Dr. Edwin Ogoe Anum, an Obstetric Gynecologist at the Upper East Regional Hospital has stated that obstetric fistula is a disease that affects the poorest of the poor and women who live in hard to reach communities.
According to him, the condition is occasioned by the lack of timely access to medical attention.
Dr. Anum spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, today May 23, 2022, on the occasion of the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. May 23 marks the International Day to end Obstetric Fistula.
The theme for this year’s observance is “End Fistula: Invest in Quality Healthcare, Empower Communities!”
“If you consider the epidemiology, you realize that it affects the poorest of the poor and people who live in deprived rural communities. This is largely because it is a condition occasioned by a lack of timely access to medical intervention. And so, people who suffer those conditions go into labour and are unable to have timely access to medical care; eventually, when they deliver, the defect and harm would have already been caused.”
Dr. Anum added that “people who have that condition go into hiding because it is a very stigmatising condition.”
He says fistula is a very treatable condition and encouraged people suffering from the condition and cannot report to the regional hospital to report to the nearest health facility.
“If you know of anyone who has a fistula or you are listening and you are suffering from the condition, the process is quite simple if only you can make it to the regional hospital or any health facility near you. They are community health nurses on the ground. They will take your details, take your contact(s) and report to the regional Public Health Unit and then we make the efforts to reach out to them at their communities.”
He said ending obstetric fistula is a human right issue and every woman who goes into labour or gets pregnant should have a positive pregnancy experience.
Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. A hole between the birth canal and bladder and/or rectum and is caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment.
It leaves women and girls leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. Half a million women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab States region and Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be living with fistula, with new cases developing every year.
Yet fistula is almost entirely preventable. Its persistence is a reminder of gross inequities, a sign of global inequality and an indication that health and social systems are failing to protect the health and human rights of the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls.
This is according to the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA)
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Osuman Kaapore Tahiru|Ghana