Minister Anifa Kawooya expresses concern as Fistula cases in Uganda continue to rise, calls for change in strategy.

Minister Anifa Kawooya expresses concern as Fistula cases in Uganda continue to rise, calls for change in strategy.

In her speech at the commemoration of the International day to end obstetric Fistula that was held in Zombo district in Northern Uganda on Friday, the state Minister for Health and General duties Anifa Kawooya Bangirana said that currently there are more new numbers of women who get fistula than those repaired and therefore the government’s approach has to change to end these rising numbers.

According to Kawooya, Uganda currently has an estimated number of 75,000 women who are living with fistula in the community but only 1,500 get the opportunity to access reconstructive surgery yet 1,900 are newly added on the population annually.

Every delay in our inaction is help coming too late for some, especially the marginalized and vulnerable” Kawooya added.

Due to the many challenges in Uganda’s health sector, over the years the nation has been grappling with the few numbers of mothers delivering with a skilled provider in a hospital but according to the Ministry,this has improved currently as at least 7 out of 10 mothers now deliver from health centers.

A fistula is an abnormal connection or passageway that connects two organs or vessels that don’t usually connect, and according to experts the common location around the anus.

There are various types of fistula including Anal, Urinary tract, Enterocutaneous and all these can be traumatic, debilitating and can do additional harm to one’s body.

The most common cause of fistulas is childbirth and obstructed labor as the District Health Officer highlighted in his speech that there is a high risk of these cases as the current percentage of teenage pregnancies in Zombo district now stands at 28%  while 40% of women start their antenatal at a late stage.

This year’s commemoration also doubled as the national launch of the fistula strategic plan that is aimed at eliminating of Obstetric Fistula which the World Health Organization currently recognizes as high in Africa in this generation.

Minister Kawooya also visited Warr health center IV in Zombo district where the surgical camp of correcting fistula cases was staged and according to her findings, 22 women had been operated since Monday and they expect to operate more 13 cases by the end of this camp on Sunday.

The Minister also hinted on the Ministry’s huge plan that was named Uganda Reproductive Maternal Child Health Program (URMCHIP) that is focused on improving reproductive maternal neonatal child and also adolescent health in public facilities among others.

At this ceremony, the Minister was accompanied by Grace Freedom Kwiocwiny the state Minister for Northern region, Gabriel Okumu the Member of Parliament for Okoro constituency, Esther Afoyochanthe woman Member of Parliament Zombo district and the district leadership.