Parliament and Ugandans in diaspora are concluding arrangements to build the first ever fistula hospital in Africa.
The specialized hospital to treat the increasing number of women with fistula is going to be built in the eastern district of Soroti according to the revelations by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga who is currently in Florida, United States for Uganda North American Convention.
“In Kampala there are people who don’t understand our work and complain about us (legislators) coming to UNAA. We have been working with partners since 2013 and we are going to build a fistula hospital in Soroti,” she said adding that “over a million dollars has been raised and all this is coming out of the work of UNAA and the Uganda Parliament.”
Kadaga said the facility to be named Terrewode Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, is also going to serve as a centre of excellence and a demonstration facility for surgical training programmes that will offer psychosocial rehabilitation for fistula survivors.
The Speaker expounded that if fistula is not well managed, it leads to death during childbirth.
She said fistula is shrouded in stigma and most of the sufferers are isolated by the community.
According to UNFPA, Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries. It is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labour, without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment or a caesarean section. It leaves women leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems.
“Recently, I saw a man who has been with his wife who had fistula for 18 years. I nominated this man for an award of a hero because if he could look after his wife for 18 years, without abandoning her, he is a hero in the year of the family in Uganda,” Kadaga said.
It is hoped that the Terrewode Hospital will increase the number of surgeries to 1,000 per year, almost double Uganda’s current treatment capacity. Currently, a surgical operation to treat fistula is estimated at Shs 2 million.
Besides offering cutting-edge treatment to sufferers, the hospital will rebuild the lives of fistula survivors through counselling, health education and training in income generating activities.