Blantyre, March 6: Freedom from Fistula Foundation-Malawi, the country’s first ever fistula repair center at Bwaila hospital has to date repaired over 400 cases since its inception in July last year.
Disclosing the development to Malawi News Agency (Mana), the Lilongwe District Health Officer, Dr Mwawi Mwale who is also Chief Medical Officer of the Hospital said the repaired patients came from all corners of the country.
“Ever since the inauguration of the centre, we have managed to repair over 400 patients,” said Dr Mwale who also expressed hope that the centre would handle more cases in a quest to combat the condition in women.
He observed that the main cause of the condition in Malawi is prolonged labour and delays in attending antenatal clinics by pregnant women.
“Early referral to the nearest health centre or hospital to prevent prolonged labour can prevent the condition,” said Dr Mwale who also discouraged women from going to the hospital when labour pains worsen.
According to the Chief Medical Officer, the District Health Office (DHO) has committed itself to disseminating information on fistula in order to reach out to many people.
“At the moment, we mainly have the central region as a point of focus but our immediate plan is to sensitize as many people in local communities.
“Due to lack of awareness, women who have the condition in such communities face a number of challenges which include, broken households, stigma and even depression,” explained Dr Mwale.
Concurring with the Chief Medical Officer, Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) Executive Director, Martha Kwaitaine commended the efforts made by the Freedom From Fistula Foundation for its operation.
“The foundation has wiped away the shame of the mothers who had the condition and it must be commended for the work done.
“An effort has to be made in order to carter for a number of patients in various communities,” advised Kwataine
She then called upon the general public to assist the health officials in disseminating the fistula messages to every community in order to raise awareness on fistula condition.
President Dr Banda inaugurated the 23 bed fistula Unit which is a wing of Bwaila Hospital in the Capital, Lilongwe in July, 2012.