VVF centre cures 175 patients in Kebbi State.

The Kebbi Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) center cured 175 patients in 2016, Dr. Abubakar Dakingari, the Medical Director of the centre said.

Dakingari told on Monday in Birnin Kebbi said that the treatment was 90 percent successful and that most patients were affected following prolonged labour.

He, however, said some others became affected after genital mutilation.

He added that the center offered treatment freely to patients from within and outside the country, stressing that “we have patients from Benin and Niger Republics, as well as some states in the country.

“We have the best VVF treatment center in the country; we offer free drugs and feeding to patients.

The medical director said many women affected by the condition were from remote villages that lacked roads and functional healthcare facilities.

He, however, noted that the center had done series of awareness to educate the people about the ailment, especially among teenage girls giving birth for the first time.

“We embarked on community mobilization awareness; the awareness included religious and traditional leaders.

“It has greatly helped in reducing new cases in the both the urban and rural communities.”

He said the center was supported by USAID and Non-governmental Organisations (NGO).

“We received hospital equipment, theatre beds, surgical tools, family planning items and examination lamps from USAID as donation.

The surgeon said the center had assisted in the delivery of 37 women who were treated for fistula ailment.

“Because of the nature of their condition after undergoing treatment, we instruct them to come when their expected date of delivery is due in order to assist them to have a smooth delivery,” he said.

He then urged well-to-do individuals, stakeholders and philanthropists to provide additional support to the centre.

FG to build three more VVF hospitals for poor, vulnerable – Minister

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, says the Federal Government is planning to build three more Vesico Vaginal Fistula hospitals in the country to make treatment accessible to the poor and vulnerable.

Adewole told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that poverty and lack of accessible healthcare were major causes of VVF in the country.

He said VVF mostly affected the poor, younger women and many of them abandoned by their husbands.

Adewole said: “There are thousands of Nigerian women with VVF, and it is only poor people that will have it. The rich won’t have it because it is an indication of lack of care during delivery.

“About 85.7 per cent of the poor have no health coverage and no one to look after them.

“The rich ones are taken care of, no rich one will have it, even when they have it or there is a mistake, they will quickly repair it and they will be okay because they have the money.”

Adewole said Federal Government, through its Rapid Results Initiative launched in October, would be performing 10,150 free VVF surgeries in partnership with International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons.

He said it was already taking place concurrently in Abuja, Ibadan, Katsina, Minna and Abakaliki.

He said: “We are picking these women. The Federal Government has set up three VVF hospitals in the country, but we are planning on building two or three more to clear off the backlogs.

“This will enable the poor and the vulnerable who could not afford the fistula treatment to beam with smiles.”

The Minister described VVF as an abnormal opening created between the urinary system and the vagina usually after a prolonged labour not attended by skilled personnel.

He said: “These are women who for one reason or the other could not really deliver their babies through the normal birth canal.

“And because there is a misfit between the baby and the passage, the head of the baby or the other parts of the baby would compress the bladder against the bone and thereafter, the woman starts leaking urine.”

NAN reports that recent records by a health awareness group, Community Partners for Development revealed that Nigeria has the highest prevalence rate of women suffering from VVF in the world.

About 800,000 Nigerian women are living with the condition.