• Wed. May 22nd, 2024

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AAN Donates First VesicoVirgina Fistula Centre to Gwarinpa Hospital, Abuja

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) in collaboration with ActionAid Italy has constructed and donated the first fully equipped 20-bed VesicoVirgina Fistula (VVF) Ward to Gwarinpa Hospital in Federal Capital Territory-Abuja.

This noble gesture, according to the organization, is part of the events to mark its significant milestones in “Ending Child Marriage” Project, an initiative aimed at reducing early marriage and improving access to comprehensive VVF information and services within the FCT. 

While giving his keynote address at the official launch of the newly constructed VVF Centre, yesterday in Abuja, Andrew Mamedu, AAN, Country Director, said the donated VVF Centre, being the first and only centre within the FCT has become imperative given the prevalent incidences of obstetric fistula in the country.

According to him, high rate of child marriage in Nigeria, put Nigeria at 3rd place, globally, which contributes to the prevalence of VVF, leading to disrupted education, increased vulnerability to violence, and limited opportunities for affected women.

“Staggering 83.8% of VVF cases occur before the age of 15, fighting the link between early marriage and the condition.” Mamedu said.

He added that VVF is not merely a medical issue.

“It is a profound social injustice that strips women and girls of their dignity, their futures, and sometimes even their lives.

“It thrives in the shadows of cultural practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation, perpetuated by systemic barriers to healthcare access. But today, we stand united in our determination to dismantle these barriers, to illuminate the darkness of WF, and to offer hope where there was once only despair.” he said.

Delivering his Goodwill message at the Launch, Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Mohammed Ali Pate, who had his representative to deliver on his behalf at the event commended the efforts and brilliant initiative by the AAN and its other international development partner such as ActionAid Italy and Gwarinpa Hospital.

In his words: This milestone marks a significant step forward in providing critical care and support to women and girls affected by this debilitating condition which accounts for significant proportion of morbidity in women and girls in Nigeria.

The Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has over the years been implementing measures aimed at preventing and/or reducing incidences that result in obstetric fistula and where they occur, ensuring effective treatment and rehabilitation of the patients wherever they may be in the country.

“This therefore makes the launch of this Centre today a very important milestone in our quest to control incidences of debilitating condition and ensure that those who are affected are treated, rehabilitated and re-integrated back into the society.

“This is task that Government alone cannot handle hence there have been solicitations of support from various stakeholders in order for a lot more to be done.” said the Minister.

Also speaking at the launch, Medical Director of Gwarinpa General Hospital, Dr Mariamo Shuaibu said VVF is an abnormal communication between bladder and vagina.

“This usually occur from prolonged obstructed labour which has not been relieved after many hours either by C/Sture/developeshentation. Also, from early marriage Cephalophic disproportion.”

She added that over 80% of the cases/ patients who developed Fistula in Abuja -such patients previously didn’t know where to access care and were being referred to Jos, Bauchi, Katsina and other centres.

“There are about 19 centres and this is the 20 now in Nigeria and the only one in Federal Capital Territory.” Shuaibu said.

She further expressed her gratitude to ActionAid team and partners across the globe for creating a life saving center for the victims of VVF in FCT.

By News Editor

Our News Editor, Muyiwa is an information management expert and Development Blogger with more than a decade experience in investigative reporting and journalism. He is passionate about human angle stories to all social issues in Nigeria and Africa.