Restoring the dignity of women and girls suffering from Fistula
Friday, 3 July, 2020
The fight to end obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth, could be threatened by the current pandemic of COVID-19, on 21st May 2020 we partnered with the Ministry of Health, UNFPA in Uganda and TERAWEEDE to host a Webinar and Twitter Chat to highlight the importance of uninterrupted access to Obstetric care during this Pandemic Situation and the role of governments in creating an environment that makes it easy for women and girls accessibility to skilled health professionals before, during and after childbirth and most especially, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme was “End Gender Inequalities! End Health Inequalities! End Fistula Now! our discussion was joined by obstetric survivors, health workers, advocates, and policymakers to celebrate the specialized services they received, highlight some of the challenges they face in delivering quality obstetric care to women and girls more so amid COVID-19 Pandemic; highlight some of the partner efforts of Frontline health workers; share solutions to challenges faced by women and girls.
During the discussion, it was noted that “we need to aid the elimination of gender-based social & economic inequities, prevent child marriage & early childbearing, promote girl & boy education, encourage community participation & involve men in reproductive services.”
Dr. Jackson Amone Commissioner Clinical Services(MOH) explained that “obstetric fistulae can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, by the cessation of harmful traditional practices and by timely access to quality obstetric care, especially cesarean section, to strengthen partnerships at all levels on maternal and newborn health and we need to advocate for continuity of reproductive & maternal health services at Health facilities amidst COVID-19.
Ms. Angel Nakafeero noted that obstetric fistulae can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, by the cessation of harmful traditional practices and by timely access to quality obstetric care, especially cesarean section, women who experience this preventable condition suffer constant urinary incontinence which often leads to social isolation, skin infections, kidney disorders & even death if left untreated and that affected women are often abandoned by their husbands and families, and ostracized by their communities.
Dr. Kagurusi (AMREF Health Africa in Uganda informed the dialogue that “let girls be girls! Raise more awareness about the causes, complications of Obstetric Fistula, prevention, and treatment for communities to appreciate and support community re-integration of Obstetric Fistula survivors and the main challenges our health systems are faced with in ending Obstetric Fistula cut across. Aging Human resources, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of funding which should be addressed urgently.
We reached over 142 participants, we reached 857,050, 3,484,755 Potential Impacts, 6,035.56 Followers per contributor, 26 Facebook, 14 Instagram,16 Text mention, and 75 Links and Images. Using the #EndObstetricFistulaUg, #LifeFreeOfPain & #COVID-19 as our key hashtag.
Amref Health Africa teams up with African communities to create lasting health change.