What To Know About VVF part 5



Duration of Repair/Rehabilitation
Generally, the clients of fistula have their surgeries performed under a reginal anaesthesia. While they remain awake the surgery is performed. Simply put the surgery involves separating the bladder tissues from the vaginal wall. The bladder hole is closed followed by closure of the defect in the vaginal wall. When the repair is water-tight a rubber tubing called catheter is placed into the normal outlet of the bladder, the urethral.

This is kept into continuously, drain the bladder for a period of seven to 14 days. This is a critical part of the repair. With the fistula closed, the patient is returned to the ward for post operation care. She is advised to drink between six to eight litres of water daily, to ensure continuous flow of urine. After 24 hours, the patient can get up and walk but should maintain the fluid intake. All the time she is supervised to make sure the catheter is draining. General hygiene is encouraged. The catheter is taken out after 14 days and success is for her to feel that she is dry. After the catheter is taken out and it is a great moment of joy for the client.

The post operation rehabilitation begins at this moment. Some State governments even go further to give them a take home grant and they also go away with things like sewing or knitting machines as part of their economic empowerment.Husbands may come back and with good social mobilisation, the client is welcomed back to her community in some case with fun fare.

Obstetric fistula is a major public health concern, which requires specialised units and personnel to treat. We can put an end to obstetric fistula by addressing the circumstances that perpetuate it, including poverty lack of access to health care, child marriage and early childbearing. There should be above good community awareness on the direct cause of fistula, prolonged obstructed labour.

The governments have a great responsibility in providing well equipped and appropriately, staff members and health facilities close to the communities for early and easy access to healthcare. It is all about collective responsibility, the government and communities each playing their role and together we can stop obstetric fistula. (Concluded)

Dr. Habib Sadauki, Country Project Manager, EngenderHealth and Fistula Care Plus did the piece in an interaction with PAUL ADUNWOKE.

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