Zambia
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Urgent Call to Women: Seek Early Help for Obstetric Fistula – Doctor Advocates for Stigma-Free Support”

An Obstetrician has issued a call to women suffering from obstetric fistula, urging them to seek early help from health facilities. Dr. Goshon Kasanda emphasized that some women, particularly in rural areas, require fistula repair but are hesitant to come forward due to the stigma attached to the condition.

Obstetric fistula is caused by a childbirth injury that results in the inability to control urination, leading to various social consequences for affected women, such as divorce and loss of social support.

Speaking at a fistula repair surgery camp organized by the Fistula Foundation at Mbala General Hospital in Mbala district, Dr. Kasanda noted that many women who have lived with the condition for an extended period choose to suffer in silence out of fear of being ridiculed by society.

During the surgery camp, approximately 20 women living with obstetric fistula are scheduled to undergo surgical operations. A team of doctors and nurses from nine fistula treatment centers across the country have been conducting the repair surgeries at the hospital.

One of the members of the Fistula Medical Team, Royd Nonde, called on fellow practitioners to take an interest in undergoing training to conduct fistula repair surgeries. Dr. Nonde, expressing concern about the low number of expert fistula surgeons, highlighted that with the Fistula Foundation Zambia providing free training, more medical practitioners should be encouraged to participate.

Dr. Nonde expressed gratitude to the Fistula Foundation Zambia and the government for making fistula repair training available at no cost.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Chiluba, the Head of Programmes for Northern and Central Provinces at the Fistula Foundation Zambia, expressed happiness that more women in the two provinces are signing up for fistula repairs. He attributed this positive development to heightened mobilization and sensitization activities conducted by the foundation.