800,000 Nigerian women live with fistula – UNFPA

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says  800,000 women live with Vesico Vaginal Fistula VVF in Nigeria.

The UNFPA  also said there are about 20,000 cases of VVF in Nigeria yearly and called for urgent need to end VVF in the country.

The UNFPA in collaboration with Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club planned to  organise a one-day high-level conference  in Kaduna state.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Mariama  Darboe, the Programme Coordinator/Head of Office of the  Kaduna-based UNFPA Decentralized Office for Northern Nigeria, said the  pre-conference event will start on December 18  with a Road walk within Kaduna metropolis.

“The statistics is worrisome and unacceptable as it is  estimated ‘’that between 400,000 and 800,000 women live with VVF in Nigeria. In addition, there are about 12,000 to 20,000 new cases each year. ‘’‎ she said.

The UNFPA Coordinator pointed out that  the conference ‘’aims at raising awareness about the tragic childbirth injuries that incapacitates thousands of mainly poor , illiterate young adolescents who live in rural areas with poor access to quality maternal health care. ‘’

According to her, obstetric fistula is preventable  and can largely be avoided by delaying pregnancy, ensuring skilled birth attendants during child delivery  and providing timely access to obstetric care for all women who develop complications during child birth.

Darboe further said  Governor Nasir El Rufai is expected to  launch the conference along with his wife, Hajiya Ummi El Rufai, who will be officially declared  the Fistula Ambassador in Kaduna state.

According to her, the conference ‘’will also serve as a platform to  raise funds in order to strengthen health care facilities,  to clear   the backlog of cases and stop or at least reduce  new ones from  occurring.’’

Darboe  described Vesico Vaginal Fistula(VVF) as a condition  that  allows for the continuous and involuntary discharge of urine and faeces.

Medical experts,  sociologists  and traditional as well as religious leaders, including top government officials, captains of industries and prominent business  men and women  are expected to attend the conference.

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