Thursday, 31 May 2012

Women and Poverty- On Obstetric fistulas

Welcome Back

I thought I would share this with you as it impacts some women in developing countries My aim is not to scare people but raise awareness on the condition which is debilitating. Women who suffer from this condition are shunned and rejected by loved ones and in some cases they even loose their babies. This in some parts of the world though is not addressed and such women have no support as the tratment is expensive and not readily available.

I have also written a book based on this condition-yet to be published.(A lost Youth- copyrighted)

One day I was having a cup of tea with my friend Jes and I happen to mention this condition. My friend was shocked and she did not know such things happen. With good health facilities in developed countries I was not surprised she did not know.

Maybe I should explain this condition first,

Obstetric fistula (or vaginal fistula) is a severe medical condition in which a fistula (hole) develops between either the rectum and vagina (see rectovaginal fistula) or between the bladder and vagina (see vesicovaginal fistula) after severe or failed childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available.


Each year between 50 000 to 100 000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal. The development of obstetric fistula is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal mortality: obstructed labour.

Women who experience obstetric fistula suffer constant incontinence, shame, social segregation and health problems. It is estimated that more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by:
  • delaying the age of first pregnancy;
  • the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and
  • timely access to obstetric care.
Some of the causes are,
  • Poverty is the number one indirect cause of obstretic fistulas around the world
  •  lack of education
  •  early marriage and childbirth
  •  the role and status of women in developing countries
  •  harmful traditional practices
  •  sexual violence
This condition can be prevented if people get support medically and emotionally. It is a difficult and hard thing to go through and in many cases there is no emotional support as well when people are abandoned by their partners.
This is a condition for women and we all need to raise awareness so we can prevent this and support those already with the condition.

Some of the ways to prevent this could be,

  •  access to obstetrical care
  •  support from trained health care professionals throughout pregnancy
  •  providing access to family planning
  •  promoting the practice of spacing between births
  •  supporting women in education
  •  postponing early marriage.
Please share this to raise awareness. To see my other work please follow the link below,
Many thanks.

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