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MOH, UNFPA Train Fistula Survivors In Bong
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, February 6 (LINA) - The Liberia Fistula Project at the Ministry of Health with support from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) has graduated 13 fistula survivors from the Fistula Rehabilitation and Reintegration Center at the Phebe Hospital in Bong County.
The project is part of the MOH/UNFPA program to prepare fistula survivors who have been treated for social reintegration into the society.
The women and girls who were all treated for obstetric fistula, received training in cosmetology, pastry, tailoring and soap-making.
According to a press release, obstetric fistula is a hole between the female organ and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both.
Serving as keynote speaker during the program, Resident Doctor Abraham Jawara said it was “a great injustice to women to experience a condition that has almost been eliminated from the developed world.”
“The Government of Liberia has the responsibility to ensure that women are saved during childbirth by providing better health services for them;” he said.
Dr. Jawara said maternal health is a key indicator to an effective health system, and as such all must be done to improve the sector, especially by training skilled birth attendants.
He stressed the need for the training of birth attendants and appropriate family planning services to prevent obstetric fistula.
Also speaking at the program, UNFPA-Liberia Assistant Representative Dr. Philderald Pratt called for a collaborative effort to end fistula in Liberia.
According to him, UNFPA has led a global effort to eliminate obstetric fistula since 2003, noting that much has been done in this direction.
However, he said there are challenges that must be addressed in order to eradicate obstetric fistula in Liberia.
For her part, Madam Lorpu Sherman, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Health, said the Ministry is working assiduously to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Liberia.
Madam Sherman said it is important for health workers to ensure that every pregnant woman who goes to give birth at a health center comes out alive along with the child.
She stressed that giving birth is not a curse, and hence no woman should die in the process.
During the program, each of the graduates received starter-kits in accordance with the skills acquired.