Sexual health problems ravage African communities
Fistula, as the deformities are referred to, are caused by prolonged obstructed labour.
The lack of access to proper and prompt medical intervention, leaving the woman with chronic incontinence and in most cases a stillborn baby.
On Tuesday, the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, the United Nations estimated that at least 2 two million women live with fistula in developing countries, with 50 000 to 100 000 new cases occurring each year and these numbers represent only those seeking treatment.
Women and girls in Africa, south of the Sahara, are mostly affected by fistula as well as other illness from sexual and reproductive health causes.
The mix of young girls being subjected to child marriages, getting pregnant and going through childbirth when their bodies are not developed enough accounts for at least 25 percent of known fistula cases. Evidence shows that 14 of the 20 countries with the highest rate of child marriage are in Africa.
While prevention is key to ending obstetric fistula, the average cost of fistula treatment is US$400, most women with the condition cannot afford.
The African Union recommended access to adequate medical care for all pregnant women, increasing access to education and family planning services and improving girls’ nutrition to minimize the risk of complications during childbirth.
– CAJ News
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