Prevention Methods

Prevention Methods – West Africa Fistula Foundation

We want to treat every lady that has a fistula, but must realize Prevention Is The Key

The first known obstetrical fistula hospital was in New York City (USA) in the mid 1850’s. it was closed in the late 1800’s because of modern obstetrical delivery (i.e. access to C-Section).

If we are able to provide early C-Section capabilities for women, obstetrical VVF’s would become extinct.

Our long term goal is
• Provide modern obstetrical services
Not only must the existing Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) be treated with the proper methods and new inovating techniques and procedures but the underlying problem of where it begins must also be treated. To understand the answers there are some questions that need to be viewed.

  • Where do fistula patients come from?
  • What is their social background?
  • What is their educational level?
  • What is the age at marriage of women who develop fistulas?
  • What proportion of women who develop obstetric fistulas had access to obstetric care
  • Where do women who develop fistulas deliver and who attends those deliveries
  • What is the social status of fistula victims after they develop this problem

The detailed answers to these questions await the detailed population-based research, but according to preliminary impressions obtained from surveys taken of fistula patients in hospital settings in several countries we can surmise the following:

  • Fistula patients come from poor rural areas where infrastructure development is rudimentary and access to health care – particularly access to basic midwifery and emergency obstetric service – is lacking.
  • Fistula patients tend to be very young  women and set in the traditions of their communities social environment knowing nothing else.
  • Most of them are poorly educated with little or no formal instruction.
  • They mostly marry very young and short of statue, to farmers or petty traders who have no or little formal education themselves.
  • The vast majority of fistula patients are not accessible to prenatal care services
  • Delivery for most fistula patients takes place at home with either family members or traditional mid-wives.
  • They are shunned and rejected by their husbands and ostracized by the community that they live in.

Now that the basis for most fistulas have been laid out in the above format we can now base that if we are going to change the VVF from taking place, that educational programs and teaching procedures, must change the way that the social behavior has established, the thinking of both men and women.

The fistula patients themselves will be a contributing force in changing the way women perceive themselves and the role they play in their social environment. By working with them after the treatment of VVF, we must integrate them back into their society, healed and made acceptable, and knowing how they arrived at that status is vital to the re-development of the country’s VVF epidemic. By either providing vocational schooling or enterprise training we can give them self esteem and also a way and means of providing for themselves and their children.

In short summary:

  • Treat the existing fistulas
  • Provide pre and post operative care for fistula patients
  • Educate and school either by vocational or enterprise methods
  • Add more doctors and nurses qualified to medically treat these patients from all over their country

To find out how you can help contact us via email, phone, or by our mailing address. Someone will contact you with an answer to your request ASAP.

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