A Walk to Beautiful
I just watched the documentary A Walk to Beautiful that portrays several women in Ethiopia who suffer from fistulas on their journey to a hospital, hoping to literally come back to life. It's very much worth watching, and you can find it on the PBS website at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beautiful/program.html. Fistulas are one of the many health issues that are being neglected because they affect mostly poor women. You can read more about what fistulas are on the website of the Fistula Foundation (http://www.fistulafoundation.org/aboutfistula).
In the documentary, one of the doctors at the hospital explains that in Ethiopia, fistulas mainly occur because the women take on an incredible workload of physical labor so that even when they have access to a good, nutritious diet, so much of their energy goes right into the labor and very little into their bodies' development. By the time they usually get married - around 13 or 14 - they are very small for their age and their pelvic bones are too narrow for a baby to pass, which causes obstructed labor that can last for more than a week. After the traumatic experience of losing the baby, the woman then has to face social rejection by her family and social community because she is leaking urine. They live as outcasts, separated, depressed, alone, because they don't know that this is a common problem that can be healed. This is just so wrong on so many levels and for so many reasons. Two to three million women in the world live with obstetric fistulas.
What other health issues do you know of that we don't hear enough about?