IPS Examines Obstetric Fistula In Southern Senegal

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

Inter Press Service News Agency examines the prevalence of obstetric fistula in the southern region of Senegal. According to state reproductive health officials ... 58 percent of births take place at home without medical assistance. "Women in the region suffer from exceptionally high rates of fistula," which "occurs when extended pressure damages the soft tissue in a woman's pelvis during ... birth" and can lead to debilitating complications and ostracization from their families ...

For every 20 deliveries ... at least nine women develop fistula ...

"... girls are married off between the ages of 13 and 15. ... from a morphological perspective, their pelvic girdles are not yet fully developed ... labour is prolonged," ...

"The extreme poverty ... means that fistula sufferers stay away from health facilities ... Being ashamed of their condition also keeps them away, as well as their awareness of the odour they give off," ... because the condition can cause leakage of urine or feces.

A shortage of health workers ... also contributes to the pervasiveness of fistula ... there are seven doctors ... for every 100,000 people, and one midwife for every 400,000 people ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448