Family planning as preventive measure for fistula -USAID

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says Family Planning (FP) is a preventive approach for Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF).

Country Director of USAID, Mr. Iyeme Efem, said this on Saturday in Abakaliki during a public awareness campaign organised on measures to end obstetric fistula.

The event was jointly organized by the USAID Fistula Care Plus and Family Succor and Upliftment Foundation, a pet project of the state governor’s Wife, Mrs. Rachael Umahi.

The theme for 2018 is: “Leaving no one behind, let us commit to ending Fistula now!”

Efem said that the programme was in line with United Nations Day, which is celebrated annually on May 23 globally and geared at creating awareness for the public.

“Beside the UN awareness, for us here our strategy is prevention using FP.

“We want to be sure people are aware that birth spacing using FP method gives a woman opportunity to heal and regain herself from previous birth to prepare them ahead of another child.

“We are going to primary health centres in the state for outreach, educate and create awareness to increase their level of knowledge in ending fistula.

“We are to advance the information to invariably prepare a woman to go through birth process,’’ Efem said.

While enumerating benefits of eradicating fistula, Efem enjoined everyone to work towards reducing female genital damage and early marriages.

The FP coordinator in the state Ministry of Health, Mrs. Maria Oji, charged all women to adopt the measure as it is helpful for prevention.

She called on women to take advantage of the upgraded health facilities at 171 wards and 13 general hospitals for antenatal care.

“Birth spacing is very beneficial to mothers, child, family and the society for proper planning of general wellbeing and development of a nation," Oji said.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Umahi has pledged to assist women, adding that her pet project has medical team that attends to pregnant mothers and others with complications.

“I had commissioned traditional rulers and religious leaders to create awareness on the best ways to stop the obstetric fistula.

“I encourage mothers to apply birth spacing method when they are not ready for pregnancy and also challenge them to rise up in eliminating bad social cultural practices,’’ Umahi said.

Mrs. Jumoke Kuba, Reproductive Health and Family Planning Advisor, also enjoined fistula patients to visit centres for medical attention. (NAN)

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