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MOH, Phebe Hospital and UNFPA launch Fistula surgery campaign

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The Ministry of Health and Phebe Hospital in Bong County with support from the United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA launch a campaign to treat women and girls with fistula in Liberia.Fistula is an injury caused to pregnant women and girls who remained in labor for a long time without help of a skilled birth attendant. It causes these women to leak urine or feces (peepee or poopoo).

According to UNDFPA, a team of local and expatriate medical doctors including Dr. AmbereenSleemi from the US-based International Medical Response (IMR) is treating more than 40 women and girls with fistula at the Phebe Hospital in Suacoco, Bong County.
The Medical Director of Phebe Hospital, Dr. Jefferson Sibley says these fistula survivors have come from all parts of the country.

Speaking on Thursday at the launch of the campaign in Phebe, Bong County, Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah said, the Government of Liberia is committed to ending obstetric fistula by 2030. Dr. Jallah called on all stakeholders in the campaign to end obstetric fistula to remain engaged with the Ministry of Health to ensure the reality of this commitment.

She stresses the need to continue the comprehensive support to fistula survivors in the country, as it was done in the past. This support includes surgery, rehabilitation through psychosocial counseling and skills training as well as social reintegration.

UNFPA Liberia Country Representative Dr. BannetNdyanabangi said, “Women with fistula endure enormous psychological and social trauma; therefore, empowering them to reclaim their place in society is a major goal of the UNFPA End Fistula Campaign”.

According to him, ending fistula can be a reality. ”The key to ending fistula is to prevent it from happening in the first place. The prevention of fistula is only possible when women have access to quality maternal health care services, including family planning, skilled attendance at the birth of their babies and emergency obstetric care,” The UNFPA Liberia Country Representative says.

He reaffirms UNFPA’s commitment to supporting the Ministry of Health in its efforts to strengthening the maternal and newborn health system of Liberia.Dr. Bannet calls for reawakening of the partnership that saw to the repair of more than 1,850 fistula survivors between 2009 and early 2019.

He thanks the European Union and the United Nations for the launch of the Spotlight Initiative, which is funding the fistula repair campaign.The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. Press Release

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