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Gender equality key to ending fistula – UNFPA

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Ms. Ulla Mueller has said that gender equality is key to ending Obstetric fistula in Nigeria.

She made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria during the commemoration of World Fistula Day in Lagos.

Mueller disclosed that there are 300,000 cases of fistula in the country and called for political will to end the disturbing scourge.

Obstetric fistula is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum, caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment.

According to the UNFPA Country Representative, women should be given access to health care, education and family planning to prevent fistula.

She said that the high prevalence of fistula in Nigeria was a clear sign of failed health system.

“Fistula is a clear sign of failed healthcare system. A woman living with fistula will be constantly urinating and passing faeces. 13,000 cases occur every single year, unprofessional caesarian sessions cause fistula,” she said.

Mueller reiterated the commitment of the UNFPA to ending Fistula, noting that about 230 nurses have been trained.

“We in UNFPA have also sponsored more than 16,000 repairs because we believe fistula will not happen in 2023,” she added.

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