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Gender equality key to ending fistula – UNFPA

by Haruna Gimba
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By Asmau Ahmad

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said gender equality is key to ending Obstetric fistula in Nigeria.

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.

Ms Ulla Mueller, Country Representative of UNFPA said this in an interview with newsmen on the occasion of the commemoration of World Fistula Day on Tuesday in Lagos.

Mueller, who said that there were 300,000 cases of fistula in the country, called for political will to end it.

According to her, women should be given access to health care, education and family planning to prevent fistula.

The UNFPA Country Representative 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 caesarean sessions cause fistula,” she said.

Mueller asserted the commitment of the UNFPA to ending Fistula by training about 230 nurses.

She added: “We in UNFPA have also sponsored more than 16,000 repairs because

we believe fistula will not happen in 2023.”

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