UNC’s Wilkinson featured on Public Radio International

UNC OB-GYN Jeff Wilkinson was recently featured on the Public Radio International series "The Ninth Month" for his work surgically repairing fistula in Malawi.

When Jennifer finally arrived at the hospital, the nurses noticed a problem — her baby was in the wrong position. She had never received prenatal care, so the problem had gone undetected. She had already been in labor for over eight hours, and she stayed in labor for the next 16 hours.

“It took so much time,” she said. “At the end of it all, I eventually delivered.”

But the baby had died. Jennifer was devastated.

The next day, she noticed another problem. She had become incontinent. “I was leaking urine constantly,” she said.

Jennifer had developed an obstetric fistula — a hole in the wall of the vagina caused by pressure during an obstructed delivery. Jennifer’s bladder was also damaged, creating a connection between her urinary and vaginal tracts. In her case, the fistula was likely caused by the baby’s head, and her young age may have been a contributing factor.

Read the full story at the Public Radio International website