The ongoing Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) Programme which has targeted 10,150 Surgeries as part of the Better Health For All Project of the Federal Government received a boost on Saturday as the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons (ISOFS) partnered with the programme to begin free surgeries for people with the Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) condition.
The Minister was part of an operation to repair theVesico Vaginal Fistula cases at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja . The Society which has repaired 50 fistula cases so far also carried out this operation in 4 other cities in the country including; Ibadan, Katsina, Minna and Abakaliki.
The Minister of Health,Prof.Isaac Adewole during an interview with Journalists at the Federal Medical Centre in Abuja at the weekend explained that the RRI Programme was borne out of the need to respond to the critical need of the people and deliver on the mandate of promoting health with focus on access, affordability and demand.
The Minister remarked that he was delighted to flag-off the repair of Obstetric Fistula access through the Better for All Programme, a RapidResults Initiative(RRI) in collaboration with the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons.
He stressed that the initiative was borne out of President Buhari’s administration’s commitment to produce quick and visible impact that will affect the lives of every Nigerian most especially the most vulnerable and the under-privileged in the society.
Prof.Adewole assured that his Ministry will continue to work with the Society as well as the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to educate Nigerians that Obstetric Fistula is preventable and treatable that the Ministry would not rest on its oars to train more personnel on how to carry out the Fistula repair.
VVF is an abnormal opening created between the urinary system and the vagina of a woman usually after a prolongedlabour that is not attended by skilled personnel.
Earlier,Prof.Ogadosy Ojengbede the in-coming President of the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons said that the project was a demonstration of the commitment and passion of the Federal government of Nigeria towards the plight of the people.
He reckoned that women suffering from Fistula faced challenges in accessing treatment adding that with the commencement of this project,the poor and the vulnerable who hitherto could not afford the fistula treatment can beam with smiles.
‘’This Initiative is a step in the right direction. RRI is an overall agenda of the Federal Ministry of Health to conduct about 1000 surgeries on women suffering from fistula,’’ he said.
He stressed that mobilizing the global community to support government initiative is of paramount importance adding that religion and traditional institutions have critical role to play in mobilizing support for government initiative.
Dr.Ojengbede disclosed that there are three specialized centres approved by the International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetrics to train more people on how to carry out fistula surgery in the country, adding that the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan is a global training centre.
Also speaking, Dr,HabibSadauki, the Country Project Manager of Fistula Care Plus Project under Engender Health (DFID funded project) who also participated in the surgery said that the fistula care project was geared towards getting sustainability on the fistula repair project and getting the government directly involved to provide funds and commitment to ensure that the problem of fistula was addressed in Nigeria.
The Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre,Abuja,Dr. Chinwe Igwillo expressed optimism saying that she was happy to have professional gynecologists who participated in the surgery and have agreed to train more people on Fistula treatment at training centres located in the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan and National Obstetric Fistula Centre,Abakaliki,Ebonyi State.