Women battling VVF express relief after surgeries in Jos

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From Gyang Bere, Jos

Some indigent women abandoned in communities in Northern Nigeria battling the scourge of Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) have gotten relief following successful surgical operations at Evangel VVF Centre, Jos, Plateau State.

The women who converged at the ECWA Evangel VVF Centre, Jos on Saturday for the 30th Annual VVF reunion anniversary celebration, sang and danced as they were accepted back into their communities.

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The women, who took turns to narrate their chilling experience of how they contacted the disease and the manner of discrimination they suffered in the hands of the spouses and members of their communities, expressed joy for coming out of the hopeless condition.

Mrs Tabitha Monday, who has undergone surgery for more than five times without relief expressed gratitude to God for rescuing her life during the last surgery.

‘I have suffered humiliation and isolation from my family and community people due to this condition but I thank God that the last surgery was successful at Evangel VVF Centre, Jos after passing throughout several surgeries,’ Tabitha said.

Tabitha said the doctors have brought her traumatic condition under control as she is free from constant urination.

Mrs Lot Dorcas Kafa re-echoed the position of Mrs Tabitha, saying: ‘I suffered prejudice because of the condition I found myself. I am ashamed whenever I meet with people.

‘But to the glory of God when I came to VVF centre here in Jos, having received treatment for what I am passing through I got heal. I want to use this medium to appreciate God, the management of VVF and encourage other women to always have faith in God.’

The Coordinator of Fistula Foundation (VVF) Centre, Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Prof Sunday Lengmang, said the centre is working assiduously towards the elimination of Fistula in Plateau and North Central.

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Lengmang said the Centre will commenced work with the grant it secured for 2022 to 2023 between April to 31 of March, 2023.

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‘We intend to have closer work with Government and all the 17 Local Government in Plateau State with their primary healthcare leaders and also with primary healthcare clinics at different communities in Local Government Areas so that we can reach out to the communities most closely to get the patients as soon as possible to salvage them from divorced.’

He said: ‘At 30th anniversary, we have come a long way and 30 is the gold, we have just few patients. At the first reunion we have just less than hundred women but now we have about three hundred women attending.

‘Currently, we do all kinds of surgeries and right now, we do not only take care of simple VVF but we also take care of very complex VVF cases

‘We now provide surgeries for patients that have incurable vesico-vaginal fistula. We have now developed newer strategies and techniques in surgery that would be able to take care of most of the patients. We now provide all kinds of vaginal surgeries for the women that have blockage of vagina as a result of complications.

‘We are the only center that now provide the sigmoid vagina surgery for such category of patients. As a result we have referral all over the country and even outside the country. We have our donors that are supporting all the works that we have been doing here in Jos that is the (fistula foundation).’

Lengmang further explained that there are numerous causes of vesico-vaginal fistula but the major one is the prolonged obstructed labor.

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) Bingham University Teaching, Prof Stephen Anzaku, applauded Lengmang and his team for paying adequate attention to the patients and urged them to maintained the tempo.

Dr Ene George, one of the VVF Centre International partners, pledged their continue partnership with the management to eliminate dangerous fistula disease that has caused uncertainty for women and their households.

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