Over 30 women living with Female Genital Fistula including the leaking of urine and stool will receive free surgeries and medical advice in a week-long camp at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). The Fistula camp will be held until 28th May, and is part of a partnership between Safaricom Foundation, UNFPA, Flying Doctors Society of Africa, AMREF Health Africa and Beyond Zero Initiative.
The camp comes as the world marks International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) on 23rd May.
Commenting on the Fistula Camp, Joseph Ogutu, Safaricom Foundation Chairman said, “This initiative seeks to raise awareness and amplify the plight of women with obstetric fistula, a condition that continues to affect women in sub-Saharan Africa & Asia. As we work towards ending fistula by 2030, we must intensify partnerships to prevent cases from happening while treating those living with fistula, some of whom have had to wait many years to access treatment.”
Over 1,400 women in 7 counties in Kenya have benefited from previous camps that have been held in Nairobi, Nyeri, Makueni, Kitui, Kisii, Kilifi and Embu.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has strained access to health care services, especially in maternal and reproductive health services. We are grateful to be able to offer this service after a long halt. We, therefore, urge all women who have been suffering in silence during this period to come forward and seek treatment,” said Ms. Tanya Nduati, CEO of Flying Doctors’ Society of Africa
“Obstetric fistula is a sensitive indicator of the quality of sexual and reproductive health services and a severe assault on the quality of life of those unfortunate to live with a fistula. UNFPA remains committed to supporting the Government of Kenya in all efforts to eliminate obstetric fistula and other maternal morbidities,” stated Dr. Ademola Olajide, UNFPA Representative to Kenya
The World Health Organization (WHO) has termed fistula as the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth. WHO estimates that more than 2 million women live with fistula worldwide.
In Kenya, it is estimated that there are 3,000 new fistula cases in Kenya each year, and only 7.5% of these are able to access medical care. This translates to more than 2,700 women with new fistula cases who do not receive the necessary medical attention.