The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) trained and empowered 70 Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) survivors in Bauchi State in various trades to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into their communities.
Mr Musa Isa, the Executive Director, Fistula Foundation Nigeria (FFN), a Non-Government-Organization (NGO) and a UNFPA Programmes Implementing Partner (IP) made this known at the empowerment programme on Friday in Bauchi.
The four-month training was conducted in 16 local government areas of the state.
Isa said that the programme was to encourage, rehabilitate and empower the affected women to improve physically and psychologically.
He listed the empowerment tools given to the women to include sewing and grinding machines, as well as funds for rearing of animals.
The director said the VVF survivors were also trained in communication techniques to reduce stigmatisation, and advised them to sensitive and mobilise others to end fistula in their communities.
He thanked the Bauchi State Government for footing the treatment bill of the fistula patients and urged it to make it a priority.
The UNFPA Media and Communication Expert, Mrs Kori Habib, stated that medical equipment, furniture and consumables were provided
to the National Obstetric Fistula Centre in Ningi Local Government Area and General Hospital Gamawa.
She added that “UNFPA’s approach to increasing access to quality fistula care in Bauchi State involves the provision of essential medical equipment, fistula repair kits, furniture and consumables to the National Obstetric Fistula Treatment Centre in Ningi and the General Hospital in Gamawa.
“We trained 15 healthcare workers and oriented 300 frontline healthcare workers on the prevention and management o fistula. The Gamawa General Hospital now offers free routine fistula repairs.
“UNFPA is the leader in the global campaign to end fistula launched since 2003. It also provides strategic vision, technical guidance, support, medical supplies, training and capacity building and funds for obstetric fistula prevention, treatment, social reintegration and advocacy.”
In her speech, the wife of Bauchi State Governor, Dr Aisha Mohammed, urged husbands to ensure their wives attended medical and antenatal care during pregnancy.
She said her office would engage in a rigorous sensitisation on fistula and prevention.