The World Food Programme (WFP) has joined forces with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in a bid to end Obstetric Fastula, a pregnancy and child birth complication where a woman or girl develops a hole between the vagina and bladder.
The food commodities provided by WFP to survivors of Obstetric Fastula, who are housed at Chinhoyi Hospital will help boost the women’s nutrition before and after undergoing corrective surgery.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Chinhoyi yesterday WFP Zimbabwe Country Director and Representative, Mr. Eddie Rowe said his organisation is committed to ensure that women affected by Obstetric Fistula access the nutrition they need.
“The World Food Programme is committed to supporting vulnerable groups of women and girls access the right to adequate health and nutrition. Together with UNFPA and the government, not only do we want to give these women and girls their lives back, we want to help make them better.
“This food donation is part of our broader work in strengthening nutrition in maternity waiting homes and reproductive health services in Zimbabwe,” said Mr. Rowe.
In a bid to support women affected by Obstetric Fistula to achieve nutrition, WFP provided cereals, pulses and vegetable oil to boost women’s nutrition and health as they prepare for the operation, and as they recover from it. The commodities will also help the hospital cater for fistula patients undergoing corrective surgery who are normally admitted after surgery for the period they are at the hospital.
UNFPA country representative, Mr. Cheikh Tidiane Cisse applauded the gesture by WFP saying the donation will go long way in restoring the dignity of women and girls who have suffered the hardships of obstetric fistula.
“We would like to express sincere gratitude to the World Food Programme for such a great contribution to a great cause where we are restoring the dignity, respect and health of women and girls,” he said.
He added that UNFPA will continue seeking strategic partnerships to reach women and girls with quality interventions.
The campaign to end Obstetric Fistula in the country began seven years ago with financial support from UNFPA. Statistics reveal that for every one maternal death, another 20-50 women suffer severe morbidities such as fistula.
Since its inception the campaign to End Obstetric Fistula has seen a total of 145 women being successfully repaired, with 60 more women currently undergoing operation.