RAJSHAHI: Concerted efforts of all government and non-government entities concerned can be the best ways of eliminating obstetric fistula through facing existing challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic in this field.
Ensuring reproductive health rights coupled with education, empowerment of women and massive awareness among the public in general can also be the crucial means of eliminating obstetric fistula, reports BSS.Health experts, development activists and journalists from Rangpur and Rajshahi Divisions came up with the observation while addressing a virtual meeting on Thursday. The Department of Health Services and LAMB Hospital jointly hosted the meeting in association with UNFPA discussing and devising ways and means on how to eliminate the obstetric fistula with a holistic approach. Divisional Director of Health Dr Ahad Ali addressed the meeting as the chief guest and also presented a keynote paper titled “End Obstetric Fistula in Rangpur and Rajshahi Division: Achievements and Challenges” giving an overview of the present situation and way-outs of the problem.
He told the meeting that various government and non-government organisations concerned including LAMB Hospital are implementing need-based programmes including case Identification from the community, referral for diagnosis, timely management, motivation, counseling, follow up and comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration to free the society from obstetric fistula by 2030. Media both print and electronic have a vital role towards eliminating fistula from the communities through issue-based investigative reporting, Dr Ali also said.
Dr Dewan Haque, Shamsuzzaman and Dr. Animesh Biswas from UNFPA Bangladesh and LAMB Hospital Director (CHDP) Liton Bala and Fistula Project Manager Mahatab Liton joined the meeting as resource persons disseminating their expertise on the issue while Journalist Rafiqul Islam Sarker moderated the discussion.
The discussants unanimously mentioned that women of the less-income families with a lack of access to quality maternal health care are predominantly affected and have been associated with lifelong ostracism, stigma, and shame and with sexual, fertility, and future childbearing issues, in addition to incontinence.
Dr Dewan Haque told the meeting that obstetric fistula is predominantly caused by obstetric causes but can also occur due to provider error or trauma.
In addition to physical trauma, this also results in psychosocial trauma for the woman as she is oftentimes ostracized from her family and community as well.In the rural areas, many women give birth at home without any trained medical help present, obstetric fistula is prevalent.
Liton Bala, however, said the LAMB project is intended to eliminate genital fistula by capturing, treating and reintegrating it.