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Mankessim Obstetric Fistula centre calls for assistance

Mankessm Obstetric Fistula Centre Obstetric fistula is a medical condition mostly seen in women

Wed, 28 Nov 2018 Source: www.ghananewsagency.org

The Fistula Unit of the Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital at Mankessim has advocated for a more sustainable financial model to support patients with obstetric fistula.

The facility has identified the lack of sustainable source of finance as the core challenge eroding gains with the treatment, care and empowerment of obstetric patients in the Central Region.

"The situation is dire because women who suffer from obstetric fistula are often from vulnerable backgrounds, marginalised and ostracised," says Dr. Justice Osei, the Medical Director at the Centre.

Currently, each surgery costs about GH¢3,000.00

Dr. Osei made the call when the Association of Heads of Mission's Wives donated a sum of GH¢13,000.00 for surgeries of four women upon the invitation of Nana Ama Amissah, the Paramount Queenmother of Mankessim Traditional Area and President of the Central Regional Queen Mothers’ Association, on Tuesday at Mankessim.

Members of the Association included the spouses of Ambassadors of Norway, Russia, Iran, Chile, Niger, Nigeria and Mali.

Obstetric fistula is a medical condition mostly seen in women in which a hole develops in the birth canal as a result of childbirth. This can be between the vagina and rectum, ureter, or bladder, often resulting in incontinence of urine or faeces.

It is one of the most devastating medical disabilities afflicting women as a result of complications arising from lack of surgical intervention for prolonged labour.

Globally, it is estimated that about two million women have the condition including over 13,000 women particularly from the poverty ridden areas such as the Upper East and West, Northern and Central Regions of Ghana.

In the Central Region, it is estimated that between 3,000-5,000 women are suffering from the disease with 100 reported cases annually.

Dr. Osei explained that in September 2017, about 25 surgeries costing GH¢2,500.00 per patient were put on hold due to lack of funds.

Since the inception of the 25-bed facility in 2010, it has offered free medical care and feeding to hundreds of patients as well as accommodation to their relatives who accompanied them as caregivers.

Touching on other factors, Dr Osei mentioned certain cultural misconceptions and patients reintegration as key challenges especially in the countryside.

In addition to that, poor-health seeking behaviours, poverty, lack of awareness, scarcity of skilled birth attendants, unsafe abortion, rape, poor health and referral systems, and poor transportation networks have all been identified as some of the major contributory factors of the condition.

"The disease persists in the country due to lack of education and some cultural systems that prohibit expectant mothers to seek antenatal care and services of professional birth attendants in health facilities because of their beliefs," Dr Osei said.

He expressed his profound gratitude to the Association for the kind gesture and urged the public, corporate organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and philanthropists to also support.

Madam Richa Rao, President of the Association and the wife of Indian High Commissioner, pledged their commitment to support the women with the condition across the country for them to lead meaningful lives.

She also stressed the need for all to support the women and help empower and involve them in all activities as the "engine" of families and society.

Earlier, the Association paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Queenmother of Mankessim Traditional Area, where she called on benevolent organisations to support the Centre.

They were taken round the facility and they interacted with the patients who expressed their joy and asked that their efforts should be sustain.

Source: www.ghananewsagency.org