Nigerian doctors admit causing obstetric fistulas, injuries to women

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Nigerian gynaecologists have finally admitted that the growing number of obstetric fistula cases (holes developed between the vagina and rectum or bladder) are as a result of surgical errors caused by doctors and healthcare professionals during medical procedures, most often, during caesarean sections (CS).
They conceded to this fact after several hospital-based studies proved that there is now an increase in iatrogenic fistulas, giving rise to more maternal morbidity and mortality.
Some of the studies were explained in a presentation by Prof. Oladosu Ojenbgede, during a ‘hands-on training on VVF repair workshop’ at the 51st annual scientific conference of The Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrician of Nigeria (SOGON) held at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), with support from USAID Fistula Care Plus project.
Dr Olatunji Lawal, who gave the presentation on behalf of Prof. Ojengbede, said a systematic review of articles on fistula done in Nigeria by Ijaiya et al in 2010, in Maiduguri, showed that CS is now among the causes of rising cases of obstetric fistula.
In the study; ‘About 10 per cent of obstetric fistula cases were caused by CS, about 9 per cent were caused by surgical trauma, about 1 per cent by traumatic vaginal laceration from Port Harcourt clinic.
Dr Lawal revealed that at University College Hospital Ibadan (UCH), a 5-year review of obstetric fistula cases was also conducted. “In the studies, about 150 fistula cases were studied, out of these, about 14% were iatrogenic and they had a ureteric injury while about 25% had uretero-cervical-vaginal fistula likely iatrogenic.