Dr. John Mulbah, head of Liberia’s Fistula project has disclosed that there are 14 fistula trained Doctors in the country to fight the disease. He said those doctors are deployed in various health facilities across the country, including the Phebe Hospital and C.B, Dunbar Hospital in Bong County, and the Family MedicalCenter in Montserrado County, respectively.
He stressed the need to add fistulamanagement in the curriculum for fistula doctors, adding that the fistula project is there to build thecapacity of survivors and make them to be able to face theircommunity and society at large. Dr. Mulbah detailed that the fistula project covers three phases: prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Speaking recently in Monrovia, he said fistula survivorshave increased since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, noting that prior to the Ebola crisis; they were less fistulapatients in Liberia.
He noted that patients increased during the Ebola becausemost women were not seeking health care and also more womenwere giving birth attended to by unskilled manpower that caused the Fistula rateto increased, disclosing that 75 percent of the patients are new cases.
However, he added that the project graduated 17 survivors recently, upgraded theirskills and made them self-supportive in their communities. Dr. Mulbah recalled that last year, up to 100
fistula patients were recorded. “Thesurvivors were stigmatized, so we need to help increase their skillsso they can reunite with their families and their communities”, he emphasized, and added,
“The first training we gave them as a survivor is that we educate themon the reproductive system, and also the signs of fistula, and also wetrain them in making soap, tailoring and other semi-skills.”
Fistula is an abnormal connection between two body parts, such as anorgan or blood vessel and another structure. It is usually theresult of an injury or surgery, leaving a hole which causes a woman to urinate and toilet on herself.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Jonathan Browne