The National Programme Coordinator for Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Ogunmayiwa Peters has said that plans are underway to build more VVF centres across the country so as to increase easy access to medical care by patients.
Mrs. Peters made the revelation while speaking to newsmen at the end of a one -month training programme for doctors and nurses on VVF surgery and management sponsored by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Canadian government and the Federal Ministry of Health which held at the VVF Centre Ningi, Bauchi state.
The programme coordinator, who noted that over 150, 000 women across Nigeria suffer from VVF annually, added that a proposal for more funding has also been forwarded with high hopes that it will soon be approved.
She called for more funding in order to address the high rate of VVF related issues across the country.
On his part, the training programme officer, Dr. Musa Elisha explained that the participants at the one -month training were drawn from Bauchi and Sokoto states.
“During the training, over 50 VVF patients were treated free of charge. The free surgery and training was aimed at reducing the prevalence of VVF in the country which is at an alarming rate.
“The surgery on the 50 patients was also sponsored by the UNFPA in collaboration with the Canadian government and the Federal Ministry of Health,” Dr Elisha said.
According to him, besides the 150, 000 VVF cases nationwide, there is an increase of 20, 000 new cases annually which he said, must be reduced urgently.
The training programme officer who said, despite the efforts being put in place, the number of new cases far exceeds the number of women being treated through corrective surgery which he said was a little over 4, 000, adding that the UNFPA is also addressing the underlying socio-cultural factors that remain the major predisposing factor of VVF among women.
Chief Medical Director (CMD), VVF Centre, Ningi, Dr. Nasiru Ibrahim, disclosed that over 1, 000 patients have been treated at the centre in the last five years with an average of about 200 patients every year.
According to him, patients from other states and neighbouring countries also come to the centre for treatment.