About obstetric fistulas

The vesico vaginal fistula (VVF) is as old as mankind, and has always been a source of misery of the affected women. Most communities consider these women as outcasts, because they leak urine down their legs, their clothes are wet, and the women smell.

The main case of VVF is obstructed labour which is not relieved in time by a caesarean section. The vagina and bladder walls become compressed between the foetal scull and the maternal pelvis, resulting in pressure necrosis. This results in obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistulas have disappeared in the industrialized countries. In developing countries it is a public health problem, and 1-2 women per 1000 deliveries end in obstetric fistula.

In south-west Ethiopia we work on a programme to reduce maternal deaths and obstetric fistulas. With an estimated population of 2.6 million, and a crude birth rate of 38/1000, we have estimated that about 800 women die every year and 150 women get an obstetric fistula.

The main aim of our current work in south Ethiopia is to reduce these death and fistulas.

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