Gulu District Health Department has raised a red flag on the
rising cases of uterine fibroids as the affected women shun treatment for fear
of stigma. Fibroids are abnormal growths in or on a woman’s uterus with the
enlargement of tumours, which manifests with irregular menstrual bleeding and
chronic pain in the pelvic among others.
At least 110 women have been admitted to different health facilities
in Gulu with fibroids over the last two years. The condition is
predominant among women between 20 and 35 years of age. Forty-four women were
admitted to various health facilities in the District in 2019 with fibroids.
The number increased to 68 women in 2020.
St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor registered the highest number of
cases in December last year with 25 women. Romanson Elvis Okello, a Biostatistician
at Gulu District Health Department told URN recently that the condition accounts
for 0.8% of general admissions in the health facilities in the district. Okello
explains that the district is still struggling to ascertain the factors
explaining the rise in the condition.
Dr. Baifa Arwenyo, the Head of the Gynecology Ward at Gulu
Regional Referral Hospital revealed that the unit currently receives between 4
to 6 women with the condition on a weekly basis. She revealed that three women
undergo operation within a week, adding that many of the women report to the
facility with advanced conditions of the disease.
Arwenyo explained that many of the women are afraid of
discussing the condition with their husbands and thereby end up avoiding
treatment at an early stage due to stigma. She however noted that the
disease is mostly showing up in women who overly take long to get pregnant and
shun exclusive breastfeeding among others.
//Cue in: “One of them ….
Cue out… “Breastfeed for long,”//
Dr. Filda Anicia, the In-Charge of the Reproductive Health
Uganda Clinic in Gulu, says they receive at least ten women with fibroids each
week. She says that the women go to the
facility for antenatal services thinking they are pregnant yet they have grown
//Cue in: “So it can……
Cue out…suppress it,”//
Tony Okello, a resident of Laroo-Pece Division in Gulu City,
says he was afraid to discuss the condition his wife was going through with his
family members for fear of stigma. “It’s was a very hard decision to
take whether to share the problem we were going through with the parents until
the condition required an operation,” Okello