ZIMBABWE has a high obstetric fistula prevalence rate, with about 30 women suffering from the medical complication seeking assistance each day, renowned gynaecologist Takura Kanonge has said.
Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic injuries that occur as a result of poor management of labour and subsequently difficult childbirth.
It is a tear that occurs between the birth canal and the bladder and or rectum that leaves women leaking urine, faeces or both without control and as a result leads to social rejection, and or medical complications with infection occurring easily.
Kanonge pointed out that Manicaland province had a prevalence rate of about 31,8% followed by Harare Metropolitan province with an estimate of 17, 5%.
He told NewsDay on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ dialogue hosted by Amnesty International Zimbabwe in conjunction with Women and Law in Southern Africa, that out of 50 women with the condition, only one manages to get medical attention due to a failing health system.
“Unfortunately estimates are difficult to get in Zimbabwe because we have not done prevalence studies but what I can say is when we go on radio and television, we call out for women with fistula. We tend to have several, about 30 women who are calling in a day for help.
“Of all the camps we conducted, we tend to have more women than we can accommodate at the camp. It shows this problem is prevalent,” Kanonge said.
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