Over 600 women have benefited from free Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) repair surgeries under the project Fostering Resilience and provision of basic medical services for women and girls in Borno State.
VVF is an abnormal opening between the bladder and the vagina that results in continuous and incessant urinary incontinence. Entity is one of the most distressing complications of gynecological and obstetrical procedures.
The project implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) also enabled 626 fistula survivors who underwent surgical repair to learn skills in a area of interest chosen within the framework of the complete program of vocational training. to the new Integrated Women Empowerment and Safe Shelter which has contributed to skills training and economic development for vulnerable women and girls.
Speaking at the end of the project meeting of the UNFPA-KOICA funded project last week in Abuja, the UNFPA Country Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Muellar said that the women who had lost Hope to live a normal life free from unintentional drips and urine leakage was treated at the newly built state-of-the-art fistula center at Borno State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.
She explained that UNFPA and KOICA signed an agreement to implement a five-year project (2018 – 2021), “Fostering Resilience and Provision of Basic Medical Services for Women and Girls in Borno State , in Nigeria”, by restoring access to basic health care. and social services in conflict-affected communities. According to her, the project was about building resilient communities through restoring access to basic medical and social services in communities affected by the conflict.
She added that after the vocational training provided to the survivors, the women received starter kits and funding to start their income generating activity to support and encourage their economic stability and resilience.
Mueller said 37 fistula surgeons and nurses were trained to update their surgical skills to effectively conduct fistula repair surgeries, while 27,598 people received direct comprehensive and lifesaving sexual health services and (SRH) in supported health facilities in the three local government areas (LGAs).
She observed that some of the challenges seen in the implementation of the project were mainly the initial complete lockdown and inaccessibility of parts of the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the unpredictable heightened security situation in the Borno State in the current wave of violence and displacement is reducing access to health services in some places due to fear.
In his remarks, the Country Director of KOICA, Mr. Son Sungil, commended the efforts of UNFPA and the Borno State Government to ensure successful implementation of the project.
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that Borno State has the highest number of VVF cases and the highest burden of maternal deaths in the country and stressed the need for a best healthcare system in the country.