The Sunday News
Tendai Bhebe, Sunday News Reporter
THE United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has started training doctors who will work at the obstetric fistula centre under construction at the health institution.
Obstetric fistula is a medical condition in which a hole develops in the birth canal as a result of childbirth.
In an interview last week, UBH chief executive officer Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu said construction of the centre was on course hence efforts to equip doctors with the necessary skills to work once it is completed.
“The construction of the obstetric fistula centre which started last year in June is still underway, however, we have completed the shell of the building and final touches to be done very soon.
“There has been a great improvement as the structure of the building has been done and the roofing is complete. What is left now are the electrical and plumbing jobs.
“Doctors have gone on training to have skills on how to operate the patients to avoid any complications,” she said.
According to World Health Organisation, each year between 50 000 to 100 000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula, an abnormal opening between a woman’s genital tract and her urinary tract or rectum.
The development of obstetric fistula is directly linked to one of the major causes of maternal mortality which is obstructed labour. Women who experience obstetric fistula suffer constant incontinence, shame, and social segregation and health problems. It is estimated that more than two million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
“The leading cause of this condition in women is obstructed labour secondary to cephalopelvic disproportion and the major role that women face are physical trauma, leaking urine, emotional trauma, social exclusion and stigmatisation,” said Mrs Ndlovu.
She said once operational, the centre will help ease pressure on the only operational centre in the country that is in Chinhoyi.
“Currently, there is only one centre at Chinhoyi Hospital and it is costly for women to travel all the way from here to get medical attention,” Mrs Ndlovu said.