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USAID Family Planning and Obstetrics Project Aids 1,556 VVF Patients in Three Years

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The Momentum Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), reached over 1,566 Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) patients between 2021 and 2024 across Bauchi, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Sokoto, and the Federal Capital Territory.

USAID reported that the project trained more than 350 health workers across 48 hospitals in fistula care, resulting in an 81% success rate for fistula surgeries.

Suegatha Kai Rennie, Director of Health Population and Nutrition at the USAID Mission in Nigeria, shared these statistics during a National Project Dissemination meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday. Rennie highlighted that the project improved access to quality maternal, newborn, and child health services in the five supported states, ensuring long-lasting impact.

Throughout the project, more than 350 health workers were trained in multidisciplinary approaches to fistula care, benefiting over 1,566 clients. The success rate of fistula surgeries reached 81%, and the number of clients receiving rehabilitative and reintegration care doubled. Additionally, over 60 health workers were trained to manage complications from Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), expanding care access for affected women and girls. Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) activities reached over 1.2 million people with critical messages on fistula, FGM/C, and safe surgery.

Rennie emphasized the project’s focus on building the capacity of Nigerian institutions and local organizations to deliver high-quality prevention and treatment of fistula, prevent FGM/C, and mitigate adverse obstetric impacts among women who have experienced FGM/C. USAID also praised the Ministry of Health for raising awareness of fistula in the country through the establishment of the Fistula subcommittee of the National Reproductive Health Technical Working Group.

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Other notable achievements include the co-funding of sensitization programs for fistula desk officers nationwide, developing a comprehensive fistula and cesarean section dashboard on the national Health Management Information System (HMIS), and piloting a fistula patient tracker to ensure comprehensive care for women.

“These interventions have provided valuable insights into the drivers of fistula and established a strong foundation for allocating more resources to eliminate fistula and ensure safe childbirth for all women in Nigeria,” the statement concluded.

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