Nepal dispatches: Mountain women endure a life of pain
By Jayme Poisson
I just returned from a whirlwind - or "ad hoc" as one of my new Nepali friends so aptly called it - trip to Timal (about six hours east of Kathmandu). A scramble at first, it was brilliant in the end! We traveled by jeep through the hills. The roads were rough, but the terrain breathtaking. We set up our sleeping bags with a team of Nepalese and Dutch doctors in what looked to be a school for the night and the locals cooked wonderful Nepali dhal bhat for us to eat.Once we got to the temporary health camp, run by a wonderful organization called Women for Women, we started shooting film immediately.
I was surprised by how open and willing the women were to share their stories on camera.
I was worried they would be too shy. This particular camp was set up to address "fallen womb" - an epidemic in Nepal.
More than 600,000 women in the country suffer from a condition called uterine prolapse. It means the displacement of the uterus from its normal spot and is caused by the muscles and tissue around the uterus weakening. The uterus sags along the vagine, rectum, bladder and in the worst cases can actually fall out of the vagina.In Nepal, malnutrition, a lack of access to health-care and back breaking work in harsh conditions are contributing factors to "fallen womb." It is incredibly painful and women who are suffering from it can find it hard to stand, walk, do their daily chores or take care of their children.
Photo: Our digs. The school where we slept. Definitely better than a tent or the car!