Published on Apr 27, 2012
Dr. Sherry Thomas donates her time in Jinja, Africa on the "End Fistula in Uganda project" which aims at eradicating Fistula and related complications out of Uganda. This effort organized by WAWI (http://www.wawi.or.ug).
Fistula: The silent destroyer of women's lives.
Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labour without prompt medical intervention, usually a Caesarean section. The woman is left with chronic incontinence and, in most cases, a stillborn baby.
Surgery can normally repair the injury. The average cost of fistula treatment and post-operative care is US $300. Sadly, most women with the condition do not know that treatment is available, or they cannot afford it.
This campaign kicks off with the WAWI National FISTULA Camp 2012 on 23rd April 2012 at Jinja Hospital. It will last 45 days and involve identification of victims and reconstructive surgery done by a team of doctors from Uganda-Dr. Baragaine Justus (head of Fistula program in Uganda), Dr. Osinde (Director Jinja hospital) together with Dr Sherry Thomas from the USA.
The second phase (preventative) will cover other regions and last 6 months and will incorporate use of the mobile phone especially in reporting and identification of cases and referrals as well as provide a helpline for victims to communicate with the doctors/specialists.
Like maternal mortality, fistula is almost entirely preventable. But at least 2 million women in Africa, Asia and the Arab region are living with the condition, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop each year. The persistence of fistula is a signal that health systems are failing to meet the needs of women. Uganda has the 3rd highest rate.
Obstetric fistula occurs disproportionately among impoverished girls and women, especially those living far from medical services. Affecting the most powerless members of society, it touches issues related to reproductive health and rights, gender equality, poverty and adolescent reproductive health.
The smell of leaking urine or faeces, or both, is constant and humiliating, often driving loved ones away. Left untreated, fistula can lead to chronic medical problems, including ulcerations, kidney disease, and nerve damage in the legs.
This is one of the Projects designed under the "LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE" campaign, which involves; Reproductive Health & Family Planning as well as Prevention & Intervention programs for infectious diseases.
The campaign is involves two approaches; the Rehabilitative approach which will focus on identifying and rehabilitating fistula victims and the Preventative approach which will focus on creating awareness, sensitization and referral to Mulago National Referral Hospital.
This event organized by Halima Namakula, founder of WAWI.
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