Ghana records about 1,352 new cases of Obstetric Fistula (OF) every year but treats just a little over hundred of such cases yearly.
Obstetric Fistula is a medical condition in which a hole develops between the vagina, rectum and bladder as a result of prolonged or obstructed labour.
Affected women leak urine or feaces or both through the birth canal.
Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi a representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said this in Accra yesterday when the Ministry of Health MoH and the UNFPA endorsed John Dumelo as the OF ambassador in Ghana.
He attributed the rampant development of the Fistula condition to lack of education and low awareness among the populace.
Dr. Ahonsi however, observed that available funding and attention from all current sources to treat the condition was not enough saying “let all heed to the call of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and end fistula within this generation leaving no one behind.”
The Minister for Health, Mr. Alexander Sebgefia said it was unfortunate that there was limited knowledge of such serious abnormality that affects quiet a number of women.
“Clearly society must be educated on the fact that fistula is only an abnormality and accident resulting from childbirth and not a curse on the victim,” he said.
He stressed the need for care and support to be given to women affected with OF as it was more prevalent in rural community and among girls with low education.
The Fistula condition according to Mr. Segbefia was also prevalent among communities that practice Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and child marriage and added that Ghana was still rooted in some harmful traditional practices which must be worked on.
The Chairman of the National Fistula Team in Ghana, Dr. Anyetei Lassey tasked the new Fistula ambassador, Mr. Dumelo to raise more funds to help in repairing the condition.
He said most of the affected women could not could pay for the cost of the treatment which is presently GH¢2,000.
John Dumelo in his acceptance remarks assured the nation to raise adequate funds to help save the lives of women who are confronted with the condition.
By Linda Naa Deide Aryeetey and Benedicta Ampadu Okyere