From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, has commended repairs and rehabilitation of women with Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) in northeastern Borno by a UN organisation.
Kallon gave the commendation during the launch and distribution of dignity bags to 27 fistula survivors at the State Specialists Hospital in Maiduguri, the Borno capital.
He said the campaign by the rehabilitation and resettlement of VVF survivors in the area by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) would restore hope to the women.
‘What we are trying to do is to bring back hope to these women. We are not leaving them behind. We are trying to make them members of the society,’ Kallon said.
‘My hope is that at the end of the day, we can make them an integral part of society with this kind of support.’
He said that sub-Sahara Africa was dealing with the challenge of fistula among women especially in rural areas with roughly one million persons affected. He said Nigeria alone accounts for over 150,000 fistula patients based on currently available statistics.
‘The campaign being launched today is very critical especially increase in access to productive health services, ante-natal services, deliver and post-natal services, optic or family planning, child harmful traditional practices.’
Borno State Director of Medical Emergencies and Humanitarian Response Dr Babashehu Mohammed told journalists the fistula campaign in the hospital started in 2018. He said the current exercise was being handled by UNFPA. He said it was a week pool fistula campaign with repaired of 27 women. He said over 100 women from various parts of the northeast were targeted.
The programme, according to a brief by the UNFPA, funded by Korean International Co-operation Agency (KOICA), was aimed at fostering resilience and provision of basic medical service among women and girls in the state. Others include increasing access to comprehensive medical and child health care among others.
Medical experts describe fistula or VVF as an abnormal extension track, extending between the bladder (vesica) and vagina, which often allows the continuous, uncontrolled and involuntary discharge of urine into the vagina vault.