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What To Know About VVF 4




Number of Cases Repaired

The number of repairs annually is about 5, 000. As a project, Fistula Care Plus supported the repair of over 1, 500 cases last year. Many more cases were repaired through other supports, including the G-WIN programme of the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria. Efforts are directed towards the prevention of fistula through improvement of the healthcare system, especially the provision of emergency obstetric and newborn services. There is also a need to enhance community understanding and practices to prevent fistula, improving access to treatment, reduce stigma and support reintegration of women and girls with fistula including those whose fistula is deemed incurable, and those whose fistula is the result of sexual violence and harmful cultural practices. Obstetric fistula may also be avoided through bladder catheterisation following a prolonged labour. This is an approach which all healthcare providers attending to women in labour should be aware of and practice in all patients with prolonged labour.

Access to Repair Centres
Women affected with fistula should know that treatment in designated centres is free. All they need is to know where to go, and fortunately there are many centres round the country, where the treatment and rehabilitation is offered free. A major component of the fistula management is their reintegration into their community. Even when repaired, Obstetric fistula clients continue to be socially isolated, discriminated and stigmatised and they need support to reintegrate them into their communities.

The Fistula Care Plus, programme engages the religious leaders, village health workers, traditional leaders, community broadcasting organisations (CBOs). Including other community gatekeepers to create community awareness and demystify issues around fistula so families and husbands can take these clients back.

Dr. Habib Sadauki, Country Project Manager, EngenderHealth and Fistula Care Plus did the piece in an interaction with PAUL ADUNWOKE.

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