Sokoto Fistula Foundation Targets 50 VVF Patients in Free Surgery


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Fistula Foundation Nigeria (FFN) says it is targetting 50 patients of Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) in its free repair surgery at the Fistula Treatment Centre located at the Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital, Sokoto.

The FFN Director, Mr Musa Isa, made this known while giving an update on the five-day Free Fistula Repair Campaign on Wednesday in Sokoto, which started on Sept. 21, to end on Sept. 25.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the campaign was funded by the Canadian Government, under the Global Affairs Canada Gender-Based Violence/Harmful Traditional Practices (GBV/HTP) project.

NAN also reports that the exercise was being conducted by a team of specialised doctors from Kano and Plateau states.

The free fistula repair was a collaboration by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and FFN, conducted at designated centres in the country.

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The FFN director explained that 80 women living with fistula were mobilised from communities in different states, including the FCT, noting, however, that 50 of the women would undergo the surgery at the Sokoto treatment centre, while the remaining patients would be considered in the coming exercise scheduled for November this year.

According to him, the exercise will take place alongside the training of four doctors and eight nurses on VVF repair surgery.

He thanked the government and people of Canada for making it possible to have VVF treatment in the country.

He added that the free VVF surgery would also take place in Ningi, Bauchi State from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3.

He urged women and girls living with the condition from any part of the country to register at the centre for the surgery to solve the problem, an abnormal opening between the bladder and the vagina that results in continuous and unremitting urinary incontinence.

VVF could be caused by prolonged labour during childbirth, rape or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), among other causes.

However, the condition could be treated through surgery.

In an interview at the centre, a Fistula Surgeon, Dr Amiru Imam-Yola from Kano, told NAN that the team of doctors met fresh and repeated cases that required mild and complicated surgery.

Imam-Yola said the exercise was aimed at reducing the number of women suffering from VVF, noting that some needed implantations to stop the leaking urine.

Another doctor in the team, Dr Sunday Langma from Jos, Plateau State, described the exercise as exciting because it was a dual combination of training of doctors and auxiliary nurses from Bauchi and Sokoto states.

Langma said some cases were complex and commended the Federal Government for providing an enabling environment toward establishing fistula centres.

He called for more partnerships between state governments and NGOs to assist in fishing out more patients so that they could be attended to, stressing that more efforts were needed due to an increasing number of cases.

The specialist advised the government to argument the supply of more inputs and ensure continued routine repairs outside the established centres.

He emphasised the need to educate women, girls and men about the dangers of child delivery at home, as well as the associated norms.

He suggested delayed pregnancy until girls reached full maturity stages of between 18 and 25 years of age.

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