Obstetric fistula ops for 50 women

Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Health Reporter
Obstetric fistula repairs underway in the country are progressing well, with at least 44 out of the 80 targeted women with the condition having undergone surgery since May 2019, Ministry of Health and Child Care has said.

Family health director in the ministry, Dr Bernard Madzima, said a total of 60 women were targeted for surgeries at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, while the remaining 20 were scheduled for the same procedure at Mashoko Christian Hospital in Masvingo.

Dr Madzima said to date, 27 repairs had been done at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital and 17 at Mashoko.

“At Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, the camp is held in two phases,” he said. “Each phase is two weeks long and for the two weeks, the target is 30 women to be repaired.

“Phase 1 started on the May 29, 2019 to June 5, 2019 and 27 repairs were done out of 34 admissions.”

Dr Madzima said during the break from the first phase, which is necessitated by the need to allow for other patients to be discharged to create space for phase two patients, a mini-camp was held at Mashoko Christian Hospital.

He said during the period, 17 women out of the 21 who were admitted were repaired.

The phase two surgeries at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital started on June 24 and will run up to July 5, 2019.

Dr Madzima said during the surgeries, the most common type of fistula was the one related to urinary incontinence, medically known as Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF).

He said women with that type of condition had lived with it for a period ranging from three months to 30 years.

“Women from as young as 16 years to as old as 60 years are benefiting from the free surgeries and are happy to go home dry,” said Dr Madzima.

Dr Madzima said women who suspect that they have obstetric fistula can call on toll free number 08080231 to be booked for free surgeries.

“The next camps will be in quarter three and the dates will be advised in due course,” he said.

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during child birth and the two main types are VVF and rectal fistula.

VVF occurs when a woman struggles with labour for days without giving birth with the pressure of the baby’s head cutting off blood supply to delicate tissues causing a hole to form between the birth canal and the bladder.

Rectal fistula is an abnormal connection between the rectum and vagina, allowing gas or stool to pass into the vagina, which is caused by labour complications.

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