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Fistula Week in Garissa: Case Report

Owing to a high prevalence of obstetric fistula in the region, Garissa Provincial Referral Hospital is among the oldest AMREF Obstetric Fistula (OF) partnering site. The region is also among the safe motherhood project site supported by DANIDA for the last three years. The gynaecologist in this site (Dr Elly Odongo) has been doing on-the-job-training in fistula surgery and normally does routine OF surgery of the simple fistula with her refering the complicated ones for further management in Kenyatta National Hospital. Dr Mitei, from Nyanza General Hospital also participated in the camp.

The camp was held on 22-26th March in Garissa PGH. 22 patients were in attendance and hailed mostly from the Dadaab Refugee Camp. The turnout during this camp was 50% lower than the previous camps, attributable to the heavy rains which possibly cut off access to the town for many deserving women. Three VesicoVaginal Fistula (VVF) surgeons, one VVF Nurse and 10 trainee nurses/anaesthetist, doctors participated in the training.

Dr Khisa (seated) in one of the surgery/training session

A VVF trained nurse (right) from Kenyatta Hospital leads the team in record-taking

Drs Khisa (middle), Mitei and a VVF trainee nurse during a ward round

Lessons learnt

  1. There may be need to organise regular fistula camps in Daadab to cater for the big number of women seeking repair in Garissa, which is almost 100Km away.
  2. Mobilisation may be organised in liaison with the government health facility in Dadaab, as well as the lead agencies health clinics and organisations in the three camps (MSF, Care and GTZ).
  3. OF awareness campaigns would be effective and cost efficient ways sensitising the refugee community is in one centralised area.
  4. Pre-surgery counselling sessions would be of great help to those undergoing surgery, and more so the complicated cases so as to prepare the patients psychologically in case of failure or continued incontinence due to other reasons.

To read some of the Garissa patients’ case studies click HERE

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