Tharaka Nithi County heightens war on Fistula

Fistula complications are mainly a result of prolonged labour pain and women and girls with the challenge face stigma in society.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • At least 50 women from Tharaka Nithi County set to receive free fistula surgeries.
  • Themedical camp at Chuka County Referral Hospital is organised by Beyond Zero, M-Pesa Foundation, UNFPA, Amref, Flying Doctors Society of Africa, Ministry of Health and Tharaka Nithi County government.

Twenty eight women who have been suffering from fistula-related complications have breathed a sigh of relief after a successful surgery at Chuka County Referral Hospital in Tharaka Nithi County.

At least 50 women from the region are set to receive free fistula surgeries and medical advice during a weeklong medical camp aimed at celebrating this year’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.

Fistula complications are mainly a result of prolonged labour pain and women and girls with the challenge face stigma in society.

The free medical camp at Chuka County Referral Hospital is organised by Beyond Zero, M-Pesa Foundation, UNFPA, Amref, Flying Doctors Society of Africa, Ministry of Health and Tharaka Nithi County government.

Speaking at the camp on Wednesday, Tharaka Nithi County First Lady Margaret Muthomi said 50 women were admitted for possible surgery and that by Friday (today) when the exercise ends; more than 100 women will have been treated.

Restore dignity

“The target of the free treatment exercise is to end pain and restore dignity to our women who have suffered for lack of awareness or money to seek treatment,” said Ms Muthomi.

Director, Sustainable Business and Social Impact at Safaricom Karen Basiye said the exercise also aims to create awareness about fistula and the importance of investing in quality maternal health services through education, information and advocacy.

“We are glad to have impacted many lives of women in Kenya. We believe that through partnerships, we can transform lives. I appeal to women in Tharaka Nithi and beyond to turn up in large numbers to be screened and receive free surgeries,” said Ms Basiye.

She said M-Pesa Foundation has invested more than Sh15 million to support five fistula camps in Bungoma, Nyeri, Kilifi, Kajiado and Tharaka Nithi counties.

Tanya Nduati the CEO Flying Doctors’ Society of Africa, insisted on the need for both government and non-governmental organizations to invest resources to achieve the target of a fistula-free Kenya by 2030.

Two million women

Country Director Amref Health Africa in Kenya Dr Meshack Ndirangu, said the organization is committed to working with the government and partners to strengthen health systems that will serve mothers and new-borns better.

He noted that the most cost-effective way to reduce complications such as fistula is through access to quality care and well-trained health professionals with midwifery skills.

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than two million women live with fistula worldwide, and at least 3,000 new cases are recorded in Kenya each year. Out of this, only 7.5 per cent of the women are able to access medical care.

This means that every year, more than 2,700 women with new fistula cases do not receive the necessary medical care.



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