UNFPA, Kaduna Government Holds ‘End-Fistula’ Road Walk on Wednesday
The high-level conference on the urgent need to end Vesico Vaginal Fistula(VVF) will start with a Road Walk led by the wife of Kaduna state governor, Hajiya Aisha Ummi Garba El Rufai on Wednesday.
The main conference which will be organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health as well as Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club, will hold on Thursday.
In a statement issued by Ms Mariama Darboe, the Programme Coordinator/Head of Office of the Kaduna-based UNFPA Decentralized Office for Northern Nigeria, the pre-conference Road Walk will commence at 9am from the Ministry of Health, adding that it will continue along Independence Way, up to Race Course road, beside Murtala Square.
According to Ms Darboe, the Road Walk is aimed at raising awareness on the main conference which will hold at Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club, Mararraban Jos, on December 19.
The Programme Coordinator further said that adequate security will be provided during the Road Walk as security agents, Road Safety officials and horses will accompany the procession.
Governor Nasir El Rufai is expected to launch the conference which will help to raise funds in order to strengthen the health facilities in Kaduna state and to clear the backlog of cases of VVF as well as stop, or at least reduce new ones from occurring, she said.
Ms Darboe further said that the wife of the Governor, Hajiya Ummi, who will be officially declared the Fistula Ambassador in Kaduna state at the conference.
The UNFPA Coordinator further said that the conference ‘’aims at raising awareness about the tragic childbirth injuries that incapacitates thousands of mainly poor , illiterate young adolescents who live in rural areas with poor access to quality maternal health care. ‘’
The Coordinator who described the statistics as worrisome and unacceptable, revealed that it is estimated ‘’that between 400,000 and 800,000 women live with VVF in Nigeria. In addition, there are about 12,000 to 20,000 new cases each year. ‘’
Ms Darboe described Vesico Vaginal Fistula(VVF) as a condition that allows for the continuous and involuntary discharge of urine and faeces.
‘’Depending on the severity of the case, some women are operated successfully while others may have to live with the condition for the rest of their lives. Left untreated, obstetric fistula often leads to social isolation, frequent infections , kidney failures , painful sores and infertility , she said.
According to the UNFPA Coordinator, Obstetric Fistula is preventable and can largely be avoided by delaying pregnancy, ensuring skilled birth attendants during child delivery and providing timely access to obstetric care for all women who develop complications during child birth.
Medical experts, sociologists and traditional as well as religious leaders, including top government officials, captains of industries and prominent business men and women are expected to attend the conference, she added.