Fistula: Centre warns pregnant women against inexperienced doctors

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The National Obstetric Fistula Centre (NOFIC) has warned pregnant women against having caesarean sections performed at hospitals with inexperienced practitioners whose maternity services could lead to fistula exposure.

This was made known to NAN in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State by Professor Johnson Obuna, who is the Centre’s medical director, on Tuesday while inspecting fistula patients in the postoperative and preoperative wards.

Obuna said the most common fistula cases received at the centre were from caesarean sections performed at some hospitals with inexperienced practitioners.

A fistula is an abnormal connection between two body parts, such as an organ or blood vessel and another structure. Fistulas are usually the result of an injury or surgery.

Fistula normally requires good treatment because they don’t heal on their own. There is a risk of developing cancer in the fistula tract if left untreated for a long period of time.

The doctor advised patients to strictly seek appropriate medical attention in standard health facilities where emergencies could be treated promptly.

“Up to 63.5 per cent come from a caesarean. When a pregnant woman accesses good antenatal care and adheres to expert instructions, the risk will be avoided,”

However, he commended the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the state governor and his wife for their deep commitment to ensuring effective restoration of the patients.

Mr Benedict Essong, the representative of UNFPA, said the organisation will continue to support fistula patients and ensure that pregnant women do not die during childbirth.

Essong said the agency also expected all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls to fall to zero by 2030.

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