The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH) is running a two-week fistula prevention awareness and community engagement campaign in Grand Bassa County.
The campaign, which started December 22, 2014 in Bokay Town, is to create massive awareness about the fistula condition in that part of Liberia.
Fistula is an abnormal connection between two or more organs. It occurs mostly in women, especially after difficult childbirth (obstetric fistula) or as a result of rape (traumatic fistula).
During the awareness in Bokay Town, Grand Bassa County Reproductive Health Supervisor, Comfort Boyee Wiles, said the campaign is to educate the people about the danger of fistula and the way forward to prevent it and how it can be cured.
She said fistula has destroyed many women, leading them to being abandoned by their husbands, friends and family members due to uncontrollable leakage of urine and feces.
She disclosed that due to the high prevalence of fistula among women in the country, UNFPA along with MOH organized a program called Liberia Fistula Project, so as to give hope and provide medical treatment as well as skills training to those who are affected by Fistula.
She encouraged the people of that part of Liberia to report all cases of Fistula and pregnant women to the nearby clinics for better treatment.
Ma. Sarah Binda, a midwife at the Bokay Town clinic, disclosed that she had no idea about fistula and its consequences for women. “What I learned from this awareness will empower me to educate pregnant women and encourage them to deliver in the hospital,” she said.
The awareness was followed by a consultative meeting for Training Traditional Midwives (TTM) at the Bokay clinic.
The meeting was held to educate the midwives on the danger of fistula and the need for them to stop delivering women at homes.
The District Health Officer (DHO), Larry K.Debah, provided to the TTM steps to take in preventing pregnant women from being victims of fistula.
He said the TTM must take bold steps in educating pregnant women on the danger of home delivery. Debah also praised the TTM for its services to the clinic.
He disclosed that part of efforts to save the lives of women being victimized by fistula, the MOH constructed a Maternity Waiting Home for pregnant women who are close to delivery in order to ensure better treatment and attention before and during labor.
The Fistula Prevention awareness and community engagement is done by Liberia Fistula Project with funding from Zonta International.