EU, UNFPA committed to fight against Fistula in Malawi


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the European Union (EU) have pledged to continue supporting Bwaila Hospital in order to end Obsteric Fistula in the country.

The pledge was made on Monday during the closing ceremony of 2019 Obsteric Fistula Camp which was taking place at Bwaila Hospital in Lilongwe.

Speaking with reporters, UNFPA Deputy Representative to Malawi Masaka Watabe said it is always a happy moment to celebrate the restoration of dignity to women and girls.

Hayes: expressed concern

Watabe added that since the launch of the End Fistula campaign in 2003, UNFPA country office has strengthened its support for the Government’s Fistula programme which covers prevention, treatment and social integration

“So far, UNFPA has directly supported over 2,000 women and girls with Fistula repair surgery and enabled many more to receive care and treatment, however  there is still much to be done,” he explained.

According to Watabe, UNFPA and Bwaila have trained over 70 service providers and treated over 400 women with Fistula and within the 2019 campaign period 40 women with complicated Fistula cases have been successfully repaired by international experts.

On his part, European Union delegation to Malawi Odran Hayes expressed concern over the increase of teenage patients prohibiting the girls from enjoying human rights including sexual and reproductive health rights.

He then said there is need for government and other stakeholders to join hands in providing comprehensive information to young girls to delay pregnancy by using modern contraceptives.

In response, Lilongwe District Health Officer Alinafe Mbewe commended the Organizations for the support Rendered towards the initiative.

Mbewe therefore urged the former patients to continue following medical advice to avoid having similar injury.

She also encouraged young girls to go back to school after giving birth as one way of reducing the problem.

In her testimony, Hawa Fred aged 23 from Machinga district said she has been repaired four times since she had her 1st baby in 2013.

She thanked Bwaila Hospital for the initiative of “Chipatala chapafoni” where she got the message and access to medication.

Hawa therefore asked the Hospital and other partners to continue with the medical support to Fistula patients.

During the ceremony, international partners in collaboration with Bwaila Fistula Service providers visited Fistula wards to appreciate how serious the disease is at the hospital.