By Norman Katende
President Yoweri Museveni has been touched by the impact of fistula on women, contributing sh20m for the construction of a Fistula Centre by Nakasero Hospital.
The centre is set to help women in their post fistula treatment and will be located near the hospital with a full time nurse to ensure that there are minimal complications.
The money was delivered by Vice President Edward Ssekandi at a fundraising drive that was held at Imperial Royale Hotel and raised sh84m.
A business class air ticket to Mauritius is one of the items that were auctioned during the fundraising dinner for the Nakasero Hospital Fistula centre at Imperial Royale Hotel April 10, 2015. PHOTO/Norman Katende
"You (Nakasero Hospital) are a pearl. You are friends of those in need. The president is in full support of what you are doing and he has sent you sh20m to support your project," said Ssekandi as he thanked them for playing a noble cause to give women the respect and dignity needed by treating Fistula.
"It has a negative social impact on the community. Government is working tirelessly to see that they stop it by training surgeons who have been distributed to the different Fistula centres. It will also be addressed in the primary Health Care."
"Fistula is preventable if expectant mothers accessed maternal health care and husbands supported their wives through this," said Ssekandi.
Health minister in charge of general duties Chris Baryomunsi (L) looks on as singer Judith Babirye greets vice president Edward Ssekandi after her performance. This was at the fundraising for the Nakasero Hospital Fistula centre. The function took place at Imperial Royale Hotel April 10, 2015. PHOTO/Norman Katende
He appealed to all private hospitals to emulate Nakasero hospital and start fistula programmes to save women from the pain as government had planned to equip all their facilities with personnel and requirements to fight fistula.
State health ministers for health in charge of general duties Chris Baryomunsi was the most excited about the project which he said that it was going to restore dignity.
"A woman who is leaking urine and faeces cannot stay with anyone due to the foul smell. It costs about sh1.2m to treat a fistula patient and not so many can afford it. The situation is even made worse by the fact that women delay in reaching the medical centre for better health," said Baryomunsi.
Uganda has a prevalence rate of 2% of reproductive age with an anticipated 1,900 new cases every year with only 25 active surgeons distributed in the Fistula active repair centres to attend to them. 2,600 cases were repaired last year.
The recovery centre is aimed at seeing that the women get extra treatment after operations, mostly to enable them keep the catheter clean and free from blockage before they go back home after being healed.