The condition occurs when a mother has a prolonged, obstructed labour resulting in an abnormal opening in the birth canal. The health ministry estimates that 100,000 women and girls in the country are suffering from the condition. But according to experts, the condition can be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, the cessation of harmful traditional practices, and timely access to obstetric care.
: trim(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($string) of type string is deprecated in
Uganda needs to end early child marriages and teenage pregnancies in order to stop cases of Obstetric
fistula, one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth
The condition occurs when a mother has a prolonged, obstructed labour resulting in an abnormal opening in the birth canal.
The health ministry estimates that 100,000
women and girls in the country are suffering from the condition. But according to experts, the condition can be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy, the cessation of harmful traditional practices, and timely access to obstetric care.
The United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) Country Representative, Dr Allain Sibenaler says teenage pregnancies are the biggest cause of the condition in the
country and that controlling them will change the tide in the struggle to eliminate Fistula.
Sibenaler was speaking at the occasion to commemorate the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
, which is marked annually on May 23. This year, speeches have been
delivered virtually because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
//Cue in; "The whole fistula...
Cue out... the heart of the problem."//
According to UNFPA, the rate of teenage pregnancies has been
stuck at 25 per cent for the last 15 years. It is also estimated that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have otherwise
, due to COVID-19. This is because families are more likely to marry off daughters to alleviate the perceived burden of caring for them, especially in the anticipated economic fallout of the pandemic.
The pandemic is also expected to cause significant delays in
programmes to end female genital mutilation (FGM) - something that could
lead to a spike in FGM cases, according to UNFPA
, which is a contributing factor for obstetric fistula.
But Angela Nakafeero, the Commissioner
for Gender and Women Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social
Development says that girls need to be given enough information on sexual
reproduction and empowered to know their rights.
//Cue in; "Fistula is a...
Cue out...need contraceptives."//
To deal with the repercussions of
teenage pregnancies such as fistula, the government has set up eight centres where
women can get care. These include Lacor, Kagando,
Kitovu, Kamuli, Kisiizi, Kumi, Mulago Women's Hospital and Virika Mission
Despite having care centres, Dr Fred Kirya, a urologist and
Obstetric Fistula surgeon at Soroti hospital says the ongoing COVID-19
Pandemic is likely to cause an increase in fistula cases. Dr Kirya says that many girls and women today are unable to
access basic services such as antenatal due to nationwide lockdowns that have
crippled the transport sector.
Dr Patrick Kagurusi, the head of programs
at the African Medical and Research Foundation -AMREF says that government
needs to invest more in Community based health services. He says that what
currently exists is not enough to serve the increasing population.
//Cue in: "The quality of...
Cue out...those people."//
Data from the World Health Organisation shows that an estimated 2
million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and