The Survive Fistula Health Care Foundation (SFHF), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with Chrstofel Blind Mission (CBM), a woman’s health project has pledged to eradicate fistula in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Speaking to our correspondent in Kuje during the advocacy visit to the Gomo of Kuje, the traditional ruler of Kuje, Alhaji Haruna Tanko Jibrin in his palace, the executive director and founder of the NGO, Peters Idowu said the aim of SFHF is to meet the reproductive and maternal health needs of women and girls with special focus on prevention and management of obstetric fistula.
She said the foundation is geared towards promoting community understanding and practices to enhance the utilisation of maternal health services to prevent avoidable maternal death and disabilities, especially obstetric fistula.
The executive director further stated that the foundation is to strengthen community awareness on prolonged and obstructed labour and obstetric fistula to facilitate positive socio-cultural and behavioural change for fistula prevention, stigma reduction and promote treatment of women and girls living with fistula.
Peters Idowu said that, Survive Fistula Health Care Foundation is out to strengthen health system at primary and secondary levels to encourage access to quality reproductive health services aimed at prevention of avoidable maternal deaths and disabilities especially obstetric fistula in themes of Safe Motherhood Strategy (SMS).
She added that the foundation is to support designated health facilities and health providers for improved access to quality and safe fistula treatment including rehabilitation and reintegration of the clients.
She noted that in Nigeria, estimated 150,000 – 200,000 women live with fistula and 12,000 new cases yearly, while every 10 minutes, a woman dies from pregnancy and childbirth. It is estimated that 110 die every day.
She said government has been assisting the foundation and other partners are also keying into the system to help government.
She advised women to always attend ante-natal clinic and ensure they deliver in the hospital to avoids complications.
The executive director also told Blueprint that, 311 women were reached for the obstetrics in Kuje, and the foundation also reached out to community dialogue at Kulo in Rubochi, kiyi-chibiri community and obstetric fistula outreach in Chukuku, and Rubochi all in Kuje area council, Abuja-FCT. However, Chukuku had 78 and Rubochi, 74 obstetrics outreach etc.
She said fistula surgery data so far carried out shows that 9 fistula clients were reached while 6 of them were presented, 4 had fistula repair surgery and were discharged.