Just few days after President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf launched the Women Health Commission for the African Region, the Resident Representative of UNFPA Ms. Esperance Fundira, encouraged the fourth graduates of the Fistula Rehabilitation and Skills Training Centre in Jacob Town, Paynesville to go and impact their communities.
According to Ms. Fundira, globally, women with fistula problems endure psychological and social trauma, therefore, empowering them to reclaim their space in society is a major campaign for UNFPA. Ms. Fundira said that the most effective way to prevent fistula is to ensure access to quality maternal health care service.
As prevention remains one of the UNFPA focus, the UN agency pledged its commitment to treat women who are already affected by supporting the government of Liberia to address fistula in Liberia.
The Fistula Project, which was launched in 2007, has made significant progress. Through this program, about 600 fistula patients have been successfully operated with an 81% success rate and more than 80 rehabilitated.
While women and girls face a number of challenges and are subjected to discrimination globally, the most crucial issue that needs immediate attention is access to health care.
Every year, more than 500,000 women and girls die from pregnancy-related causes amounting to one death every minute, while between 15 and 20 million suffered from maternal morbidity every year.
Almost all maternal deaths occur in developing countries, especially amongst vulnerable women. Ms. Fundira said that “the right of all women to quality health care must be ensuring to prevent avoidable maternal deaths and injuries.
Maternal Health Care must be available, accessible and of high quality. Failure to provide such care is a violation of women right to life, health, equality and non discrimination. I believe today marks a joyous day in the lives of those ladies, perhaps some of whom might not have dreamed of such occasion some months or years ago. Today also mark another milestone in our campaign to end fistula in Liberia.
The head of Fistula Program in Liberia, Dr. John Mulbah expressed satisfaction and said he was happy to see the women after undergoing the surgery to take advantage of the skills training program. Dr. Mulbah noted that , the women are from different parts of the country, adding that some of them heard about fistula on radio, through friends and newspaper.