First Specialized Fistula Hospital in East Africa launched in Soroti

Fistula is an abnormal connection or passageway that connects two organs or vessels that do not usually connect. They usually develop between an intestine and the skin, between the vagina and the rectum.

Rebbeca Kadaga the Speaker of Parliament launched the facility on behalf of the president in Soroti district. She warned young girls against leading reckless lives that can lead them to get fistula.

She also emphasized that the country lacks sufficient resources to tackle various challenges, which makes it appropriate that each citizen plays their role.

During the launch, Alice Emasu the executive director Fistula hospital says, the 4.72million hospital facility was financed by the International Fistula Alliance.

Sarah Opendi said 2000 new fistula cases occur in Uganda each year.

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The world Health Organization estimates that there are 50,000 to 100,000 new cases of fistulas every year. The global health body equally estimates that 2 million women and girls live with untreated fistula in Asia and Sub Saharan Africa and Uganda has about 75,000 to 100,000 women and girls affected by fistula.

According to the World Health Organization Report 2018, far too many women still suffer and die from serious health issues during pregnancy and childbirth.

In 2015, an estimated 303,000 women worldwide died due to maternal causes. Almost all of these deaths (99%) occurred in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), with almost two thirds (64%) occurring in the WHO African Region.

Reducing maternal mortality crucially depends upon ensuring that women have access to quality care before, during and after childbirth.

Experts recommend that pregnant women initiate first antenatal care contact in the first trimester of pregnancy which is called antenatal care.

Causes of Fistula

Women who give birth when they are below 20years are at a high risk of fistula because their pelvis is not developed enough to handle child birth.

She also emphasized that the country lacks sufficient resources to tackle various challenges, which makes it appropriate that each citizen plays their role.

The WHO report indicates that there are 12.8million births among adolescent girls aged 15-19years every year, representing 44births per 1000 adolescent girls in this age group.

It also states that early childbearing can increase risks for newborns as well as for the young mothers.

Obstructed labor that is left unrelieved can result to fistula.

Inadequate healthcare, where women may lack health services during the time of pregnancy.
However, globally, it is estimated that more than 40% of all pregnant women were not receiving early antenatal care in 2013.

Aside from surgery Fistula cases can be treated through urethral catheterization if it is identified early. The catheter drains urine from the bladder, which decompresses the bladder wall so that the wounded edges come together and stay together that enable it to close naturally, at least in the smaller fistulae.

Latest available data suggest that while in most high-income and upper middle income countries more than 90% of all births benefited from the presence of a trained midwife, doctor or nurse, less than half of all births in several low-income and lower middle income countries were assisted by such skilled health personnel.

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Treatment of fistula
Fistula can be treated through surgery. Research shows that primary fistula repair has 91% success rate.

Aside from surgery Fistula cases can be treated through urethral catheterization if it is identified early. The catheter drains urine from the bladder, which decompresses the bladder wall so that the wounded edges come together and stay together that enable it to close naturally, at least in the smaller fistulae.

Research shows that about 37% of obstetric fistulae that are treated within 75 days after birth with a Foley catheter resolve. Even without preselecting the least complicated obstetric fistula cases, a catheter by midwives after the onset of urinary incontinence could treat over 25% of all new fistulae.

Experts also argue that besides physical treatment, mental health services are also needed to rehabilitate fistula patients.

Symptoms of fistula vary with different individuals but a person should visit a professional doctor for proper guidance and consultation.

Constant urine leakage from the vagina
Irritation in the external female genital organs

Frequent urinary tract infections

Leakage of gas and feces into the vagina
Some signs may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

 

@TheOfualokaPost

 

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