CCBRT, Equinor TZ join hands on fistula treatment in Lindi

THE Dar es Salaam based CCBRT hospital, in collaboration with the office of Lindi Regional Commissioner with support from Equinor Tanzania, will conduct a one-week obstetric fistula surgical camp at Lindi Regional Referral Hospital – Sokoine.

This camp is a result of a partnership between CCBRT, Sokoine Hospital and Equinor Tanzania, whereby Equinor is supporting CCBRT third, fourth and fifth phases with a total of 250,000 US dollars (about 609bn/-), to provide fistula treatment, holistic care and economic empowerment to women and girls suffering from obstetric fistula from Lindi Region.

The first two phases took place from 2019 to 2022, where a total of 57 women with fistula from Lindi Region were treated and provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for health providers at CCBRT and Sokoine Hospital against Covid-19.

Speaking during a press conference held at Lindi Regional Office yesterday, CCBRT’s Manager of Projects, Yohana Kasawala, said, “CCBRT is incredibly grateful to Equinor for their generous support.

“The lives of women suffering from obstetric fistula will improve dramatically with treatment at CCBRT and Sokoine hospitals because of partners like Equinor. We thank you for supporting building awareness and treatment of fistula and economic empowerment of these women after the treatment,” Mr Kasawala said.

Mr Kasawala informed members of the press that early next month, a new class of 12 students will join Mabinti Centre with support from Equinor Tanzania, explaining Mabinti Centre as CCBRT’s project, which trains young women recovering from fistula surgery in screen-printing, sewing, beading and crochet, at the end of their course, each graduate is provided with a starter kit containing a sewing machine, scissors, a supply of fabric and a calculator.

Often these women arrive at CCBRT traumatised, vulnerable and struggling to deal with their experiences and the heart-breaking impact that fistula has had on their lives. So at Mabinti is where further healing happens, it is where women are equipped with the tools to embrace life once again and make positive and empowering changes.

“Once again, we are grateful to our partner Equinor for supporting the training of these women; the Mabinti approach is holistic: Recognising that true healing comes from not only increasing knowledge, confidence and skills but also empowering women with information about their bodies, their health and how to take these lessons back to their communities. Sessions on nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning all contribute to increased well-being,” said Kasawala.

As many as 3,000 Tanzanian women develop obstetric fistula each year, a condition that leaves them incontinent, leaking urine and/or faeces uncontrollably. As a result, they are often excluded from their families and communities.

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