Institutional delivery to eliminate obstetric fistula stressed

Publish: 5:40 PM, September 12, 2021 | Update: 5:40:PM, September 12, 2021

RAJSHAHI, – Health experts and development activists observed that ensuring institutional delivery coupled with antenatal and postnatal care can be the best ways of eliminating the obstetric fistula. Besides, all the government and non-government entities concerned should come forward and work together to combat the obstetric fistula besides treatment and rehabilitation of the patients suffering from the disease for the sake of their family and social integration.

They came up with the observation while addressing an advocacy meeting with different government agencies for rehabilitation of the fistula survivors virtually today, adding that the patients suffering from obstetric fistula are subjected to repression and oppression.

LAMB Hospital hosted the meeting with assistance of the Department of Health Services and financial support from the UNFPA Bangladesh, discussing and devising ways and means on how to attain a desired yield in this humanitarian field. Civil Surgeon Dr Gausul Azim Chowdhury addressed the meeting as chief guest, while Deputy Director of the Department of Women Affairs Shahidul Islam and Deputy Director of the Department of Social Services Abu Syed Kawser spoke as special guests.

Upazila Social Service Officers Nahida Sultana and Subir Kumar Pal also spoke. UNFPA Technical Officer Dr Animesh Biswas and Field Officer Dr Kaniz Zohura and LAMB Hospital Project Manager Mahatab Liton spoke as focal persons disseminating their expertise on the issue. Dr Tahrima Hossain from LAMB Hospital presented a keynote paper titled “End Obstetric Fistula in Rangpur and Rajshahi Division: Achievements and Challenges” giving an overview of the present situation of the problem and way-outs. She told the meeting that obstetric fistula is one such chronic debilitating condition for women around the country.

Obstructed and prolonged labors are the prime causes for developing obstetric fistula, she said. She mentioned that various government and non-government organisations concerned including LAMB Hospital are implementing need-based programmes including case Identification from the community, referral for diagnosis, timely management, motivation, counseling, follow up and comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration to free the society from obstetric fistula by 2030.

Identification of obstetric fistula cases coupled with quality surgery and safe surgery is extremely needed as rehabilitation and reintegration of patients should be strengthened further, he mentioned. Utmost emphasis should be given on mitigating the problem with collective efforts of all government and non-government and specialists concerned. In his remarks, Dr Gausul Azim Chowdhury stressed ensuring hundred percent institutional deliveries with antenatal and postnatal care for substantial and sustainable reduction of obstetric fistula.

He clarified obstetric fistula is one of the most devastating pregnancy- related morbidity in Bangladesh, mostly affecting women from marginalized socio-economic backgrounds, particularly the people who are often referred to as ‘left behind.’ A number of people are living behind char areas, hard to reach areas, ethnic communities are the most vulnerable to the disease.

Defining as one of the most devastating pregnancy related morbidity in the country, he viewed that mostly affected women from marginalized socio- economic backgrounds remained neglected. So, collective efforts of all the government and non-government organizations concerned are very crucial to mitigate the problem, he added.