By Anne Chebet
At least 40 women suffering from Fistula undergo have undergone successful corrective surgery in Bungoma County.
The women were discovered to be having fistula during the ongoing medical camps being conducted across the nine sub counties of Bungoma where all women above 20 years are undergoing screening for fistula, breast and cervical cancer.
Bungoma County governor’s wife Carolyne Wangamati is spearheading the campaign for two weeks.
Ms Wangamati who spoke at Mt Elgon Sub County hospital when he launched the initiative yesterday, said that she launched the campaign after it emerged that cases of women suffering from fistula in the county were on the rise.
“The condition arises from child birth injuries and is more prevalent in rural areas where there is no provision of better healthcare. It is caused by prolonged obstructed labour at child birth, teenage pregnancies, malnutrition and poor medical care,” said Ms Wangamati.
According to Ms. Wangamati, besides conducting the medical camps, they are also enlightening the community on the need to help victims with the condition in a bid to reduce stigma and discrimination.
“The condition makes women unable to control their bowel movements, thus making them uncomfortable to travel for long distances and interact freely with other members of the community,” said Ms Wangamati.
The governor’s wife noted that the only facility which offers fistula screening in the region was the Webuye sub-county hospital, adding that more Fistula treatment centers should be established across the county.
She said screening medical camp will be conducted on a rotational basis across the county for two weeks across all sub county hospitals in Bungoma.
The governor’s wife revealed that her office is in talks with non-governmental institutions so that they can help the county in installing breast and cervical cancer screening machines in all the nine sub county hospitals in a bid to move services closer to the residents.
She said screening will be conducted for free and patients diagnosed with cancer will be helped to get specialised treatment especially if detected early.
“We are negotiating with NGOs like AMPATH to come up with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) so that they can help in the training of medical practitioners to in dealing with cancer cases and also help us with screening machines,” said Ms Wangamati.
Dr. John Omboga (in purple shirt) a fistula surgeon at Gynocare Centre in Kisii that was opened in February this year talks to a patient after a corrective surgery in the facility. Omboga who is among the fistula surgeons trained in the past two years by Fistula Foundation conducts averagely 45 operations every month in the facility. Kenya has currently 10 fully operational fistula surgeons expected to address over 1000 of the 3000 new fistula cases annually