A total of 340 women have received a new lease of life following a Ministry of Health and Child Care, UNFPA and Women Alliance initiated fistula repair program.
Ministry of Health and Child Care Maternal Health Officer Chipo Chimamise said the program is done at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital every quarter of the year.
“Currently the Ministry has done seven repair camps with more than 340 women having been repaired,” said Mrs Chimamise.
She said the next camp is scheduled for 5 February to 16 March and we intend to repair 60 women.
“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,” she said.
Obstetric fistula is a huge problem, particularly in developing countries. It is estimated that more than 2 million women in Sub- Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with this injury, and some 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, faeces 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. Women and girls with fistula are unable to work, and many are abandoned by their husbands and families, and ostracized by their communities driving them further into poverty.