Success stories from the comprehensive and inclusive women’s health project in Nigeria

Stories | March 2, 2021

CBM has a long history of working on the specific needs of women around the world. On International Women’s Day, 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. This project provides women and girls with access to quality prevention and management for obstetric fistula. It does this by building capacity of local health workers and empowering women and girls through increased understanding of their reproductive health and rights.

The project aims to support the needs of more than 1,000 women and young girls living with obstetric fistula across the project locations in Nigeria.

Maimunat Tijani is one of the project’s beneficiaries. After a long and difficult labour, she was diagnosed with fistula. Unable to pay for the surgery and after other treatments failed, Maimunat felt she was running out of options. A healthcare professional referred her to the project and she 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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