Nigeria: Nollywood Tackles Fistula with Advocacy

he plight of some 800,000 women living with fistula (abnormal holes that allows faeces or urine to leak into the vagina) goes onscreen in Nollywood actress Stephanie Linus’ new movie which premieres in Abuja Thursday night.

The movie “Dry” tells the story of 15,000 Nigerian women who develop fistula yearly through the lives of a 13-year-old girl forced into marriage to a 60-year-old man.

After repeated rapes, a pregnancy and the delivery of her first child, the young bride develops vesico-vaginal fistula-urine constantly leaks into her vagina.

“She is ostracized and abandoned by her husband, family and community. It is a period of rejection, isolation, and despair,” the premiere organisers said in a statement.

Linus, who’s become one of Nollywood’s more visible ambassadors, wrote and directed the Dry story, which also stars Liz Ameye (formerly Liz Benson) and Darwin Shaw.

“To finally have a chance to share something so dear to my heart with my people is humbling,” said Linus, who runs the charity Extended Hands.

“Now with this film, we can have the welcome support of moviegoers. It is a movement to change the lives of many young women who suffer from VVF.”

Engender Health, which runs a USAID funded project Fistula Care Plus to provide care and repair for thousands of Nigerian women with fistula has supported the movie to “help with the overall advocacy for the prevention of obstructed labour and obstetric fistula in Nigeria.”

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