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Nigeria, others get $1.96m to tackle fistula

The Economic Community of West African States Gender Development Centre has granted $1.96 million to eight member nations to address fistula disorder. Fistula disorder is…

The Economic Community of West African States Gender Development Centre has granted $1.96 million to eight member nations to address fistula disorder.

Fistula disorder is defined as an abnormal connection between organs. The most common cause of fistula is trauma or surgery.

In 2021, 40 per cent of fistula cases worldwide were reported to have occurred in Nigeria, according to the United States Agency for International Development.

According to USAID, 13,000 new cases of fistula are reported in Nigeria annually, and up to 400,000 women are waiting to receive corrective surgery.

Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, and Liberia were the countries that received $245,000 each on Thursday.

The presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries was one of the highlights of the 91st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in Abuja.

Speaking at the function, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Yusuf Tuggar, announced that the council would discuss the community’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year because the region’s Gros Domestic Product and revenue generation were being impacted by the current economic difficulties.

Tuggar stated, “We have to be aware of the current financial and economic issues that our sub-region is facing, including depreciating currencies, rising food costs, and inflation, all of which have a negative impact on our economies.

“These difficulties have affected our GDP, income creation, and especially the community levy mobilisation, as a result of the depreciation of some of our major currencies, mainly the Naira and Cedi, in relation to the US Dollar.

“Therefore, we must support the recommendations of the Administration and Finance Committee on enhancing prudence, as well as the efforts of the President of the Commission and other Heads of the Institutions on blocking leakages to ensure judicious use of our meagre resources,” the minister said.

In addition, ECOWAS Commission President, Omar Touray, expressed regret over sanctioned member states ceasing to remit levies, adding that sufficient funding is required for ECOWAS to address the issues facing the area.

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