The International Day to end Obstetric Fistula is being marked in Nigeria with a call on women with the condition to come for free repairs at the National Obstetric Fistula Center (NOFIC), Abakaliki, in Ebonyi state.
The United Nations Population Fund with support from NOFIC, the Family Succor and Upliftment Foundation made the call on Sunday at Saint John Paul II Parish, Nkalekeachara, while sensitising the public on the need to end the scourge.
The Coordinator of the foundation, Mr Chukwuma Elom, said that the free surgery would be carried out on women with fistula from states of the federation.
Elom said the foundation, a pet project of Mrs Rachael Umahi, wife of Ebonyi State Governor, urged all stakeholders, especially the traditional institution, to educate people on the condition.
“Women with fistula should visit the centre for the free repair that will commence on May 24,” Elom said.
The Medical Director of NOFIC, Prof Johnson Obuna, while enlightening women on the medical condition, encouraged them to always visit qualified health care facilities for childbirth and antenatal care.
Obuna described Obstetric fistula as a medical condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal as a result of childbirth.
He said the medical challenge is caused by obstructed labour, poor access to medical care, teenage pregnancy, among other conditions.
“We came to inform you of what fistula is all about and plead with women to take this opportunity serious, though we treat patients with the condition on a daily bases.
“I appreciate Mrs Umahi on her efforts so far, to assist women with the condition,” Obuna said.
The Parish Priest of the Church, Rev Father Abraham Nwali, expressed the hope that with assistance from stakeholders in the fight to end obstetric fistula, women would be free from the scourge.
Nwali admonished Christian faithful, especially women, to space childbirth to reduce complications.
He also encouraged Christian faithful to show commitment in assisting the vulnerable with fistula and other health challenges.
He commended the state government on it campaigns so far against the plague.
The National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki, was established in 2011 by the Federal Government as the first national health facility for the treatment, rehabilitation, research, reintegration of and training in obstetric fistula mainly and related reproductive health issues.