The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says 800,000 women live with Vesico Vaginal Fistula VVF in Nigeria.
The UNFPA also said there are about 20,000 cases of VVF in Nigeria yearly and called for urgent need to end VVF in the country.
The UNFPA in collaboration with Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club planned to organise a one-day high-level conference in Kaduna state.
In a statement issued on Sunday by Mariama Darboe, the Programme Coordinator/Head of Office of the Kaduna-based UNFPA Decentralized Office for Northern Nigeria, said the pre-conference event will start on December 18 with a Road walk within Kaduna metropolis.
“The statistics is worrisome and unacceptable as 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. ‘’ she said.
The UNFPA Coordinator pointed out 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. ‘’
According to her, 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.
Darboe further said Governor Nasir El Rufai is expected to launch the conference along with his wife, Hajiya Ummi El Rufai, who will be officially declared the Fistula Ambassador in Kaduna state.
According to her, the conference ‘’will also serve as a platform to raise funds in order to strengthen health care facilities, to clear the backlog of cases and stop or at least reduce new ones from occurring.’’
Darboe described Vesico Vaginal Fistula(VVF) as a condition that allows for the continuous and involuntary discharge of urine and faeces.
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.