Malawi campaign against fistula to restore women’s dignity

Minister of Health, Dr Jean Kalilani has said government with the help of UN agencies will prioritise the campaign to help end Obstetric fistula, a devastating and frequent outcome of prolonged or unattended labour, and give dignity to Malawi women.

Kalilani: Time to end Fitsula
Kalilani: Time to end Fitsula
Seppo says UN will not leave amalawi alone in fighting Fistula.-Photo by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times
Seppo says UN will not leave amalawi alone in fighting Fistula.-Photo by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times
MP Juliana Lunguzi warned young girls against early marriages.-Photo by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times
MP Juliana Lunguzi warned young girls against early marriages.-Photo by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times

Kalilani urged mothers to quickly go for treatment whenever caught in the condition.

The minister was speaking on Wednesday 3 June,2015 when Malawi joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Fistula Day under the theme ‘End fistula, restore women’s dignity’.

The function which took place in the central district of Dedza, speakers were unanimous on common hypothesis which summarizes Fitsula as a condition which needs quick response.

A fistula is a hole or abnormal opening that occurs either between the bladder or rectum causing stool or urine to leak uncontrollably. It is most common in girls or women who had their first child at a tender age ranging between 13 and 17 years.

United Nations country representative, Madam Mia Seppo did not hide her concern but to describe the disease as a human rights issue.

“Fistula is a public health and human rights issue, it has many physical , social and psychological consequences for the affected women .Since the woman who is suffering from Fistula is constantly wet and with unpleasant smell , she is mostly socially isolated , stigmatized, and discriminated against,” said Madam Seppo.

Seppo said many affected women complain of about how they are excluded in society , rejected by both their families and communities simply because they are suffering from the devastating.

“Family life for between a husbands and wife is also disturbed as many husbands divorce or abandon their wives when they are suffering from Fistula,” said Seppo.

However, Seppo who spoke through UNFPA Assistant Country Representative, assured Malawi Government of UN commitment in proving resources to implement the Programmes meant to end the condition.

Report by Dr Linda Kalilani-Phiri, Mr Eric Umar and Mr Abdulla Chilungo with funding from UNFPA titled ‘Estimating the Prevalence of Obstetric Fistula in Malawi’  fistula indicate that OF is an injury to the pelvic organs that occurs when a woman experiences a long and obstructed labor.

During the second stage of labor, the baby’s head presses the soft tissue of the vagina against the bones of the pelvis resulting in an abnormal opening between the vagina and bladder or between the vagina and rectum (UNFPA, 2002).

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6 years ago

koma ndizoona kuti matendawa amagwiranso azimayi omwe amakhala ndi azimuna ambiri?

Alinane Mwale
Alinane Mwale
6 years ago

Thank you UNFPA for bringing back the dignity of women and girls. Keep up the good work till all fistula cases are no more.

Solley Mwale
6 years ago

The women whi are in this state are isolated from the society. They sometimes isolate themselves because they produce bad smell all the time.
Some spend much of the time kudimba where water is readily available. Whenever they are wet they easily wash themselves. Anthu mkumati amai awa amalima zedi koma ayi.
Sangapite kumaliro, kuukwati or any other gatherings that may take long hours. They are indeed in bondage.
Thank you doctors for the job done to these mothers. God bless you doctors.

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