Medico-social problems of patients with vesico-vaginal fistula in Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano
AbstractBackground: Vesico-vaginal fistula is still a persisting scourge in the developing countries with devastating medical and social consequences. These consequences were studied among patients presenting with VVF at a large referral center in Kano, Northern Nigeria.
Methods: A total of 120 patients with Vesico-vaginal fistula admitted at the VVF centre of the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano were investigated using structured questionnaires to determine their medical and social problems. Additional information on clinical features was obtained from patients' case notes.
Results: Their ages ranged between 10 and 36 years with a median of 16 years. A majority of the patients 87 (72.5%) were between 10-20 years. Most of the patients 98(81.6%) had their first marriage between the ages of 10 – 15 years. Patients were found to suffer from vulval dermatitis, foot drop, amenorrhoea, recurrent urinary tract infections and dysmenorrhoea as main medical problems. Economically they cannot work because they are shunned by the society. They are considered to have brought shame and dishonour to themselves and their families, and where they manage to avoid not being divorced by their husbands they quite often lose any form of support from the husbands.
Conclusion: Special counselling and enlightenment programme on VVF, the need to train more traditional birth attendants and the need to improve referral of women likely to have VVF to facilities that offer emergency obstetric services were recommended.
Keywords: Medico-social problems, vesicovaginal fistula
Annals of African Medicine Vol.2(2) 2003: 54-57