Nurses, Doctors of SEEFF Project Partner Facilities equipped to diagnose Obstetric Fistula

Nurses, Doctors of SEEFF Project Partner Facilities equipped to diagnose Obstetric Fistula

By Ashiyo Tina

Some 18 medical personnel from 12 CBC Health Services facilities in the Northwest and Southwest Regions have been capacitated to carry out diagnosis and confirmation of Obstetric Fistula. These included nurses, midwives and a doctor who were trained in a workshop organized by the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Females with Fistula (SEEFF) project of the CBC Health Services on March 12, 2022 at Baptist Center, Nkwen.

Welcoming the participants on behalf of the Director of CBC Health Services, the Personnel Manager, Mr. Ndosak George Tanah told the participants that it is thanks to assistance from Hope and Healing International that they were being trained to come to the rescue of women with obstetric fistula in the communities. He said, because these women are often depressed, ashamed, stigmatized but have nowhere to go for care and treatment, the request of the Director of Health Services (DHS), Prof. Tih Pius Muffih was that the participants should give their undivided attention to the workshop given the gravity of the condition they were being trained to diagnose. He remarked that God has blessed and equipped the CBC Health Services to help those suffering in the communities and called on them to go back and be of assistance to women with obstetric fistula in their communities.

In his presentation, the main Facilitator, Urologist and Obstetric Fistula treatment expert, Dr.  Ebogo Titus told participants that Obstetric fistula is a child birth injury that leaves women incontinent (uncontrollable leaking) of urine and or stool through the vagina. According to the OF treatment expert, the principal cause of obstetric fistula is obstructive Labour. Other causes include criminal abortions, vaginal delivery maneuvers, and instrument and destructive deliveries. Risk factors include lack of access to essential and emergency Obstetric care. He also noted that delay to go to the health facility for different reasons are factors that can cause obstetric fistula.

Dr. Ebogo told participants that diagnosis of obstetric fistula is important as not everyone who leaks urine has the condition. He explained that diagnosis is done in 4 steps including taking patient history, clinical examination, identification of the lesion and classification.

The good news, he emphasized, is that that every fistula can be treated and the patient assumes normal functioning and carrying out life’s activities. The medic informed the trainees that effective treatment however, can only be done by experts in the domain and disclosed that if tampered with by those who are not experts in the domain the condition could be made complex and difficult to repair. The Urologist encouraged participants that after diagnosis, confirmed cases should be referred to the main treatment centers at the Nkwen and Mbingo Baptist Hospitals.

Speaking earlier, the Workshop Coordinator, Dr. Nfor Emmanuel told participants that there is a lot of ignorance about the condition in the communities, reason why they are also expected to carry out a lot of education about the condition to influence uptake of services as part of fulfilling the CBCHS Mission Statement.

Given that the project is being implemented within the context of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon, participants also received knowledge on humanitarian principles, SEEFF project overview, socio economic integration of obstetric fistula survivors and data management.

At the end of the workshop, the participants expressed happiness and satisfaction with the new knowledge gained, saying that they were going to apply it to ensure that all women identified and diagnosed with obstetric fistula in their facilities and communities access treatment.

Within the context of the SEEFF Project, 20 girls and women with obstetric fistula in the Northwest and Southwest regions are expected to be treated within a period of five months.