Mar 30, 2012

Military Struggle Impedes Obstetric Fistula Prevention and Repair in Mali

AUTHOR:Irin NewsSOURCE:Irin News

Health officials in Mali have been stymied in their efforts to prevent the development and treatment of obstetric fistula due to conflict fighting between rebel forces and the Malian army. A fistula is a hole that develops in a women who has experienced prolonged labor and subsequently suffers from continued leakage of urine and/or feces. These fistula are preventable and treatable as long as women have access to health services. The most important focus should be placed on prevention which requires a woman to reach a health facility where a skilled birth attendant is present and if needed can undergo a ceasarian section. Unfortunately, if a woman develops a fistuia she becomes a pariah and is shunned by her community and can lose her children as well as her husband. Even if the hole is repaired there's no guarantee she will be accepted back. Life for Mothers strives to implement a holistic strategy to address maternal mortality (obstructed labor is a leading cause of death). Through a network of community health workers armed with smartphones they will be in contact with mothers who are close to going into labor. They will facilitate mothers being transported in a timely fashion to the health facility. This should lessen the likelihood of fistula and improve overall oucomes for the mother and her newborn. Of course, the issue of violence can preclude women from traveling safely to reach a health center. Every effort should be made by the government and armed forces to ensure safe transport in order to save lives and prevent chronic and debilitating complications of childbirth, i.e. obstetric fistula. For the full article please click here:

Did you know?

Almost every minute, a woman dies related to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Source:United Nations Department of Public Information

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