The Zimbabwean government has selected Chinhoyi General Hospital as a center of excellence in obstetric fistula operations following successful medical procedures on 129 women, who sought help at the Mashonaland West health facility.
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa, who has been touring various health centers, said the hospital was selected as a result of its excellent reputation of carrying out obstetric fistula operations.
Dr. Parirenyatwa said United Bulawayo Hospitals in Matabeleland region is set to be accorded the same status.
Some international and local medical practitioners have been carrying out the obstetric fistula operations, designed to rectify women's injuries sustained when giving birth.
Dr. Parirenyatwa noted that there was need to mobilize resources to ensure that most poor women benefited from free surgeries.
United Nations Population Fund country representative, Dr. Cheikh Cisse Tidiane, who visited Chinhoyi Hospital with Dr. Parirenyatwa, said more than 500 women are on the fistula operations waiting list.
Dr. Tidiane said he was happy to see women who have lived with injuries for many years receiving free surgeries.
Joy, sheer joy, and nothing else was written all over the faces of some Zimbabwean women who recently underwent successful obstetric fistula operations at Chinhoyi General Hospital.
So far this year, 28 women have benefited from the program that seeks to correct a situation most of these women have lived with for as many as 20 years.
One of the beneficiaries of the operations. (Photo: Arthur Chigoriwa)
One of the beneficiaries Bliss Fambira from Nyamweda communal lands in Mhondoro said she developed difficulties in passing urine in 2010 after giving birth to her first child.
Fambira urged women with child birth scares to seek medical attention.
“If there is someone suffering from this condition she should not be shy to share what she is facing with others because from such discussions one can find someone who is aware of organizations that help women in this condition.”
Another woman, who only wanted to be identified as Chipo of Honde Valley in Manicaland province, had her family torn apart when she sustained injuries when giving birth 12 years ago.
Chipo said her husband left the matrimonial home saying he could not stand the putrid stench emanating from her urinal system.
“Every time we went to bed my husband always told me that I was stinking. He said the smell was emanating from my damaged urinary system.”
Women Health Alliance International coordinator, Fortune Mabhande, said their main objective in Zimbabwe is to end obstetric fistula.
Mabhande said the obstetric fistula operation program is also designed to impart skills to local doctors.
Women and Health Alliance International is working in conjunction with Chinhoyi General Hospital, the Ministry of Health and partners from the United Nations in tackling obstetric fistula in Zimbabwe.