GIRL'S & WOMEN'S HEALTH INITIATIVE

END FISTULA CHALLENGE PUNJAB

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PREVENTION & TREATMENT

Society

Professional Obstetric
  • End gender discrimination
  • Remove economic inequities
  • Empower girls and women
  • Equal opportunities for education, development & nutrition
  • End child marriages
  • Post pone pregnancy to maturity
  • Provide high quality, affordable and accessible treatment for all fistula patients
  • Emotional and financial rehabilitation of the affected women
  • Generate political will to help make childbirth safe for all women
  • National  capacity building strategies  to ensure skilled birth attendance for all deliveries
  • Target – all pregnancies to be planned and wanted
  • Advocate Healthy Spacing & Timing of pregnancy (HSTP)
  • Quality care for all pregnant women
  • Ensure skilled birth attendance for all deliveries
  • Ensure universal access to EmONC services
  • Awareness campaigns for fistula  prevention 
  • Lobby to ‘End Obstetric Fistula’as a national agenda
  • On going in service training refresher courses and drills for ALL staff caring for pregnant women
  • Ensure mid level providers have the needed skills and backup available
  • Sensitize health workers to the importance of partogram
  • Monitor labour and recognize danger signs early
  • Proper catheterization
  • Good quality post natal care
  • Early referral
  • High quality  universal Family Planning  Service
  • Mapping of EmONC facilities
  • All referral cascades to be in place and in working order 24/7

OBSTETRIC FISTULA – AN ENTIRLEY AVOIDABLE TRAGEDY

Motherhood is the most beautiful experience in the world but many mothers lose their lives or suffer endlessly as a result of complications in labour and delivery. The most common cause being lack of skilled birth attendant and delivering outside a health facility. This results in prolonged labour and further delays occur due to late referral and obstacles in getting to a properly equipped and staffed health facility.

WHAT IS OBSTETRIC FISTULA?

Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged or obstructed labour without timely medical intervention, usually a caesarean section.

HOW DOES A FISTULA FORM?

As a result of obstructed labour, the sustained pressure of baby’s head on the mother’s pelvic bones damages the soft tissues in between i.e. bladder at the front or rectum behind. The constant pressure results in obstructing blood supply to these areas. The tissues undergo necrosis and as the dead tissues slough off, a hole develops.

IMPORTANT FACTS

2 million women are living with a fistula in the developing world and 50,000 – 100,000 new cases are reported each year. Even these great numbers are an under estimation as obstetric fistula is the disease of severely marginalized and socially deprived women. Many of them are never able to get help and are thus never counted.

EFFECTS OF FISTULA

If not diagnosed in time or left untreated, it leads to ulceration, infection and kidney disease. Nerve damage can result in foot drop and inability to walk. To avoid the continuous urinary leaking and smell these women drink less water, become dehydrated. This leads to further urinary and kidney complications.

Due to the smell and socio-cultural stigma many women are left by their husbands, deserted by in laws and sent back to their parents’ homes. Cultural norms even prevent these women from using the kitchen areas of their homes. Many women are shunned even by their own families and live like Lepers in isolation. Obstetric Fistula is known to be associated with severe emotional trauma even leading to suicide.

RISK FACTORS

Poverty is the main risk factor as it aggravates gender discrimination, malnutrition, early marriages; lack of choice for pregnancy timing and poor obstetric care results in delivery complications.  The other significant factor is lack of access to a skilled birth attendant.

FISTULA IS PREVENTABLE

Together we can prevent new cases from occurring and treat the existing cases as well. Fistula can be completely eliminated by proper care in labour, early diagnosis of obstructed  labour and proper bladder care during labour and after delivery.

Join hands with us to end fistula. Please spread the word.
Obstetric Fistula should be no more.

GWHI GWHI GWHI GWHI
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