The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina disclosed this yesterday, at a one day capacity building workshop on rehabilitation and re-integration of VVF centres held in Abuja.
The Minister said that Federal Government had already concluded plans to sponsor the rehabilitation of at least one third of patients with the disease before the end of the year as part of the transformation agenda of the present administration to offer Nigerians quality healthcare.
“My ministry has the responsibility of dealing with the social aspect of VVF, being the rehabilitation and re-integration of patients; mobilizing support and advocating for re-dress of the issues that bring about VVF, while the Federal Ministry of Health deals with the health aspect, being the treatments”.
“This administration is not only committed to the treatment of VVF victims but to their wholesome wellness which includes their re-integration into their respective communities as well as being economically empowered.
“Some of the victims do wish they were dead rather than be subjected to stigmatization, ostracism, outcast status and general dehumanization resulting from the affliction. Consequently, many of them become beggars and even destitute,” she lamented.
The Minister who was represented by the Director of the Ministry, Dr. Ijeoma Unaogu identified VVF as a major public health problem in Nigeria, adding that its has severe socio-economic, psychological and physical impact on women and family as well as developmental processes of the Nation.
Maina explained that the issue of VVF attracted the Federal Government’s attention that it provided and made a dedicated budget for it in 2013 National budget just for the repair of VVF victims.
She however, stressed the importance of mobilizing support and advocating for re-dress of the issues that bring about VVF in the country.
In her remarks, the Secretary General of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative, WRAPA, Hajia Saudatu Madi commended Federal Government for its effort to eradi cation of VVF in Nigeria.
Madi noted that VVF is not a problem of girls alone but also women and called on women group to join in the fight against the menace.
It will be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier declared that one third of VVF victims in the country would be treated before the end of the year, as part of the transformation agenda of the federal government and its commitment to zero tolerance and reducing the incidence of VVF among the citizens.