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Government, UNFPA launch 2023-2030 National Fistula Strategy

Government in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other stakeholders have developed and launched a seven-year National Obstetric Fistula Strategy from 2023 to 2030. 

The document is a blueprint that will guide implementation of the interventions towards fistula with an aim of preventing and ending fistula in Malawi. 

Deputy Minister of Health Halima Daudi said during the launch on Friday in Ntchisi district that the strategy also strives to get more professionals to have the capacity of managing fistula cases in all the district hospitals as well as Central Hospitals in Malawi as part of the universal health coverage.

Daudi holding the strategic plan

“We are all aware that fistula is a condition that develops after child complications. Women and girls are subjected to alot of psychological problems in the society ranging from gender-based violence, stigma and discrimination as well as family problems,” she said adding that fistula is not only a problem for an individual who has it but also the members of the family and community because everyone will be affected one way or another especially on day to day activities.

According to her, obstetric fistula in Malawi is huge especially among the adolescent girls and young women when they become pregnant at an early age.

Daudi therefore said her ministry will continue supporting the fistula program management and rehabilitation to be part and parcel of the policies and strategic interventions for sustainability.

In his remarks, UNFPA Deputy representative, Ezizgeldi Hellenov said together with partners they will continue championing advocacy in ending fistula in Malawi by 2030.

Hellenov: We will continue championing advocacy in ending fistula by 2030

“This will be done by creating awareness on prevention and also by encouraging women living with the condition to seek treatment through surgical repair,” he observed.

Hellenov added that the failure to address obstetric fistula is a human rights failure and the girl or woman affected is doubly violated of her sexual and reproductive rights.

Elimination of obstetric fistula by 2030 demands accelerated action, starting now, he said.

Fistula occurs as result of delays in getting the appropriate emergency obstetric care, delay in seeking medical attention, delay in reaching a health facility and delay to receive skilled care at the facility.

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