The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has expanded access to fistula care in Sokoto state.
UNFPA with funding from Global Affairs Canada, is implementing a three-year project on “Addressing Gaps in Gender Based Violence and Harmful Traditional Practices in Nigeria”.
The goal of the project is to reduce the prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV), early child and forced marriage, obstetric fistula and female genital mutilation, create an enabling environment and provide treatment and care for affected women and girls in Bauchi, Oyo and Sokoto States.
Sokoto State has one of worst reproductive health indices in Nigeria with estimated maternal mortality of more than 2000/100,000 live births. More than two-third (71%) of pregnant women in the state never attended antenatal care; 91% of the women delivered at home and less than 10% had skilled birth attendance, exposing them to risk of maternal death as well as complications including fistula.
In a statement issued by the Hajia Kori Abba Habib, Media and Communication Specialist UNFPA, the agency commissioned the rehabilitated Goronyo General Hospital operating theatre and patient ward, as part of a comprehensive approach by UNFPA to increase access to fistula care for indigent patients.
This includes the earlier commissioning in March 2020 of the rehabilitated operating theatre and patient ward at the Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital in Sokoto metropolis, along with the provision of essential medical equipment and kits as well as the training of healthcare workers on the management of obstetric fistula.
Through this project, UNFPA supports the fistula program in Sokoto State with the aim of restoring the dignity of women and girls living with obstetric fistula and preventing fistula.
UNFPA appreciates the contribution of Sokoto State Government and for the continued collaboration towards ending preventable maternal deaths, ending the unmet need for family planning, and ending gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.
UNFPA reiterates its commitment to ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Also, UNFPA is committed to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s vision of becoming a country free of Obstetric Fistula by 2030.
UNFPA also thank and appreciate its donor, Global Affairs Canada, for providing funding support for the project.