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United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Fistula Foundation  and State Ministry of Health  have successfully conducted one week free fistula surgery in Adamawa state.

The surgery exercise was conducted in specialist hospital Yola, from Monday 19th  to Saturday 24th September, 2016.  29  cases were recorded for the exercise;  out of which 16 were successfully operated and discharged, 3  referred to Jos Teaching Hospital while, 10 were found to be other conditions.  

Dr. Fadimatu Abubakar a Medical Officer at specialists hospital said Fistula  is a hole between a woman’s vagina and one or more of her internal organs; which  develops over many days as a result of obstructed labor,

“when the pressure of the baby’s head against the mother’s pelvis cuts off blood supply to delicate tissues in the region, the  dead tissue falls away and the woman is left with a hole between her vagina and her bladder (called a vesicovaginal fistula or VVF) and sometimes between her vagina and rectum (rectovaginal fistula, RVF).”

The hole results in permanent incontinence of urine and/or faeces; majority of women who develop fistulas are abandoned by their husbands and ostracized by their communities because of their foul smell.

Obstetric fistula can be closed with intravaginal surgery, and can only be performed by a skilled surgeon, if successfully conducted the  patient has a good chance of returning to a normal life with full control of her bodily functions.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), there are three delays that contribute to the development of a fistula: delay in seeking medical attention; delay in reaching a medical facility; and delay in receiving medical care once arrive at a health care facility.

Commenting on the development, the Honourable Commissioner for Health Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar said   Any woman who can gain access to timely and competent emergency obstetric care when labor is obstructed, by obtaining a Cesarean section, will not develop a fistula.

Fistula Foundation  has a strong partnership with UNFPA towards the implementation of its programs.

The team of surgeon that conducted the exercise are  Dr Sunday  lengman, of Jos Teaching Hospital, Ahmed Yola of Murtal Muhammed Hospital, Kano  both  Fistula expert and consultants gynaecologist, Dr Fadima Abubakar Medical Officer, Mr. Joel Jacob Midlands and Usman Umaru Pariya of Yola Specialist Hospital.    

BY: Abubakar Mohammed
Information Officer
Ministry of Health, Yola  

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