“The time has come to put an end to obstetric fistula and address the circumstances that perpetuate it,including poverty, lack of access to health care, child marriage and early childbearing.”
By Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive director UNFPA.
Obstetric Fistula has become an endemic in most part of the Africa and little or less attention has been given to either prevent or eradicate it. This is one of the reasons why I decide to write about it.
First and famous let look at the meaning of the word OBSTETRICS FISTULA:
OBSTETRIC FISTULA: this is a medical condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal as a result of childbirth. It can result in continence of urine or faces.
In most cases obstetric fistula is course by prolong labor (obstructed labor) or lack of access to caesarean section.
For a woman with obstructed labor, a labor that last up to six or seven days. The labor produce contraction that push the baby’s head against the mother’s pelvic bone. The soft tissues between the baby’s head and the pelvic bone are compressed and do not received adequate blood flow which course the tissue to die and that course the hole.
Taking some part of Nigeria as an example, most especially some part of the north were maternity care is not much given attention to by mother’s, and early marriage is rampant.
Most of the people living in rural areas believe in taking their pregnant wives to traditional birth attendance than taking them to hospitals and clinic for proper care even if its within their reach. The most common excuse they use to give is their forefathers don’t took their wives to hospitals and so they believe its a tradition that has to be follow.
Research has shows that Nigeria account for 40% of worldwide fistula burden. There are presently 400,000 – 800,000 fistula cases in Nigeria with an annual incidence of 20,000 of which less than 3,000 is been repaired annually at the fistula repairs centres in existence in the country.
Approximately 80 – 90% of the causes are linked to prolonged labor. The condition also commonly affect women who are poor, less privileged and located in rural areas where access to quality emergency obstetric care is limited.
1. OBSTRUCTED LABOR
2. LACK OF ACCESS TO CAESAREAN SECTION
3. BELIEVING IN QUACKS TRADITIONAL BIRTH ATTENDANCE.
EFFECT OF OBSTETRICS FISTULA
SOCIAL ISOLATION: a woman with fistula is often rejected by her so called husband and push out of the village due to her foul smell.
Others effect include depression, infertility, poverty, in continence of urine and faces.
Most of this cases can be avoided at early stage if a caesarea section can be sited at deferent locations, and a proper campaign should be made continuously to fight against child marriage, unwanted pregnancy, and unskilled traditional birth attendance.
2. Urinary catheter
This is a process were by a silicone tube know as a urinary catheter is inserted into a patient bladder via the urethra.
3. Counselling: some of this mothers, after been diagnose with fistula they decide not to take water at all or taking very little in an interval which may curse more harm than good. A counseling will go a long way in correcting such behavior.
In conclusion : For every woman who receives a treatment for her fistula at least 50 more go without.