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23rd of May is observed as International Day to end Obstetric Fistula

KARACHI: Obstetric Fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries.

What exactly is Obstetric Fistula: A hole between the birth canal and bladder and/or rectum, it is caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. It leaves women with incontinence problems, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.

Obstetric Fistula is preventable: It can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care.

COVID-19:  More women and girls will be at risk of Obstetric Fistula due to overburdened health systems. In addition, fistula repairs have widely been suspended as they are deemed to be non-urgent and hospitals have diverted resources to care for patients with COVID-19.

Child Marriages: 13 million more child marriages will take place by 2030. Families are more likely to marry off daughters to alleviate the perceived burden of caring for them, especially in the anticipated economic fallout of the pandemic.

Awareness: Due to all these reasons an increase in cases might occur and new strategies will be required in the post-COVID-19 recovery period to address the expected backlog of cases. International Day to End Obstetric Fistula must be used to augment awareness and intensify actions towards ending Obstetric Fistula.

In Pakistan Provincial Health Minister renewed pledge to end Obstetric Fistula through special focus on mother and child health. In her message on the ‘International day to end Obstetric Fistula’ She said that Obstetric Fistula was most devastating medical injuries that effect both physical and mental health of women. She said it should not left to the fates as to who survives and who suffers such a grievous injury: “Everyone deserves a life of dignity, and this day served as a reminder that we cannot ignore such a promise,” she said. | YouTube Channel

Dr. Iffet Sultana

Prof. Dr. Iffet Sultana PhD (Education), IQRA University, M.Phil. (Environmental Education) IQRA University, Master’s in Educational Administration & Management (University of Karachi). Dr. Iffet Sultana has been associated with IQRA University as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management Sciences, Department of Business Administration since 2013. Her PhD Thesis is on “Girls’ Access & Equity in Primary Education in the Slum Areas of Karachi”. In the past, she has worked for the Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan. She has presented numerous research papers in National and International Conferences. Her areas of special interest are Girls’ Education, Inclusive Education, Environmental Education and Gender Studies. She has been actively teaching and stimulating student’s interest in Social Science and Developmental Sciences Subjects including Education, Sociology, Psychology & other Contemporary Subjects. Dr. Sultana is also associated with various NGOs in the capacity of Consultant. Writes for News as Contributing Editor (particularly focusing on the UN International Days.)