Health Experts Chart Way Forward To Combating Fistula
FISTULA, an occurrence of abnormal hole between the bladder and rectum leading to continuous and uncontrollable leakage of urine, sometimes through the vagina, usually following childbirth, is a growing concern in Nigeria.
Towards addressing this health condition, health correspondents met in Ilorin, Kwara State as part of the awareness creation to treat and manage the ailment.
Fistula can be treated and repaired through surgery and the patient is expected to abstain from sex at least the first six months after the procedure.
At a three-day Orientation Meeting of fistula basics for Journalists held in Kwara Hotel, closer attention to fistula challenges took the front burner.
According experts, statistics showed that 1-2million women are affected by fistula in Sub Sahara Africa and as much as 150,000-200,000 cases in Nigeria. They stressed that most women who suffer from fistula are very poor and cannot afford to treat themselves.
Therefore, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Fistula Care Plus and EngendaHealth, in collaboration with Nigeria government decided to treat these women who have been affected in the country free of charge.
In his remark, the Country Project Manager, Fistula Care Plus, Dr. Habib Sadauki, said Fistula Care Project is a five-year programme and USAID has funded 11 healthcare centres in 10 States in Nigeria to treat fistula, which include Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kastsina, Kano, Bauch, Kwara, Oyo, Ebonyi and Cross Rivers States.
He added that there is a plan for USAID, to open another healthcare centre in Jahun, Jigawa State as soon as possible.
Sadauki said: “Fistula is life shattering for women who experience it. It leaves a woman with chronic incontinence, which often results in social isolation. Other consequences for the woman may include frequent ulcers and infections, kidney disease, possible paralysis, and even death. Women with obstetric fistula usually have a stillbirth, so she and her family also experience the loss of a child.”
“Survivors of traumatic fistula must endure the physiological trauma and stigma. Women with fistula may limit their liquid and food intake to stem the symptoms of fistula, resulting in further damage to their bodies. Some are abandoned or neglected by their families, left in seclusion and are among the most impoverished and vulnerable members of society.”
He continued: “Under Fistula Care, the Nigeria programme has delivered healthcare closely with partners at federal, state and community level to achieve remarkable success. They include prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, research and innovation. Since then, fistula service has expanded to States spread across the nation’s six geo-political zones.
“From 2007 to 2013, fistula programme has supported 9,203 fistula repairs at 10 facilities in the country in partnership with Federal and State Ministries of Health and that of Women Affairs and Social development.”
No comments yet