Migori county women have been called upon to go for fistula screening services which are being offered at sub-county hospitals.
According to Kenyatta National Hospital Fistula Nurse, Ms. Beatrice Ogutu, early detection of the condition will help establish the nature of the disease and rectify and restore dignity for the women.
Fistula is a devastating condition that manifests itself as an abnormal communication between the urinary bladder and birth canal, which leads to uncontrolled, continuous leakage of urine or fecal matter.
Ogutu says so far the screening has identified 36 patients with the fistula condition across the county.
Ogutu who is working with the Flying Doctors Society noted that they were in the process of establishing if the 36 patients will undergo a fistula repair or other conservative management treatment modalities like physiotherapy to rectify the condition.
According to the flying doctors Africa report it is estimated that fistula occurrence stands at 3 to 4 women for every 1,000 deliveries in Kenya.
The report also estimated that 3,000 new cases of fistula occur each year in Kenya with only 7.5 percent able to access medical care for the condition, the most affected being women from rural areas.
The medic disclosed that the fistula repair can cost a patient more than sh 300,000 which the majority of Kenyan households cannot afford.
She noted that the amount may even be higher if a patient with a fistula condition has other lifestyle conditions like hypertension and diabetes.
Migori County Medical Superintendent Ian Omuom acknowledged that the County Referral has adequately prepared to receive the fistula patients.
“The hospital management has already adequately prepared the operating theater rooms, wards, and pharmaceuticals for fistula repairs”, said Omuom.
He affirmed that the majority of fistula patients undergo physiological issues because they are mentally depressed by the condition.
He, however, pinpointed that the hospital personnel will counsel the patients and offer guidance before subjecting them to fistula treatment.
Agnes Ochilo, wife to Migori Governor Ochilo Ayacko welcomed the move and encouraged all the women in the county to visit their nearest sub-county hospitals for fistula screening.
The free fistula screening and reconstruction will be concluded on March 3 and supported by partners from the Flying Doctor Society, Safaricom Foundation, and Amref among other local Non-Governmental Organizations.