Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Saturday called for the need to intensify ongoing efforts to end obstetric fistula even as the country is battling with COVID-19 pandemic.
Margaret said although Kenya has in the past couple of years registered encouraging decline in maternal mortality, pregnancy-related complications such as obstetric fistula and other morbidities continue to be a public health concern.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic period when health concerns have been prioritized to fight the pandemic, our healthcare facilities are not only strained but also disrupted,” she said in a statement on this year’s International Day in Ending Obstetric Fistula being observed globally on Saturday.
Margaret said she has made a firm commitment to champion advocacy in ending obstetric fistula in Kenya by 2030, by creating awareness on prevention and also by encouraging women living with the condition to seek treatment through surgical repair.
“We have supported these women to integrate back into their communities and supported the training of 136 community healthcare workers who are the frontline caregivers for our women and girls,” Margaret said.
Obstetric fistula affects women who lack access to quality obstetric care.
The disease is more prevalent among women living in communities whose cultural practices encourage early marriage and female genital mutilation, both factors increase the risk of prolonged obstructed labor leading to the condition.