Tribune News: USAID-sponsored Fistula care programme has established a centre to treat the adopted Chibok girls that are found to have been traumatised from rape, saying rape is a reason some young girls end up with Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) later in life.

USAID’s funded Fistula Care plus country Project manager, Dr Habib Sadauki, stated that for seeing the possibility of the young girls’ traumatisation, tools were developed to identify possible complications from sexual violence.

Sadauki, who said such victims of sexual violence were designated to be treated at the National Fistula Centre, Bauchi, said the USAID funded project was also expanding fistula care to more centres in the country.

The medical expert, remarking that plans were to ensure that VVF treatment centres are established in each geopolitical zone of the country, declared that sexual violence and other traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and the gishiri cuts had been linked to development of VVF.

He described VVF as a very debilitating condition that affects over  two million women and majority of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

The expert, who described VVF as a manifestation of a suboptimal healthcare system in Nigeria, said no less than 150,000 Nigerian women living with VVF, with another 12,000 new cases recorded annually.

Sadauki said consequences of fistula are life shattering for the women who experience it and it leaves them with chronic incontinence, resulting in social isolation which makes them to contact ulcer and infections or possible paralysis or death.

He, however, highlighted challenges against ensuring women with VVF could be repaired to include dearth of trained fistula surgeons and nurses, lack of awareness treatment and information on VVF and poverty.

Ensuring a free fistula nation was a joint responsibility, he said, adding that this would also entail a multi-sectoral collaboration that will talk about access to care and issues on accessing qualitative obstetric care.

By Sade Oguntola



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