Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Masaka Regional Referral Hospital has moved to integrate fistula repairs on the list of their daily operations following increased demand for the services. Until now, only the Catholic Missionary hospital Joseph Kitovu, in Masaka has been offering fistula repairs through three annual camps.
Now, Dr Herbert Kalema, the Senior Obstetrician/Gynaecologist at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital says that they also intend to start carrying out the operations and repairs on all fistula cases registered from the facility.
He says that they observed an increase in the number of mothers living with the situation, which requires the service without necessarily waiting for the periodic camps. Obstetric fistula according to medics, is a health condition that leaves a strange outlet between the mother’s birth canal and the bladder or rectum, usually due to prolonged obstructed labor without timely interventions by a specialist.
The condition creates adverse effects of the involuntary leaking of urine and feces, which makes the victims uncomfortable until they are operated on to repair the damages. Dr. Kalema says that the hospital will perform surgeries on the victims as soon as they are identified to save them the burden of waiting for long or seeking the services on referral.
On average, according to Dr. Kalema, Masaka hospital registers at least 4 fistula cases every month among the mothers who deliver from the facility.
He says that in addition to improving their internal capacity in terms of equipment and patient handling, the hospital has also organized a weeklong fistula camp with senior surgeons who are carrying out peer-to-peer training of the local staff to further improve their case management abilities.
He reveals that in two days, the hospital has registered twelve patients who are in need of operations, saying that these and more others to come are going to become the benchmark for the success of the surgeries.
One of the fistula victims who turned up for the surgery at Masaka hospital is an 18-year-old mother of one from Rakai district. The victim whose names are withheld to preserve her dignity narrates that she has suffered from the condition for over a year and has tried traditional remedies in vain.
The victim says that she has suffered ridicule in society to the extent that she was afraid of boarding a taxi and instead used a motorcycle to move close to 75 kilometers from her home in the Kiziba sub-county in Rakai district to Masaka hospital where she is now awaiting surgery.
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