Oct 27, 2009, 2:23 PM
BAFROW recently concluded a two-day training workshop for nurses and midwives on the prevention and management of obstetric fistula at the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Banjul.
Obstetric fistula is a severe medical condition in which an opening fistula develops between the bladder or rectum and the vagina after a prolonged, difficult and failed child birth, in the absence of adequate medical care, according to medical practitioners.
BAFROW’s executive director Fatoumata Waggeh said the workshop was held to strengthen the capacity of healthcare providers on fistula and create awareness on the prevention and management of the ailment.
Over the years, BAFROW has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to complement government’s efforts in health service delivery in the country, she said.
According to her, some two million people are living with fistula in sub-Saharan Africa.
In her presentation on the subject at the training, BAFROW deputy director Yassin Sampo-Ceesay said obstetric fistula is a severe medical condition in which an opening fistula develops between the bladder and the vagina or between the rectum and the vagina after a prolonged, difficult and failed child birth, where adequate medical care is not available.
She says that 96% of obstetric fistula is directly caused by several days of obstetric labour without timely intervention and is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal and infant mortality, adding that fistula is relatively hidden problem largely because it affects the most marginal members of society.
She added that women who experience obstetric fistula not only lose their unborn babies but also suffer constant incontinence of urine, faeces, shame or social discrimination from their husbands or society.
Fistula is treatable, she said, whilst urging nurses to assist women who are living with fistula.
For his part, Bafoday Jawara, head of reproductive and child health unit at the Ministry of Health, thanked BAFROW for organising such an event.