Obstetric Fistula (OF) is a Complication of Childbirth Occurring almost Exclusively in Developing Countries. This abnormality results from prolonged obstructed Labour is usually associated with delays in seeking or receiving appropriate emergency obstetric care especially among young adolescents Mothers.
Obstetric Fistula is a public health challenge that is among the previously neglected components of maternal health in the developing world. The condition, which in recent past has increasingly drawn more attention from the public, has devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of both women and girls worldwide. The most common cause of obstetric fistula in developing countries is prolonged obstructed Labour affecting approximately 2 million women and girls across Africa and Asia.
In Uganda, the ministry of Health recognized obstetric fistula as a silent mobility among Ugandan women in 2001 however, strategic measures were not taken until the shocking reports in 2005, where Uganda reported the third-highest prevalence of fistula in the world.it estimated that in Ugand,140,000 women were living with fistula by 2009 however; the Uganda Demographic and Health survey reported a reduction in the prevalence among Ugandan women who had experienced fistula and about 62% of the women suffering from obstetric fistula sought for treatment from the available health facilities.
Fistula still remain a big threat to women and girls and we need to restore the dignity of women and girls suffering from Fistula. 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. 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.”
Obstetric fistula is such a devastating condition because it physically and socially disables women. Besides instigating urine and faecal incontinence, obstetric fistula also affects the health, social, economic and psychological well-being of women.
Economically, this life-long disability does not only affect the productivity of the woman alone but also that of her household and the community
Post – effect of obstetric fistula among survivors;
This time when fistula survivors unanimously experienced dramatic improvement in their lives. These ere manifested through the joy, hope peace of mind and regained courage to continue living and reintegrated into their own families and communities.
Numbers of Fistula survivors continue to experience
And live in fear a rising from the traumatic experiences of how they were treated by both their family members and the general community the time they suffered from fistula. For those who are rejected and abandoned by close family members including their spouses, they continue living in isolation and consequently develop an attitude which looks at relationship as meaningless.
What we do
- We 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.
- FDP Reintegration and Empowerment program for obstetric Fistula Survivors (REPOFS) addresses the lingering psycho-social, mental health, economic and ongoing health needs of women who have suffered obstetric fistula. Women and girls gain health and sexual reproductive health knowledge, process and heal from psychological wounds, and gain practical income generating skills and financial literacy to rebuild their lives.
- Through Power of Art Theatre, Solidarity Groups and Music, Drama, and Dance groups provide on-going support and mentorship, Including Financial support, to help lift women out of poverty. REPOFS aligns with the mission of together women rise as it seeks to end extreme poverty for women and promote education and gender equality.
- Strengthening partnerships at all levels on maternal and new-born health and we need to advocate for continuity of reproductive & maternal health services at Health facilities amidst COVID-19.
- In addition to capacity building, changing attitudes and strengthening the health system, a comprehensive and holistic fistula care approach is required to facilitate the reintegration process and restoration of women dignity.
- The main goal is to provide the comprehensive care women need to fully heal from the trauma of fistula and successfully reintegrated into communities. Improve the economic well-being of beneficiaries and their ability to meet their basic needs through the provision of microfinance, entrepreneurship, and income generating activities skill training.
- Improve mental health outcomes and family reunification/marital satisfaction among beneficiaries through the provision of psychosocial and family counselling.
- To create on-going reintegration support network for beneficiaries through the formation of Fistula Solidarity Groups and Music, Drama and Dance groups and increase Awareness and understanding of their sexual reproductive health rights at local and national level.
- Raising more awareness by reaching the communities mobilize and organize the patients for Fistula health camps.
- Supporting the Fistula survivors back to communities with no stigmatization and empower them for income generating activists.
Why we Love to do this
Economically, women with fistula are pushed deeper into poverty as they experience workforce discrimination and increased costs in health and hygiene needs. The reintegration program that follows surgical repair allows new beginnings, a restoration of dignity and purpose, confidence and leadership. Educating the community on the risk factors for obstetric fistula is gradually creating cultural shifts and improving overall maternal health in Uganda.