Federal Government of Nigeria has renewed its commitment to end obstetric fistula in the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this known while launching the guideline on Urethral Catherization for prevention and managing of Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria as part of the 6th International Conference of International Society on Obstetric Fistula Surgeon (ISOFS) in Abuja.
The Minister said that during the surgical exercise that was held at Federal Medical Centre Jabi, Abuja in collaboration with the working Group, he made some commitments that the International Obstetric Fistula Centre Working Group should work with the Federal Ministry of Health not only to repair fistula patients but also to find lasting solution to the problem.
The Minister said: “It is not enough to keep on repairing, we must close the tap, by closing the tap, I mean we should do everything possible to stop all new cases of obstetric fistula in Nigeria”.
He stressed that as part federal government contributions to repair all fistula cases, the ministry had established three dedicated fistula hospital in the country namely Abalaki, Ebony State, Baba Ruga Katsina State, and Ningi in Bauchi State, adding that the government intend to establish three more in the year 2017.
He further said “We need to tackle the root causes by addressing education and poverty: when a woman is educated, she would understand what it means to have a child, understand what it mean to seek for medical care when things are not going well”.
The Minister reaffirmed that the Federal Government of Nigeria was committed to put in place reasonable resources in the current budget to address social welfare problem that would lift people out of poverty.
He said when people are educated and have resources, they could live well, eat well, and they would really attend issues affecting not only their health but general wellbeing.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Deputy Representative, UNFPA, Nigeria Country Office Eugene Kongnyuy, said that the experts gathered for the meeting should think different from the normal routine. He called for robust campaign against early marriage and harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation which he considered the main cause of Obstetric Fistula.
In her presentation, the wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar Bello said the her project RAISE FOUNDATION was working toward improving the lives of women and children including creating awareness and repair of fistula patients in Niger State adding that the foundation was willing to partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria in the quest to end obstetric fistula in Nigeria.