The Project Manager, USAID Fistula Care Plus Project, Dr. Habibu Sadauki, has said over 12,000 cases of Vesico Vaginal Fistula, VVF, are recorded annually in Nigeria. Dr. Sadauki told reporters in Kano that the disorder is more prevalent in the northern part of the country. Sadauki revealed that over 5,000 cases have been repaired, explaining that the fundamental cause of VVF is culture, poverty and illiteracy among the citizens.

The USAID Project Manager disclosed that in Kano State alone, 10 to 15 new cases are being recorded every week in various hospitals in the state, as he maintained that fistula can be repaired and prevented if parents educate their female child to patronise hospitals for proper delivery, to avoid post-natal danger.

Meanwhile, Director and Chief Executive of African Fistula Foundation, Malam Musa Isa, has called for a law to end stigmatisation against VVF patients in the country. Isa made the call yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after launching a VVF surgery for 50 women at Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State.

Isa said the call was necessary in view of the stigma the patients suffered from their husbands, relations and the general public. Sadauki, the USAID Project Manager, said that under the fistula care, the Nigerian programme had worked closely with partners at federal, states and community levels to achieve the remarkable success in fistula service delivery, which includes prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, research and innovation.

Dr. Sadauki also explained that from 2007 to 2014, the Nigerian programme had supported 9,203 fistula repairs at 10 facilities, in partnership with federal and states ministries of health as well as women affairs ministries. He said other causes of VVF among young girls are early marriage, prolong labour and harmful traditional practices. Sadauki said consequences of fistula are life-shattering for the women who experience it and it leaves them with chronic incontinence, social isolation ulcer, infections, possible paralysis or death.

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