Community misconception about the aetiopathogenesis and treatment of vesicovaginal fistula in northern Nigeria

  • AJ Umoiyoho
  • EC Inyang-Etoh
Keywords: Vesicovaginal fistula, cause, treatment, misconception, Nigeria.


Background: The increasing incidence of obstetric vesicovaginal fistula (OVVF) in Nigeria has justified the need for continued exploration of ways to prevent the occurrence of this debilitating maternal morbidity. Aim: The study set out to gain insight into the rural people’s perception about the cause and treatment of obstetric fistula using focus-group discussions. Materials and Methods: A series of focusgroup discussion sessions were held with the local people of obstetric fistulaprevalent areas of northern Nigeria during a medical outreach. Results: Most (74.9%) of the participants had no formal education, while the majority (62.0%) of them were married at the time of the study. Most of the healthy females and a few male participants believed OVVF was a punishment from the gods to affected women for their infidelity. The majority of the men believed VVF resulted from unforeseen natural forces during childbirth. The majority of the women with obstetric fistula believed their condition either resulted from the effect of a poison from the skull bone of the dead macerated fetus that they were delivered of or from the manipulation of the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) while trying to deliver the dead fetus from their birth canal. On the possible treatment for VVF, the majority of the men in the study population and a few healthy women believed VVF had no cure. All the women awaiting repair of their VVF believed the condition could be corrected in the hospital. A few of the healthy women posited that OVVF could be treated with herbal products by experienced TBAs. Conclusion: There is a high level of misconception about the aetiopathogenesis of OVVF in rural areas of northern Nigeria. This calls for continued enlightenment of the populace on the cause and treatment of obstetric vesicovaginal fistula. Keywords: Vesicovaginal fistula, cause, treatment, misconception, Nigeria.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2315-5019
print ISSN: 2277-0941