The Nation on 23 November reported that the Malawi government, with assistance from UNFPA, has been conducting sensitization campaigns in some parts of the country encouraging women to go for treatment for fistula. They are also running fistula camps since 2009. These fistula camps treat and repair the affected women.
Although Malawi has no national data on obstetric fistula, UNFPA survey in 2009 revealed that the problem is rampant, especially in rural areas. Data collected from hospital records and through community surveys in nine districts, reveals that a total of 1 581 women had fistula that year. Most often the data is not precise because most women going through the problem feel embarrassed to disclose their condition.
So far, the fistula camps have been held at Zomba Central Hospital and currently, a similar camp is being held at Thyolo District Hospital. The camp started on November 7 and will run for four weeks up to December 3.
Thyolo is one of the districts with high fistula cases alongside Mangochi, Mchinji, Phalombe and Nkhata Bay.
“Since these camps started we have been able to assist at least 400 women,” said UNFPA national programme officer for reproductive health, Grace Hiwa, saying this year alone the camp is expecting to treat almost 100 women.
Apart from such treatments and repairs, Hiwa said dealing with the problem does not only require discouraging early pregnancies, but also encouraging pregnant women to get professional medical help when giving birth. Read in English: The Nation