Saturday July 02, 2022

World Fistula Day today

By Our Correspondent
May 23, 2022

LAHORE:Since millions of women are suffering and living with fistula, a devastating child birth injury, in silence and isolation around the world, International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) is observed on May 23 (today) every year to highlight the sufferings of women and demand for facilities and services to treat them.

This year the IDEOF is being observed based on a theme “End Fistula Now: Invest in Quality Healthcare, Empower Communities”. Fistula occurs to women, who experience longer duration of pregnancy and cause serious complications, if left untreated. It also becomes fatal to unborn babies as approximately 90 per cent of such cases end in stillbirth.

This was stated by Dr Tayyaba Majeed and Dr Nayyar Sultana, who are treating fistula patients under Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health (PNFWH), an organisation established by the Pakistan Medical Association, while addressing a press conference at Lahore Press Club here on Sunday.

Dr Tayyaba said some 5,000 women and girls were still living with fistula in Pakistan and they needed to be provided access to safe holistic fistula treatment (surgical repair and social reintegration) as a key strategy for eliminating it. She said the good news was that “fistula is now not only treatable but preventable”. Dr Nayyar Sultana said fistula could be prevented when women get timely maternity care through skilled birth attendance or midwifery care or emergency obstetric care (as needed), with accessibility to family planning services. Syed Rahat Ali Bukhari, project coordinator of Jahandad Society for Community Development, spoke on the occasion.