International Day to End Obstetric Fistula - 23 May.

On May 23, is the aric Fistula, Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal that can develop when a woman experiences prolonged, obstructed labor without medical intervention. It is a devastating childbirth injury that can cause lifelong physical and social problems for women.

The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula aims to raise awareness about this preventable and treatable condition and to mobilize support for affected women. The day provides an opportunity to advocate for increased investment in maternal healthcare, access to quality obstetric care, and the eradication of obstetric fistula.

History  of International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

The International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was first observed on May 23rd, 2013. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness about obstetric fistula and to promote actions towards its prevention, treatment, and eventual elimination.

The resolution to establish the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was co-sponsored by more than 100 countries and received unanimous support from the UN General Assembly. The date of May 23rd was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the Campaign to End Fistula, which was launched in 2003 by the UNFPA and its partners.

About the Obstetric fistula

Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury that occurs when prolonged, obstructed labor without access to timely medical intervention causes a hole or tear between the birth canal and the rectum or bladder of a woman. It is primarily a consequence of inadequate healthcare services, particularly in low-resource settings.

Ending obstetric fistula by 2030

2020 marked the count-down towards the goal of ending the problem of obstetric fistula by 2030, according to the last report of the Secretary General.  

Obstetric fistula is preventable; it can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care.

Besides, it is expected that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have otherwise. Families are more likely to marry off daughters to alleviate the perceived burden of caring for them, especially in the anticipated economic fallout of the pandemic.

Due to all these reasons an increase in cases might occur and new strategies will be required in the post-COVID-19 recovery period to address the expected backlog of cases.

With this possible future scenario of preventive measures in danger, now more than ever, it is important to call on the international community to use the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula to significantly raise awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula, as well as urging post-surgery follow-up and tracking of fistula patients.

The theme for the international day this year is “20 years on – progress but not enough! Act now to end fistula by 2030 !”.

Source: www.un.org


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