Nigeria: Doctors Call for More Support As Kano Fistula Centre Becomes Oversaturated

Officials urged the government to provide drugs and rehabilitation centres for fistula survivors in the state.

The management of the Laure Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Centre, located at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano, says it's struggling to cope with the number of patients needing care at the centre.

The Executive Director of Fistula Foundation Nigeria (FFN), Isa Musa, said there are fewer bed spaces at the centre than the number of patients needing care.

He said this as he revealed there are an estimated 332,000 women across Nigeria who are awaiting fistula repair.

He urged the Kano State government to upgrade the fistula centre with additional bed spaces, wards, and provision of equipment and other supplies.

Mr Musa stated this at an event commemorating the 2023 International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF), held at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital Kano on Tuesday.

"The Laure fistula centre is the oldest centre in Kano which initially has 48-bed space and is now left with only 10-bed space; this is why we are calling on the government for commitments to expand the centre, create another ward, increase bed capacity this will allow more donors to come and support fistula repair in Kano.

"A times 20 to 30 women are turning to the centre weekly seeking fistula repair; that is why we are urging the government to put more commitments. We have an estimated 332,000 women across Nigeria awaiting treatment, compounded by an annual incidence of 13,000 new cases", Mr Musa said.

The coordinator of the centre, Amir Imam, said the centre established in 1987, had repaired over 15,000 fistula patents.

The centre provides fistula repair, advocacy, prevention, training, documentation and research opportunities, Mr Imam said.

He appealed to the government to provide drugs and rehabilitation centres for fistula survivors in the state.

At the event, the Kano State Commissioner for Women's Affairs and Social Development, Zahra'u Umar, said the state government provides welfare packages, feeding and shelter to fistula survivors.

The United Nations General Assembly set aside 23rd May annually to create awareness globally about obstetric fistula and intensify actions toward eradicating the problem.

The global community celebrates the day to appreciate the struggles of women living with the condition. This year's celebration is "20 years on - progress but not enough! Act now to end Fistula by 2030."

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