Campaign to End Fistula in Nepal

28 Feb 2012

Introduction: Obstetric fistula is the presence of an opening between a woman’s genital tract and urinary tract or between the genital tract and the rectum due to untreated obstructed labor or iatrogenic causes. This disease is characterized by the leakage of the urine and/or stools through the vagina.

Objective: The general objective of this need assessment is to contribute in decreasing the obstetric fistula related morbidity Nepal by providing strong information that could help in struggle against Obstetric Fistula related morbidity.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 4 health sites in the Republic of Nepal between, November 1rst 2011 and December 16th 2011. Data were collected on the prevention, the management, the social reintegration, the training and the research related obstetric fistula. Standard assessment tool, structured questionnaire for health workers and patient’s interview were used. We have also performed a literature review on obstetric fistula in Nepal. Results: With the MMR of 281/100,000 live birth, it is estimated that there is 200 to 400 new cases of OF in Nepal each year leading to the overall 4300 prevalent cases. Our assessment shows that, obstetric fistula surgery is practiced in three sites with information verifiable on the registers and files. One fourth site is willing to be really involved in struggle against OF. None of the site is dealing with the five pillar of obstetric fistula. Two of three sites have OF surgery in permanent base while one site actually proceeds by camps. Even where surgery is practiced, there is still a need for training, nursing and surgical technical protocol related to obstetric fistula. Struggle against obstetric fistula is not really coordinated at the country and regional level.

Conclusion and recommendations: We recommend elaborating a national strategy of struggle against the obstetric fistulas, to elaborate protocols for care, training tools; organize the struggle against obstetric fistula while founding on the five pillars that are the prevention, management, reintegration, training and operational research. While dealing with the national strategy, it is urgent to empower the facilities really involved in OF surgery and the one committed to start the program.