The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is assisting the technical expertise of Nigerian physicians in the repairs of damaged fistula.
The organisation has brought three renowned urologists from France to treat women with damaged fistula, or suffering from Vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) and also train Nigerian physicians on the repairs of damaged fistula.
The three French urologist are, Prof. Alain Le Duc, a Professor of Urologist at a university in Paris, and Dr. Claude Dumurger and Dr. Ludovic Falandry, both retired from the French Army.
While in Nigeria, the three will oversee the operations of 150 women suffering from VVF and impact their knowledge on doctors in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
UNFPA Acting Representative, Dr. Eugene Kongnyuy while speaking to the press during the flag off of the VVF repairs in Maiduguri on Tuesday, disclosed that the French medical experts will repair damaged fistula of women in Borno State and assist in impacting their knowledge on local doctors.
Kongnyuy, who disclosed that the exercise would be on for two weeks, said the campaign is being supported by Canadian government and Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and aimed at eliminating fistula and improving access to maternal and child healthcare in Borno State.
He said that about 150,000 women are currently living with fistula in the country, noting that with improved maternal care this would be over.
He said: “So if we have sound health system where women are coming for labour, we will minimise the fistula, so in developed world we don’t have fistula anymore, it has been completely eliminated but in Nigeria we have close to 150,000 women who are currently living with fistula.
“They don’t have face to smile in their life the only way to bring back the smile is to do surgical operations I can bet you we can prevent fistulas if our health system are functioning well,”
UNFPA boss explained that the cause could be traced to women getting pregnancy when their systems were not matured, noting that prolonged labours and child or early marriage usually cause it.
“We are on Fistulas campaign to repairs the women who are suffering from vaginal abnormality; it is a two week campaign where we mobilise these women all over Borno and adjoining states who have being suffering from these for number of years. Some of them have been abandoned by their families, relations and husbands. We hope the repairs will be done for them.
“What we do as UNFPA is to organise campaign once or twice in a year, the campaign is to remind the population that this fistula can be prevented and the caused is child marriage and health system that was unable to response appropriately when a woman is in labour.” Dr. Eugene said.
One of the French experts, Prof. Alain Le Duc stressed that they care greatly for women suffering from fistula and also brought some equipment that will hasten their operations.
“I am particularly concerned about the women living with fistula, I came with new devices to rectify and repair the women suffering this fistula, but what strikes me is that many women have been operated many times but they are yet to have a repair, so each additional operation make it complicated; I hope after the repairs they will be safe and more young African doctors need to be trained.
Some Nigerian surgeons who are participating in the campaign include: Prof. Sunday Adeoye, Dr. Sunday Lengman, Dr. Ayi Etim, Dr. Mairinga Abdulkareem, Dr. Emmanuel Kwaya-Bura and Dr. Filibus Sunday.