Cameroon will join the rest of the globe to commemorate the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula come May 23, one of the most serious and tragic childbirth injuries hundreds of thousands of women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, and Latin America and the Caribbean are living with.
A hole between the birth canal and bladder and/or rectum, it is caused by prolonged, obstructed labor without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment.
According to health experts, the fight to end obstetric fistula could be threatened by the current pandemic of COVID-19.
The injury can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care.
Unfortunately, the current pandemic affects all these preventive measures in developing countries where obstetric fistula still exists – countries in which health care systems, even before the coronavirus outbreak, failed to provide accessible, quality maternal health care.