Tuesday, 02 Mar 2021
International Women’s Day 2021: Success Stories from the Comprehensive and Inclusive Women’s Health Project in Nigeria
CBM has a long history of working on the specific needs of women around the world. On International Women’s Day (March 8th) this year, we want to celebrate some of the success stories from projects we have supported.
One area of women’s health that we have been active in is in addressing Obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula is a growing public health concern that affects more than two million women globally, mostly in Africa and Asia. In Nigeria, the prevalence of obstetric fistula is fuelled by the existence of socio-cultural beliefs and practices, low socio-economic status of women, and the under-resourced health system. For this reason, Nigeria is often listed among the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world for a woman to give birth.
Currently, new cases of obstetric fistula occur faster than the treatment of the existing ones resulting to a huge backlog of women who need fistula surgery. Women waiting for surgery experience long waits due to limited resources and a lack of capacity for quality fistula care, since few hospitals can provide treatment for these patients and few health professionals have the ability to treat fistula.
For this reason, CBM has supported the Comprehensive and Inclusive Women’s Health project in Nigeria designed to improve access of women and girls to quality prevention and management for obstetric fistula through building capacity of local health workers and empower women and girls through increased understanding of their reproductive health and rights
The project aims to support the needs of more 1000 women and young girls living with obstetric fistula across the project locations in Nigeria. Maimunat Tijani is one of the beneficiaries of fistula surgery in the project. After a long and difficult labour, she was diagnosed with fistula. Unable to pay for the surgery and other treatments failing, Maimunat felt she was running out of options. She was identified for support from the project by a healthcare professional and received surgery in August 2020. Now, Maimunat has recovered and is back to herself saying, “May God bless you people for the work you did for me. Now I am OK, I am not passing through anything (problem) anymore; I am so happy. I am already gaining weight after the surgery.”
CBM is proud to support women like Maimunat, and wishes her a happy International Women’s Day!
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