FREETOWN, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Sierra Leone's health authorities on Monday said the country has recorded over 2,600 obstetric fistula cases, a type of childbirth injury for women, since 2020.
Obstetric fistula is preventable through the provision of quality care at birth and most cases can be repaired surgically, said Francis Moses, a health expert of Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation, at a commemoration of the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula that falls on Monday.
But women with obstetric fistula who don't have access to timely and high-quality medical treatment often develop chronic medical problems, warned the expert, adding that it is most common in developing countries with weak and overburdened health systems.
Sibeso Mululuma, deputy representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Sierra Leone, said Sierra Leone is one of the 50 countries participating in a campaign to end obstetric fistula in three key areas, namely prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and reintegration.
Sierra Leone still faces multiple challenges such as a lack of accurate data and a systematic program to identify and treat patients, adding the target to end obstetric fistula can only be achieved with concerted effort, said Tom Sesay, director of reproductive and child health in the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation.