Tu Meke te Peke Ki Ahau – the bag is great to me

Mrs Anna Veitch1, Mrs Lorraine Andrews2
1Tairawhiti District Health Board, Riverdale, New Zealand, 2Omnigon, Epsom, New Zealand

A fistula is defined as a connection between two epithelialized surfaces.  Although rare in general practice, colovaginal fistulas are not uncommon in stomal therapy nursing.  Such a presentation is often post initial review by a gynecology service.

This distressing condition is often accompanied by a significant psycho-social morbidity. That morbidity can be demonstrated as social dis-engagement or intentional social isolation, lower quality of life (QOL) and interpersonal stress in relationships.

This poster follows the care of Mary (pseudonym) who struggled with a colovaginal fistula and all it’s consequence for many years before seeking treatment involving a stoma.  In spite of  her dread of having a stoma in her life and the challenges it presented  the bag was great to her.


Anna first qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1987 and completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Stomal Therapy though the New South Wales College of Nursing in 2006.  She works across the hospital community interface in Gisborne provided continuity of care for both continence and ostomy clients.

Anna believes that stomal therapists are in the unique position and privileged position of being able to provide care across the life span and often for the whole life.  She is passionate about making a difference for this client group which often includes facilitating recovery and rehabilitation to a new normal.