Sokoto – Medical experts have debunked widely held view that Vitro Vascular Fistulan (VVF) is resultant of early marriage conception.
Instead, they said the ailment that is no respecter of age, is the consequence of neglected prolonged obstructed labour during delivery.
Dr. Balarabe Kakale, Sokoto State Commissioner of Health, emphasised this, while speaking on the challenges of VVF.
Statistics presented to our correspondent showed that out of the over 200 patients treated and healed, some with new vigina constructed, at the Maryam Abacha Women and Child Hospital, Sokoto, a sizeable number were aged 20 to 30 years and above.
Lending credence to this, Dr. Lawan Bello, the Chief Medical Director, Maryam Abacha Women and Child Hospital, Sokoto, who gave an alarming figure of victims nationwide, also traced bad local practices to causes of the disease.
Dr. Lawan Bello said, “Bad local practices where traditional birth attendants ignorantly cut a pregnant woman bladder or rectum during child labour, is another cause of VVF.”
“Every year, we have about one hundred and twenty thousand cases of Fistula in Nigeria and only about five thousand are operated every year in all the Fistula centres in the country, with a backlog of about seven thousand every year.
“Maryam Abacha Women and Child Hospital VVF Centre remains a reference centre to patients from nearby states and neighbouring countries.”
Dr. Kakale said, “Sokoto State government is tackling VVF through a multi-styles approach of prevention, curative and integration of victims that undergoes successful repairs.
“VVF is a preventable, treatable and curative disease. The complete cycle of VVF treatment is for victim to be treated, regain their fertility and be able to conceive, and deliver again mostly by caesarian section.
“Our challenge is in the area of manpower. We lack enough qualified Fistula surgeons and nurses, who are out rightly different from gynaecology or obstetricians. At present, we have only two Fistula resident surgeons and two visiting surgeons at our VVF centre.”
He however advised that any pregnant woman in labour that is more than six to eight hours, should be referred to a hospital.