Hundred women with Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), had successful operation as the North East Development Commission (NEDC), as the Borno State Government flagged off Free Fistula Repair Campaign Project (FFRCP) in Maiduguri yesterday.
The women had their fistula repaired in successful corrective surgeries at the State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri, at the flag off of the project, which would be extended to all parts of the state.
The Wife of Borno State Governor, Dr. Falmata Zulum, flagged off the ceremony at the Conference Hall, State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.
Falmata, who was represented by Commissioner for Health, Mrs. Juliana Bitrus, thanked the NEDC and other development partners for complimenting the efforts of the Borno State Government towards the provision of health care services to its people.
She said: “This intervention is timely, as most women who are vulnerable due to activities of insurgency and the persistent poverty, which have caused a lot of women to fall victims to VVF would benefit from the corrective surgery project.”
She appealed to the beneficiaries to stay away from sex in the next one year to enable them to have total healing, and be reporting back to the hospital for medical check-up, as and at when due.
In his goodwill message, the NEDC Board Chairman, Maj. Gen. Paul Tarfa, who was represented by the Board Member of North-West Zone, Ms. Asmau Muhammadu, said: “Statistics indicate that there are about 250,000 women awaiting repair in Nigeria, out of which only 3,000 are fortunate to be attended to annually.
“About 12,000 new cases develop every year with large number coming from the North-east due to the insecurity and increased poverty, which further hindered access to health care.”
Tarfa further stressed that the plight of these unfortunate women, who experienced obstetric fistula, is a very lonely one and dejecting.
He said: “It is, therefore, important that all efforts are made to bring succour to this vulnerable group of women to enable them pick the pieces of their lives by offering them a new lease for meaningful existence within their respective communities.”
He, however, noted that corrective surgery for women suffering from obstetric fistula is the first and most important step that would give them hope of recovery, improve their mental state and affords them the freedom to relate well with their families.
Tarfa commended the management of the Borno State Specialist Hospital, particularly the resident fistula surgeons and nurses, who promised to continue monitoring the repaired women for 12 weeks to ensure their complete recuperation and the attainment of the final outcome expected for each patient.
In his address, the Managing Director/CEO of the NEDC, Mr. Mohammed Goni Alkali, said: “The NEDC as a humanitarian organisation is not only intervening in distribution of food and non-food items, but also give emphasis on the health, education, agriculture, social cohesion, governance among other sectors of the economy.”
Alkali noted that about 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons in the region were beneficiaries of corrective eye surgery and other health care services provided by the commission.