PANCHAGARH: Panchagarh has been officially declared as the first obstetric fistula free district as a part of the government’s target of ending obstetric fistula in the country by 2030.
Divisional Director (Health) Dr Abu Md Zakirul Islam declared Panchagarh as the first obstetric fistula free district in a function held at the Civil Surgeon’s Office here on Wednesday as the chief guest.
Presided over by Civil Surgeon Dr Fazlur Rahman, General Secretary of Panchagarh district unit of Bangladesh medical Association Dr Munsur Alam delivered a welcome speech at the function.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Azad Jahan, Fistula Surgeon and former Medical Director of LAMB Hospital Dr Chris Edward, Program Officer Litan Bala, Deputy Director of the Department of Social Services Aniruddho Roy and Technical Officer of UNFPA Bangladesh Dr Animesh Biswas addressed as special guests.
Medical Officer of Civil Surgeon’s Office Dr Toffael Ahmed presented a keynote essay narrating the Pathway of Obstetric Fistula Management activities in turning Panchagarh into an obstetric fistula free district.
Obstetric fistula symptomatic cases were identified first at community levels and then referred to upazila and district level hospitals for diagnosis and for confirmed diagnosis and surgical repair at LAMB Hospital at Parbatipur in Dinajpur.
“Each of the confirmed obstetric fistula patients received psychosocial counseling before and after safe and timely surgeries at LAMB Hospital and need based rehabilitation and reintegration support,” Dr Ahmed said.
“After repair of obstetric fistula, need based rehabilitation programs of fistula survivors like providing training on tailoring, income generating activities, handicrafts, sanitary pad and mask making and cash support were provided by LAMB Hospital,” he said.
“We conducted surveys in all 2,83,149 households in all five upazilas of Panchagarh and primarily identified 96 suspected obstetric fistula cases with problems of leaking of urine or feces or both,” he said.
Of them, 63 cases were finally diagnosed as obstetric fistula, 60 were repaired at LAMB Hospital, 50 women were completely cured, 10 women declared as incurable fistula and three cases were inoperable due to other causes.
The chief guest said ending obstetric fistula is possible by 2030 by ensuring divisional and district level approaches with inclusive roles of different stakeholders and better coordination to get the ultimate results.
“Participation of other department like Social Services, Women’s Affairs and Youth Development is crucial to ensure rehabilitation of obstetric fistula survivors and replicate the lesson learnt in Panchagarh to other districts,” he said.