From Raji Bello, Sokoto
Medical experts have debunked widely held misconception that Vitro Vascular Fistulan VVF, is a result of early marriage conception among teenage girls.
Dr Balarabe Kakale, Sokoto state Commissioner of Health, emphasised on this, while speaking on the sideline of the challenges of VVF.
Kakale explained that the ailment is no respecter of age, but rather a consequence of neglected prolonged obstructed labour during delivery.
According to statistics presented to our correspondent, out of the over two hundred patients treated and healed, some with new vigina constructed, at the Maryam Abacha Women and Child Hospital, Sokoto, a sizeable number are aged between twenty to thirty years and above.
Also speaking in this direction, Dr Lawan Bello, the Chief Medical Director, Maryam Abacha Women and Child Hospital Sokoto, who gave an alarming figure of victims nationwide, also traced bad local practices to causes of the disease.
According to medical expert, “bad local practices where traditional bad attendants ignorantly cut a pregnant. Woman bladder or rectum during child labour, is another cause of VVF.
“Every year, we have about one hundred and twenty thousand cases of Fistula in Nigeria and only about five thousand are operated every year in all the Fistula centres in the country, with a backlog of about seven thousand every year.
“Maryam Abacha Women and Child Hospital VVF Centre remains a reference centre for patients from nearby states and neighbouring countries.”
Dr Kakale said, Sokoto state government is tackling VVF through a multi-style approach of prevention, curative and integration of victims that undergoes successful repairs.
“VVF is a preventable, treatable and curative disease. The complete cycle of VVF treatment is for victim to be treated, regain their feminity and be able to conceive, and deliver again mostly by caesarian section.
“Our challenge is in the area of manpower. We lack enough qualified Fistula surgeons and nurses, who are out rightly different from gynaecology or obstetricians. At present, we have only two Fistula resident surgeons and two visiting surgeons at our VVF centre.”
He however advised that any pregnant woman in labour that is more than six to eight hours, should be referred to a hospital. Also, early detection and surgery on urine leakage by new mothers will guarantee early chance of recovery.