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Vesico Vaginal Fistula-Restoring hope for the Ugandan woman

Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), commonly referred to as just ‘fistula’, is an abnormal hole extending between the bladder and the vagina that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine. It is a result of long and obstructed labour.

CoRSU hosts  VVF camp to enable women access Obstetric Fistula treatment. The camps are funded by Fistula Foundation, a non-profit organisation that raises awareness for prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula. Mobilization is done by CoRSU CBR, district officials and Terrewode, an organisation that mobilises and reintegrates patients with fistula after treatment.

According to Dr. Judith Stenkamp, the brain behind the camp, Fistula is most common in first-time mothers but can also occur among women who have already had children. The most vulnerable people however are teenagers.  “The head of the baby can be stuck too long in the pelvis, pushing against the bones and compressing the bladder and sometimes also against the rectum, causing a rectal  vaginal fistula, resulting into loss of stool,” Dr Stenkamp explains. Other causes of obstetric fistula are early marriages, sexual abuse and rape.The doctor notes that isolation,  the stigma  around the condition, ignorance, poverty and illiteracy lead to many women going untreated.