CAUSED BY OBSTRUCTED LABOUR

Taveta health workers trained in drive against fistula

The county is listed among the hotspot areas with a high number of unreported cases

In Summary

•They will be at the forefront in restoring the dignity of mothers with abnormal connections between the rectum and the vagina.

•The county in a partnership with the Fistula Foundation and Bomu Hospital will offer free screening and treatment.

Bomu Hospital Program Coordinator Dr. Nashina Mohammed during a sensitization meeting with health workers at the Mwatate Subcounty Hospital
SENSITIZATION: Bomu Hospital Program Coordinator Dr. Nashina Mohammed during a sensitization meeting with health workers at the Mwatate Subcounty Hospital
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

Taita Taveta county has started training healthcare workers and intensified awareness to end obstetric fistula.

The one-week training targets medics from health facilities at the grassroots.

They will be at the forefront in restoring the dignity of mothers with abnormal connections between the rectum and the vagina, mostly caused by prolonged and obstructed labour.

The county in a partnership with the Fistula Foundation and Bomu Hospital will offer free screening and treatment.

Bomu Hospital programme coordinator Dr Nashina Mohammed said through the awareness programme, women suffering from fistula will be identified and treated.

“Our journey involves identifying cases, treating them and offering psychosocial support to those affected,” Mohammed said.

“The campaign is geared towards eradicating the ailment through free screening and treatment.”

The county is listed among the hotspot areas with a high number of unreported cases of obstetric fistula.

Mohammed asked families not to stigmatise relatives suffering from fistula but take them to the nearest health facility for treatment.

“The campaign aims at educating women on safe ways of avoiding fistula and sensitising the society to fight the fistula stigma,” she said on Monday at Mwatate Subcounty Hospital.

Fistula programme field coordinator Sarafina Mwalimu urged health workers to be devoted to helping restore the dignity of women suffering from fistula.

Apart from diagnosis and treatment, Mwalimu said the main goal of the programme is to defeat the stigma associated with fistula-related complications.

She said Kenya is facing a shortage of medical specialists who can handle an estimated 3,000 obstetric fistula cases reported annually.

Mwatate Subcounty Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Esha Said said capacity building of medics on basic fistula screening practices is an important move that will address the challenges affecting women from poor backgrounds.

“Appropriate and timely referral system of patients suffering from fistula complications will be achieved since we are all equipped with screening skills and knowledge,” Dr Said said.

She advised expectant mothers to avoid giving birth at home to minimize chances of getting obstetric fistula and prevent any other infection to the mother and baby.

Further, the department of health has already trained over 500 Community Health volunteers on Obstetric Vesico-Vaginal fistula to end the disorder.

The CHVs shall be tasked to sensitize the community in an intensive campaign to end fistula, a condition that can affect the mental, physical, the social and sexual life of women.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris