Community Entry On Obstetric Fistula

Women suffering from obstetric fistula are stigmatized and shunned by family, friends and society. As part of Essential Relief International Foundation’s ARRE program,(Adopt, Repair, Restore,Empower), Essential Relief International Foundation embarked on a community entering mission to find women suffering from obstetric fistula and assist them find help and treatment.About ten women from seven community benefited from the program, namely Bolgatanga,Fumbisi, Tantala, Dankpepiifi, Zukpene, Sandoo and Epabong in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

Starting with Bolgatanga, we met two women with the condition whiles one of them said she previously had surgery to correct the condition but was unsuccessful.

In Fumbisi, we encountered the sorrowful state of a lady by name Awambdek who has been living with the condition for the past 27 years. She lost the baby and her husband also abandoned her. Madam Awambdek narrated how she has been isolated from her friends and family because of the stigma associated with the condition (Obstetric Fistula). She told us that she resorts to the use of rags to keep herself dry even though it does not sustain her that much,with urine,no matter how well you wash the rags the smell doesn’t go away entirely making people shun her company, because of the stench associated with her.

Miss Fatima, was also another woman we met at Tantala who had been living with the condition for 18 years.

In Dankpepiifi, we met Miss Sanatu who was also living with the condition.

A donation of 10 bags of 50 pieces of adult diapers worth GH₵1500.00 was given to affected women. Other than diapers, rags are used as support leaking of urine and or farces.Antiseptics were also given to prevent chronic skin diseases and infection. Money was also given because most of them were not gainfully employed due to the stigmatization coming from the fistula condition. Essential Relief International Foundation aims at finding the women with obstetric fistula,put them together and schedule the much needed reconstructive surgery and making these treated women ambassadors for the fight and eliminate of obstetric fistula from our society.

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