ONE DAY REGIONAL SYMPOSIUM AND FREE FISTULA REPAIR CAMP

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2019

This program is endorsed by International Urogynaecology Association

Introduction:

According to extensive research an estimated 3,500 cases of obstetric fistula occur in Pakistan every year. Fistula often occurs when a woman gets pregnant very young, or goes through a long or obstructed labor. Tissues inside her vagina tear resulting in the leakage of urine and feces constantly. This is a source of lifelong shame, pain and discomfort for thousands of women. Yet in most cases, fistula can be prevented by good medical care during childbirth and repaired by qualified surgeons.

Shalamar hospital in collaboration with Fistula Foundation and Pakistan National Forum For Women Health (PNFWH), fistula foundation, Pakistan urogynaecologists association under the umbrella of Jahandad Society for Community Development has been actively working on the prevention and the treatment of Fistula in Pakistan. Under this project, a Fistula Repair Center has been established at Central Park Teaching Hospital, Lahore. This center serves 36 densely populated districts of Punjab.

Doctors Team:

  1. Dr. Aziz Abdullah
  2. Dr. Sher Shah Syed
  3. Dr. Nazli Hameed
  4. Narindar
  5. Binyamein Butt
  6. Riffat
  7. Rabia Jamshed

Summary of Medical Camp:

A one day symposium and Fistula repair medical camp was organized at Shalamar Hospital,Lahore on 14th Jan,  2020. Four national surgeons and a team of doctors and nurses were ready to provide them with care. Collectively, they have more than 40 years of experience, much of which has been spent in the operating room. They paired up with less experienced surgeons and mentored them in the advanced surgical repair of complicated cases.

In this medical camp four women (03 VVF & 01 RVF) underwent fistula repair. Repairs of small and simple vesico-vaginal fistula were usually straightforward however some procedures were more complex including the repair of recto-vaginal fistula with cervical carcinoma. Following surgery women stayed in the fistula unit for 10 Days with a catheter in place, to reduce the risk of infection and to encourage healing.A visiting counselor also spent time with the women and advice was given about the importance of antenatal care in future pregnancies and about the need for a cesarean section for future deliveries.

It was interesting and deeply moving to hear how they had come to attend the fistula camp. It was also frustrating to see that although only a simple procedure is required to repair obstetric fistula, many women suffer in silence for years before accessing the services that they need. It is evident that the issue of reducing the incidence of obstetric fistula in Pakistan is complex. Multiple factors contribute to the high prevalence of the condition. It is clear that whilst women are judged by their potential to bear children both at a young age and by traditional methods without skilled birth attendants, obstetric fistula will continue to be a burden on maternal health in Pakistan. The problem is exacerbated by poor healthcare facilities, under-developed infrastructure and poverty, which all act as barriers to women accessing the services that they need. Number of doctors were trained through the Prevention and treatment of Post-Partum Complication (Fistula) program in Pakistan.In the end of the medical camp the visiting team offeredthanks to Prof. Dr. Nazli Hameed to organize a very useful camp and great efforts towards end of fistula in the country.