Accra, July 13, GNA - To kick start the Initiative of repairing 100 obstetric fistula cases in 100 days, “The 100 in 100 Days Initiative”, eight cases have been repaired at the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital, Mankessim, in the Central Region.
Although 10 cases were recruited and registered for the surgery, only 8 were surgical candidates and all eight have been cured and discharged home. The cases were selected from the Mfantseman District with the help of the Hospital.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Dr Gabriel Ganyaglo, an Obstetrician Gynaecologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and a member of the team of fistula surgeons, said a study was carried out by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in 2015, estimated that about 1, 300 new cases of fistula occurred every year and yet only less than 100 cases are repaired each year.
He explained that UNFPA together with the National Obstetric Taskforce and the GHS launched a National Obstetric Fistula Prevention and Management Strategy in 2017 and the 100 cases in 100 days initiative, was part of the implementation strategy.
The objective of the initiative is to repair 100 obstetric fistula cases in 100 days, create awareness of obstetric fistula and mobilise funds for fistula repairs.
He explained that the Access Bank came to their aid and was able to mobilise GH¢250,000.00 to support surgical repairs of about 100 women who suffer from fistula in Mankessim.
It is estimated that the average cost of fistula treatment including surgery and post-operative care, is approximately $700, which is well beyond the reach of most women with the condition.
Dr Ganyaglo noted that the hospital had played a pivotal role in mobilising the patients for the surgery and the financial support from Access Bank had also made it a reality and this had put smiles back on the faces of these women.
He noted that an Obstetric Fistula Fund has been set up with an Account opened with the Access Bank and entreated corporate institutions, organisations and individuals to contribute into the fund to mobilise, recruit and repair more fistula cases.
“The Account name is Obstetric Fistula Fund and the Account number is 0460105701361, Access Bank. No contribution is too small; every Cedi is appreciated”.
Obstetric Fistula is a distressing complication of prolonged, obstructed labour, resulting in the leakage of urine or faeces or both through the vagina.
The smell of the leaking urine, feces or both is constant and humiliating. This, if left untreated, could lead to chronic medical problems including ulcerations and kidney diseases.
Dr Ganyaglo advised women who suffer from fistula conditions to report to the health facility and families who have such patients should take them to the health facility for the necessary assistance.
“We should not hide them nor stigmatize them since the stigma and shame alone can kill them. They need our love and assistance to have the fistula repaired and be integrated back into society”, he added.
He also called on other institutions to support the initiative financially to repair more cases and put smiles back on their faces of victims.