Ugandan women with fistula to get free repair



While most cases of fistula can be repaired by specially- trained surgeons at a cost of US$ 400, this is not affordable for many women.

In response to promoting safe motherhood, the Ministry of Health with support from partners including UNFPA, Engender Health, Terrewodde, WAWI International will run a two-weeks camp in regional referral hospitals across the country with the first camp at Hoima Referral Hospital, which started on May 17.

One out of every 50 women of reproductive age in Uganda had a fistula. But because fistula is a hidden problem, there may be even more women living silently with the ailment.

Every year about, 2,000 women get fistula, a condition caused during childbirth, an abnormal hole between a woman?s birth canal and bladder/and or rectum that causes her to leak urine and/or faeces uncontrollably.

All women could be at risk of fistula, but women who have no access to skilled healthcare providers who are able to recognize complications quickly and take action are at a greater risk.

However, women who give birth before age 20, the poor, rural, less educated are at an even greatest risk of fistula because the bones of the young girls surrounding the birth canal are not fully developed.

Poor nutrition during a girl?s childhood can also cause stunted growth and increase her risk for fistula.

Women with fistula face a number of hardships. The baby usually dies during the long childbirth.

They also get physical and psychological trauma, are often abandoned by their husbands and may also face stigma from family and community members because of the smell and leaking of urine and/or faeces.

Many women with fistula live in poverty, with little access to the social support or medical care.

Almost all fistulas can be prevented if women have access to skilled maternity care during pregnancy and childbirth.

Men can play a key role in reducing fistula by supporting their wives/spouses to access essential health services during pregnancy, for delivery, and in receiving the care they need for complications, like fistula.

Selected national referral hospitals are to repair for free with Hoima leading the campaign

Source The New Vision

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