Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Plight of Fistula in Angola

Report from Dr. Nicholas Comninellis; visiting doctor to CEML.
One of the saddest health problems in all the developing world is vesicovaginal fistula (VVF). It’s a hole created between a woman’s bladder and her vagina, resulting in a constant, uncontrollable flow of urine out the vagina. As a result, many these women - and often children under their care - are outcast by their husbands and their communities.

At CEML, Dr. Steve Foster is performing the necessary, but often complicated surgical repair for a large number of women. But how about prevention? VVF is caused by complications of the normal birthing process. When the baby descends too slowly, undue pressure is placed on the mother’s bladder by the baby’s head, resulting in death of that tissue, and a subsequent hole. The solution? In short, provision of modern obstetrical care, where failure of the natural birth process is diagnosed and treated immediately.

While providing this vital surgery to many Angolan women afflicted with this malady, CEML is also commited to training midwives in efforts to improve the healthcare of birthing mothers.

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