From Gyang Bere, Jos
No fewer than 150,000 women are battling with Vesico Vaginal Fistula, (VVF) in Nigeria, making it the highest number of VVF burden globally.
Fistula Project Coordinator, Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Sunday Lengman, stated this to commemorate the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) a day, set by the United Nations to recognise the struggles of women living with fistula.
He said fistula is a devastating health condition caused primarily by prolonged/obstructed labour and increasingly, unsafe obstetric or gynaecological surgery.
Lengman said as part of the commemoration, the centre has flagged off free corrective surgeries for women who came from Kano, Taraba and environs.
He said childbirth injuries contribute to 98 per cent of the development of VVF while other causes include certain cancers, surgical interventions, trauma, harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation and congenital defects.
He, however, stated that the centre also provides prevention services to women all over Nigeria who were at risk of getting VVF.
Lengman advised that girls should remain in school as they would escape the early years of being forced into marriage until they reach maturity, adding that supervised delivery by health workers could reduce the risk of having VVF in women.
He also encouraged pregnant women to register in health facilities in case they needed surgical interventions, while encouraging them to eat healthy during pregnancy.