Jinja Hospital Opens Special Clinic for Fistula Treatment

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In short
The clinic equipped by USAID, is run by an obstetrician and four nurses. It will offer corrective intravaginal surgery, postoperative care and physical rehabilitation, to women suffering with fistula from across Busoga sub region at no cost.

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital has started a specialized clinic for the treatment of obstetric fistula, a condition that leaves a woman with no control over of urine and feces especially after prolonged obstructed labor.

The clinic equipped by USAID, is run by an obstetrician and four nurses. It will offer corrective intravaginal surgery, postoperative care and physical rehabilitation, to women suffering with fistula from across Busoga sub region at no cost.

Jinja hospital records more than 20 fistula cases every month from the districts of Jinja, Iganga, Kamuli, Mayuge, Kaliro, and Namayingo among others. Previously, such patients diagnosed with the condition would be referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital.

But many of them could not afford the cost of corrective surgery which is the only treatment needed to help them return to a normal life with full control of their bodily functions.

The average cost of treating a fistula patient in Uganda is $586 an equivalent of almost two million Shillings, a figure that is far above the average monthly income of most Ugandans especially in rural areas.   The cost can also be greater for more complicated surgeries such as treating dual vaginal and rectal fistulas.

Angella Namala, the in charge of the clinic says that for the first two months, a team of experts from USAID will be conducting further training for the nurses operating the clinic.
 
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Omara Rose, one of the nurses at the clinic is optimistic that the new service will encourage mothers to seek treatment and end adverse effects of obstetric fistula on their lives. 

She adds that all nurses have undergone specialized counseling training to enable them offer psycho-social support to help mothers fit in society despite their conditions.
 
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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says that delay in seeking medical attention, delay in reaching a medical facility, and delay in receiving medical care once arriving at a health care facility, all contribute to the development of a fistula.

These can however be prevented if laboring women are provided with adequate and timely emergency obstetric care when complications arise.

 

About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).