GORKHA, April 15: Tak Bahadur Gurung of Gairathok of Siranchowk Rural Municipality, Gankhu often saw his wife struggling with pain for years but could never find out the actual reason behind it. He sometimes asked her what happened but she used to say she was fine. However, after 40 years, he found out from neighbors that his wife was actually suffering from uterine prolapse. He immediately took her to hospital for surgery and now is taking care of her.
"I wouldn't have let her suffer for so long if she had shared her problem earlier," said Tak Bahadur. His wife received a free treatment during a health camp conducted by Gorkha Hospital. "I would have paid any amount for her treatment if only I was aware of her illness," he added. When asked why she kept her illness hidden for so long, his wife replied, "I was worried thinking it might cost a lot of money and was little bit shy too."
There are many women like Tak Bahadur's wife who keep suffering in silence due to fear of social stigma. Unavailability of health centers and lack of awareness further compel them to live with pain for years.
As many as 18 women received free treatment for uterine prolapse at the camp conducted at Gorkha hospital in the last week of March. Most of them were from the rural parts and were above 50 years. Despite being aware that they have uterus-related problems, many women were hesitant to get treatment. Health workers had to convince them for treatment by making repeated phone calls.
In another camp organized at Taple of Gorkha Municipality, 16 women had uterus-related problems. None of them were aware about their illness as they had never done a checkup before. In another health camp organized on April 3 and 4 in Sinjung of Ajirkot Rural Municipality, more than 20 out of total 300 women had prolapsed uterus.
It has been found that women, especially from poor families, are prone to uterine prolpase as such women give births to many children and get involved in physically demanding works immediately after giving birth. Such women tend to suffer from uterine problems. Man Kumari Kandel, 62, of Mirkot informed that her womb had fallen thirty-five years ago when she delivered her first baby. Since then, she has been suffering with extreme pain for years.
Similarly, Purnima Gurung, 71, of Siranchowk Rural Municipality has been offered a great respite after a surgery of her prolapsed uterus. She preferred hiding this problem for years as she thought she was the only one suffering with this and also due to the fear of being ill-treated by her family and society.
If uterine prolapse is not treated on time, various kinds of infections may lead to serious health complications and even death. Women must be provided with healthy and nutritious diet before and after pregnancy to avoid the risk of uterine prolapse. According to Dr Shreeram Tiwari, chief of Gorkha District Hospital, women should open up about this problem to get timely treatment instead of suffering for years.