USAID-MOMENTUM, FMH Undertake Free Training, Repair Of VVF Patients In Ebonyi

USAID-MOMENTUM, FMH Undertake Free Training, Repair Of VVF Patients In Ebonyi

By Oswald Agwu

MOMENTUM, A United State Agency For International Development – funded International health partner, in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria is set to repair over 20 Obstetric Fistula patients free in Ebonyi State.

The development was part of a 3-week training on Obstetric Fistula management and treatment for some medical Doctors in the State.

The training which kicked off on Monday at the National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State Capital, targeted 15 surgeons.

Speaking to our correspondent at the venue of the event, the Clinical Specialist for Momentum Safe surgery Project in family planning and Obstetrics, Dr Bartholomew Odio, decried the high prevalence of Vesicovaginal fistula cases in Nigeria in general, and Ebonyi State in particular.

He noted that inadequate specialist doctors in the field has continued to pose serious challenge in fistula treatment and management in the country, adding that the training was aimed at building the capacity of the doctors to help tackle the menace.

Odio explained: “Momentum Safe surgery Project in family planning and and Obstetrics is a USAID- funded project implemented by Engender Health.

“Our three focus areas include Safe ceaserian surgery, Fistula prevention and management and female genital mutilation prevention and management.

“Nigeria has fistula prevalence of about 150, 000 cases, with annual incidence of about 12,000.”About 20 facilities where Fistula repair is being done, every year, they repair about 5,000 cases.

“So, you can see that at that rate, it will take us up to 30 years to finish the backlog, talk less of the new ones.

“The Federal Ministry of Health developed a training manual to train doctors and nurses.”We are here in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, and also the State government to test run that manual.

“We are training about 15 Doctors on how to repair fistula.

“Also, we are going to use this opportunity to repair fistula cases, and we are planning to repair between 20 and 25 cases during this period.”

The Lead facilitator in the training, and the Project Director, Evangel Vesicovaginal Fistula Centre, Associate Professor Sunday Leman, observed that the major cause of fistula in Nigeria was prolonged and obstructed Labour.

Leman said: “When women go into labour and stay for much longer time, two to three days, it leads to devitalization of tissues around the bladder and the vagina which could degenerate, leading to leakage of urine”.

He however, noted that the high prevalence of fistula in Ebonyi State particularly, was due to surgeries by quacks and inexperienced medical practitioners, and advised women to avoid patronizing quacks for Caesarean section.

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