 as member of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist.

I trained in medicine because I wanted to work as a doctor in Nepal, having read a prayer letter about medical and nursing need in Nepal. After qualification and specialisation I went to Pakistan for three years, then Papua New Guinea for 8 years. This was with aim of gaining experience in teaching - and in PNG I was a lecturer teaching all levels from paramedical workers, medical students to registrars studying for Masters. I came to Nepal as volunteer with International Nepal Fellowship in 2003 with job description to work with governmnent health services in Mid Western region which is most poorly developed. I became aware of need for service to treat women suffering from obstetric fistula, (a birth injury resulting in continuous life long urine incontinence) and have developed programme raising awareness about fistula and treating women with fistula. Since 2009, for ten years we treated through temporary camps. Since 2018 thanks to TERRA TECH and BMZ we have a fistula centre with own operation theatre and 17 beds and can treat women throughout the year.

It is wonderful to see women who have lived in miserable isolation for many years, going home dry and excited to live a new life. It is hard to see the disappointment when surgery is not successful because some of the injuries are terrible and it is impossible to restore women to normal.

I continue to work with the government hospital, giving and receiving support. This is sometimes challenging but it is a great opportunity to teach young doctors and nurses. We also support the hospital in other areas, particularly in supporting poor fund to help people who can not afford the treatment they need.

I enjoy my job, it is always challenging and I believe it is work that God has given me the skills and gifts to do. My Christian faith is my motivation and it sustains me when life is tough.

I am very happy to see the fistula work well established and the fistula centre that will be a resource to serve women for long after I retire. My biggest challenge now is to train a Nepali doctor or two to continue to provide fistula surgery. I am happy that there are doctors here interested to learn. I want to train them to give holistic care - fistula sufferers need more than surgery, they need help to overcome depression and they may need help to reintegrate into society.

The challenge now is to eradicate obstetric fistula from Nepal as it has been from western countries.

Further links:

Nepal - Mother-Child-Health
 


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Accounts for donation:

Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
IBAN: DE46 5335 0000 0000 0444 40
BIC: HELADEF1MAR

Volksbank Mittelhessen
IBAN: DE58 5139 0000 0016 4090 06
BIC: VBMHDE5F


or conveniently online:

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Please support our work


Accounts for donation:

Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
IBAN: DE46 5335 0000 0000 0444 40
BIC: HELADEF1MAR

Volksbank Mittelhessen
IBAN: DE58 5139 0000 0016 4090 06
BIC: VBMHDE5F


or conveniently online:

button-spende-english