1,900 Ugandan women get fistula every year

By Taddeo Bwambale

There is a decline from 140,000 to 75,000 cases of fistula over the last half decade.

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PIC: Assistant Country Representative UNFPA Edson Muhwezi interacting with the Director Clinical Services Ministry of Health Dr Charles Olaro during a press conference at the Ministry headquarters in Kampala on Monday. (Credit: Nanyonga Nancy)

HEALTH FOCUS

FISTULA RATES DROP- The number of new cases of fistula in Uganda have seen a slight drop over the last five years although they are still high, statistics from the ministry of health reveal.

Fistula is a hole in the birth canal and rectum arising majorly from obstructed labour lasting more than 24 hours. Women with fistula are unable to control urine or stool, leading to other health complications. 

Latest estimates by the ministry on Monday show that the country registers about 1,900 new cases of fistula every year, compared to more than 2,000 cases five years ago.

About 75,000  women of reproductive age suffer from fistula in Uganda, which is still a decline from 140,000 cases over the last half decade.

According to Dr Charles Olaro, the director for clinical services at the health ministry, the prevalence rate of fistula has declined over the last five from 2% in 2011 to 1% by the end of 2016. 

Globally, more than two million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa two million, according to the World Health Organisation.

The health ministry and partners is encouraging action against teenage pregnancy and pushing them to deliver at health facilities with the help of qualified health personnel.

Uganda will join the rest of the world to mark the International Day to End Fistula on May 23 under the theme: End Fistula, Reach Everyone,’ at Kavule Primary School in Kibuku district.