By Chioma Obinna
No fewer than 25 indigent women, including two minors with imperforate anuses, in Cross River State, have received free Obstetric Fistula surgery.
The free surgeries conducted at the VVF Centre, General Hospital, Ogoja, were facilitated by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, under its Engender Health/ Fistulacare Plus project.
Speaking to newsmen inside the operating room, the Director, Health/Coordinator of the Ogoja VVF Centre, Mr. Paul Njagu, explained that the 25 women were selected from a pool of 40 fistula clients after thorough screening.
Njagu, who is also a nurse at the centre, said out of the beneficiaries, two minors who had congenital fistula were given new anuses. He narrated that a case took the team of surgeons over five hours to repair.
Country Director, USAID, Head, Engender Health, Fistulacare Project, Chief Iyeme, regretted that Nigeria is yet to prevent 12,000 new cases that occur annually in the country.
Raising alarm that more cases of fistula are now caused by mismanaged Caesarean Section, (C-Section) by medical doctors, he disclosed that no fewer than 200,000 Nigerian women are living with the condition.
Wife of the state governor, Mrs. Linda Ayade, who was represented by the Director, Public Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara, pledged that the state government will be providing additional support to the centre.
“This centre stands out more than what we thought. Cross River State Government appreciates what is being done here, bringing back a child to normal life after nine years of leaking faeces is something we should be interested in,” she said, and encouraged other women in the communities with the problem to come out and access free treatment.