News / Africa

Surgeons Bring Relief to South Sudan Obstetric Fistula Sufferers

Sudan - South Sudan mapSudan - South Sudan map
x
Sudan - South Sudan map
Sudan - South Sudan map
TEXT SIZE - +
Lucy Poni
— Doctors in South Sudan have wrapped up a two-week campaign to perform reparative surgery on scores of women with obstetric fistula, a condition that causes incontinence and is linked to obstructed labor, a leading cause of maternal mortality.

The corrective operations were offered in three South Sudanese cities -- Wau, Kwajock and Juba. Eighty-six women turned up for operations at Juba Teaching Hospital, including Lilian Pita who underwent her fourth surgery for obstetric fistula.

Pita's operation was a success, and she urged other women to undergo the operation next time it is offered.

“I am now OK. I am happy because there is no urine in my bedding," she told VOA News.

"Before... I felt so sad and everyone would insult me. But now, I am fine. When I go home, the people who were insulting me will now be embarrassed,” she said.

Three women were brought from Yida refugee camp in Unity state, where tens of thousands of people who have fled fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in neighboring Sudan, for the operation. Two of the women underwent surgery, but the third, Neimat Said, was not so lucky.

"They said I should come back in February... I am very angry," she said.

"We will go back but how will I live? I don’t want to go back alone; if possible, I
should be left here until February,” she said.

One of the doctors performing the surgeries, Merghani Abdallah, said some women had to be turned away because of the massive turnout for the operation, and because some of the women need "special operations."

But, he said, "I have just been talking with the person responsible in the United Nations Populations Fund... and there may be another campaign in the beginning of the year."

Officials estimate that more than 60,000 South Sudanese women suffer from obstetric fistula, a preventable medical condition in which a hole develops between the birth canal and one or more of the woman's internal organs.

In the overwhelming majority of cases of obstetric fistula, the condition is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, which is also a leading cause of maternal mortality.

According to the Fistula Foundation, around five percent of all pregnant women worldwide experience obstructed labor, but in developed countries, where emergency obstetric care is available, obstetric fistulae have been almost entirely eliminated.

In developing countries like South Sudan, on the other hand, "where there are few hospitals, few doctors, and poor transportation systems, and where women are not highly valued, obstructed labor often results in death of the mother. When she survives, there is a great likelihood her child will die and she will develop a fistula," the foundation says.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid