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  1. 1
    189285

    The second meeting of the Working Group for the Prevention and Treatment of Obstetric Fistula, Addis Ababa, 30 October -1 November, 2002.

    United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA]

    New York, New York, UNFPA, 2003. 38 p.

    Much of the meeting was devoted to presentation of needs assessments from 12 African countries. Nine countries were surveyed by Engender Health; the African Medical and Research Foundation surveyed Kenya; and the Women’s Dignity Project assessed the situation in Tanzania. Dr. Catherine Hamlin and Ruth Kennedy also presented information about the situation in Ethiopia. The assessments provide a clear and informed base—for the first time—on which to build a realistic plan of action to combat fistula in the region. This information should also help to bring the tragedy of fistula out from under its shroud of shame and secrecy. We expect this will result in increased support for many of the best programmes already in place in Africa and in the creation of a regional network for fistula prevention and treatment. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    056623
    Peer Reviewed

    An initiative on vesicovaginal fistula.

    Tahzib F

    Lancet. 1989 Jun 10; 1(8650):1316-7.

    Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF), commonly caused by prolonged obstructed labor, is one of the worst complications of childbirth. Afflicted women continuously leak urine and sometimes feces, excoriating their mutilated vulvas and vaginas and often becoming social outcasts. Until the early part of this century, VVF was common in the United States and European countries, but today it is rarely encountered in developed countries. It is still, however, a major problem in many developing countries, where it is generally caused by neglect and mismanagement in labor. As many as 300 women suffering from VVF come to gynecology clinics for treatment every month in some areas of northern Nigeria. But many doctors do not wish to deal with VVF and their Western training does not equip them to perform needed surgery. The major thrust of research and development of services must be in prevention of VVF. But much can be learned about the disorder through treatment of its victims, and their suffering in and of itself demands a major treatment effort. This will require establishment of specialized centers, including hostel accommodations. International and national teams of medical experts would go periodically to needy areas to train local surgeons, advise on difficult cases, and help reduce patient backlogs. Such a program can only be set in motion through funds provided by international organizations. A WHO working group on VVF recently recommended urgent measures to prevent the disorder and to clear the backlog of patients waiting for operations. And an organization known as the VVF Initiative has been established in Nigeria and is in need of practical and financial assistance.
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