The Director and Founder of the Haikal Organization in Sierra Leone, Haja Hawa Turay has said Obstetric Fistula is a very offensive disease but it now has a cure. She was speaking at a one day seminar held to discuss Obstetric Fistula especially its causes, symptoms and how it can be cured. The Seminar took place at the Lagoonda Hall, Aberdeen, in Freetown on the 27th March 2012 under the auspices of Health Poverty Action and Haikal.
Haja Hawa Turay stated that Obstetric Fistula is a dangerous disease that ruins the lives of afflicted women as such patients tend to become rejected by their family members, friends and even the men who impregnated them. The disease is caused when a pregnant woman suffers prolonged labour causing damage to the walls separating the bladder and/or anus from the vagina. An abnormal hole then allows urine and faeces to pass through the woman’s vagina giving off a highly offensive stench wherever the woman would be seated making her into an outcast. She said even to worship God would be impossible as her community would tell her the act of worshipping God was one to follow cleanliness.
She said pregnancies in young teenage girls were a primary cause as well as the side-effects of female genital mutilation. She advised for parents to stop giving out their children in early marriages and for care to be taken whilst they are being initiated into Bondo Society.
Haja Turay also cited rape and poor traditional birth attendance as causes of such fistula. She however proudly announced that with her organisation teaming up with others, fistula problems could be eradicated as the holes can be surgically repaired restoring a woman’s dignity back.
Speaking also were Regina Bash Taqi, the Country Director of Health Poverty Action Sierra Leone, Dr. Lewis a Sierra Leonean trained doctor and Dr. S.A.S. Kargbo. They are encouraging sufferers of Obstetric Fistula to call for free from any Africell line to the number 555 or to go to the Aberdeen Women’s Center (Mercyship), at Aberdeen Village, or Government Hospital in Bo for free medical care.
There is an intention to build many more such fistula curing centers all over the country. Hawa Koroma from Kenema and Margaret Bayoh from Bo, gave testimonies of renewed lives following their surgeries.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.