About 340 women with obstetric fistula have to date received treatment and repair of their condition at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital under a programme implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA ) and a French medical organisation, Women and Health Alliance.
Chipo Chimamise, a Maternal Health Officer in the Ministry of Health and Child Care said the program that has so far benefited 340 women will repair 60 more from the 5th to the 16th of March 2018.
“Currently the Ministry has done seven repair camps with more than 340 women having been repaired,” said Chimamise.
According to Chimamise, the next camp which is targeting to repair 60 women is scheduled for 5 February to 16 March 2017.
“Our center of repair is Chinhoyi and we help women all over Zimbabwe. At the moment we are establishing a repair center at UBH which will be done midyear 2018,” added Chimamise.
She further noted that rural women were the affected by obsteric fistula due to lack of awareness about the disease and services available.
“The challenges women mainly faced were in line with awareness around the disease and services,
“Some of the women are very poor and because we have one center they cannot afford bus fare to come to Chinhoyi,
“However UNFPA and Women and Health Alliance provided funding for these women for transport and the operations too. We also have specialists from DRC, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Ghana to assist with the operations,” explained Chimamise.
Speaking to 263Chat, Tingadini Manungo, whose obsteric fistula was repaired last year in November after enduring it for 12 years said since from the time she received treatment she has not leaked urine.
“I had obsteric fistula for 12 years and I was leaking urine and passing feces uncontrollably,
“This happened after I had given birth to my fourth born but i still went on to have another one in that condition. I used cloths all the time to protect myself as urine would just leak,
“I then received help from Chipo Chimamise and was provided with transport money to get operated on the 9th of November 2017 and since then I have not leaked,” narrated Manungo.
Obstetric fistula is a huge problem, particularly in developing countries with an estimated 2 million women in Sub- Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region and Latin America and the Caribbean living with this injury while 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year.
Fistula is a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed, labor without timely access to emergency obstetric care, notably a caesarean section. It leaves women leaking urine, feces or both and over time, it leads to chronic medical problems. Sufferers also endure depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.
Obstetric fistula occurs mostly among women and girls living in extreme poverty, especially those living far from medical services. It is also more likely to afflict girls who become pregnant while still physically immature.