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Field visit – Jahun #Part II

VVF Ceremony in Jahun General Hospital. Photo by Maro Verli. April 2018 part2

VVF Ceremony in Jahun General Hospital. Photo by Maro Verli. April 2018 part2

They call it ‘Jahun paradise’ and I never got why and how this started until my recent last visit. Jahun is a city in the southern Nigeria where MSF runs a maternity, neonatal and an obstetric fistula unit at the Ministry of Health General Hospital. Yes, I know… I also didn’t understand when I arrived what are all these and why MSF needs to intervene. It’s not an emergency situation! Well… let’s see.

#Story 2

‘There are 120 women that are coming to attend the Vesicovaginal Fistula ceremony (VVF),  and most of them will come from the previous day as they need to travel many hours. They live far’, said Nik, the Head Nurse in Jahun Hospital.

But what is that ceremony? I wonder.

 

So, fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that results in leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both. It is an injury during childbirth. This can happen because of several reasons. One reason is the prolonged labour; sometimes women endure labour that lasted three days or more. Another reason is the poor conditions while in labour. And one more is the fact that most of the mothers in this area are under 16 years old. This means that their body is not yet ready for the delivery and thus they are injured during the labour. In Jigawa State, the victims of such serious medical disorder, experience series of trauma from social stigma and isolation, divorce and in some cases rejection by their parents.

Today, the victims of fistula will celebrate the return to a normal life. Most of them have spent months in the hospital during their treatment. They made friends, they became stronger, they found their way in the life and finally, they are ‘DRY’!

 

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