Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Soroti district is home to the first Specialized Fistula hospital in East Africa. The hospital is found in Awasi village in Arapai sub-county along Soroti – Lira highway, six kilometers away from Soroti town.
Alice Emasu, the Executive Director Fistula hospital, says construction of the Shillings 4.72 billion facility was financed by the International Fistula Alliance.
The Association for the Rehabilitation and Re-orientation of Women for Development-TERREWODE, a local non-governmental organization spearheaded the establishment of the fistula hospital in Uganda.
TERROWODE has been leading advocacy and fundraising for the treatment of women affected by fistula in Teso and across the country.
Emasu said the establishment of the hospital is a welcome development because fistula has far reaching effects on its victims.
“Obstetric fistula is a dilapidating condition that may maim a woman for life, sometimes leaving her incapacitated to give birth again,” Emasu said.
Health State Minister, Sarah Opendi, said 2000 new fistula cases occur in Uganda each year.
Between 5,000 to 10,000 women and girls are affected by fistula globally each year, according to World Health Organization.
“While the World Health Organization estimates that 2 million women and girls live with untreated fistula in Asia and Sub Saharan Africa, Uganda has about 75,000 to 100,000 women and girls with obstetric fistula,” Opendi said.
Adding that, “In the last 15 years, with ministry of health’s leadership and guidance, TERREWODE has become a leading organization in social rehabilitation and reintegration of women and girls affected by fistula.”
She noted that despite the support and success, there are still gaps in health service delivery in the country, more so in the area of provision of specialized services to beneficiaries.
“It is therefore timely for TERREWODE to supplement government effort to handle obstetric fistula care in Uganda,” Opendi observed.
Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament, who launched the facility on behalf of president, Yoweri Museveni, warned young girls against leading reckless lives that can lead them to get fistula.
She noted that the country lacks sufficient resources to tackle various challenges, which makes it appropriate that each citizen plays their role.
22-year-old Emma Chemitai, a resident of Kween district is one of the mothers admitted at the Fistula Hospital in Soroti district.
She told our reporter that despite undergoing surgery two times, she hadn’t fully recovered.
Chemitai noted that she was admitted at the hospital on July 28th, 2019 after getting continuous flow of feces.
Fistula is an abnormal connection or passageway that connects two organs or vessels that do not usually connect.
They can develop anywhere between an intestine and the skin, between the vagina and the rectum, and other places.