The Flying Doctors Society of Africa (FDSA) has partnered with M-PESA Foundation, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Amref- Kenya and International Cancer Institute (ICI) for a fistula programme.
The program, which is targeting 4 counties was officially launched in Webuye County Hospital seeking to provide fistula treatment and surgery to over 200 women in Bungoma, Kilifi, Nyeri and Meru counties.
Over 60 women were scheduled for surgeries during the camp in Bungoma which was organised by the County Government through the Office of the county’s First Lady and the health department.
“We are determined to work with partners to eradicate fistula and we believe that this collaboration which enables women access treatment and surgery is a positive step in the journey. We will be seeking to engage the whole community including men so that they do not discriminate against women living with fistula,” said Les Baillie, Executive Director, M-PESA Foundation.
The partnership also aims to achieve sensitization through education, information and advocacy.
“Our programs strive to offer hope, create awareness and reduce the stigmatization of those living with fistula. We are committed to restoring the dignity of women and girls in Kenya in our efforts to contribute to Government achievement to eradicate fistula by 2030” Ms. Tanya Nduati, CEO of Flying Doctors’ Society of Africa.
The fistula camps kicked off on Monday and will run until Friday 8th October. Extensive screening of patients has been ongoing in various health facilities to identify women for the surgery. The screening began on 20th September and included breast, cervical, and prostate cancer screening.
“Timely access to quality emergency obstetric care and the presence of trained health professionals with midwifery skills at childbirth is the most cost-effective way to reduce maternal mortality and morbidities such as Fistula. UNFPA is committed to working with the government and partners in strengthening health systems to better serve mothers and newborns,” said UNFPA Representative Dr. Ademola Olajide.
The World Health Organization has termed fistula as the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth estimating that more than 2 million women live with fistula worldwide.
It is estimated that there are 3,000 new fistula cases in Kenya each year, and only 7.5 per cent of these are able to access medical care. This means that every year, more than 2,700 women with new fistula cases do not receive the necessary medical attention.