A church-run hospital in Wau town of Western Bahr el Ghazal State has successfully operated 35 fistula patients.
The operation followed fistula awareness campaigns by the Daniel Comboni Hospital and the national ministry of health two weeks ago.
Some of the treated patients told Eye Radio, they had lived with the condition for many years, despite undergoing several operations.
Martha (not her real name), is one of the victims who has been treated for fistula.
“I have five years without operation but now am feeling better, and I know am now like never before, my sister used to tell me to be patience and keeps praying God that I will finally get recover,” she said.
Another woman, Joy (not her real name) said she suffered from the condition for about 20 years despite a couple of operations outside the country.
“It started in 1998 when I delivered a child and I was referred to Lokichokiyo in Kenya, but nothing was achieved,” she said.
“I also went to Khartoum and Gogrial but all failed and now I have come to this hospital, I still don’t know if I will be better after this operation.”
The ministry of health estimates that more than 60,000 South Sudanese women suffer from obstetric fistula, a preventable medical condition in which a hole develops between the birth canal and one or more of the woman’s internal organs.
Doctor Jurel Payi, the Director of Wau Catholic hospital said inadequate maternal health care services are to blame for the rise in fistula cases in the country.
He also said most woman can’t afford transportation to access health facilities far from their areas.
“This fistula campaign checks our health care and referral system in the Country, the cases of fistula are persisting and getting higher due to lack of adequate maternal health care,” said Payi.
“Women cannot afford transportation to the health facilities or services of stillbirth attendant like midwife in our primary health care system.”
Meanwhile, Dr. James Ambrose Ucini, the Director-General in the state Ministry of Health, commended the catholic church and medical doctors who offered the charity work.
“My sincerely word of thanks and congratulation for the team who come on the ground to operate a successfully 35 venerable female of fistula operation.”
The United Nations Population Fund says risk factors causing fistula across the country include early and forced marriages, teenage pregnancy, poor health infrastructure and poverty.
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