Access Bank Ghana launched a campaign to fight against obstetric fistula and help create awareness about the condition among women in the country. As part of this outreach, Access Bank contributed US$70,000 in repair surgery costs for 100 patients.

The amount is the initial commitment of the bank in its partnership with Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital, Mankessim, to treat fight fistula and eradicating its related stigmatisation in the sub-region.

Managing Director (MD) of Access Bank, Mr. Ifeanyi Njoku, said the initiative was a key development focus of the bank as they set themselves to empower women.

Mr. Njoku noted that despite efforts by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) campaign to end the condition, the country was still overwhelmed as the number of cases had not been reducing. The Health Ministry estimates that over 1,300 new cases of women with obstetric fistula are recorded annually.

Mr. Njoku called on Ghanaians to embrace the campaign by intensifying public education, especially on stigmatising women suffering from obstetric fistula since it was no fault of theirs.

That, he said, would save women the pain they went through, both physical and psychological, when they had the condition.

An Obstetrician at Mercy Women’s Catholic Hospital, Dr Osei Berko, explained that obstetric fistula was a medical condition where an opening developed between one canal and another causing an uncontrolled flow of faeces and urine from the genitals of affected women.

Dr. Osei Berko identified prolonged or obstructed labour, sexual abuse and rape, surgical trauma, gynaecological cancer or other related radiotherapy treatment and limited or no access to obstetrical care or emergency services as potential direct causes of the condition.

Credits: graphic.com.gh | Daniel O. Dwamena