THE Fistula Foundation has donated Covid-19 prevention kits worth USD7500 (17.4m/-) for fistula patients and health services providers in Bugando Zonal Referral Hospital in Mwanza in further efforts to support the government in fight against the epidemic.
The Foundation’s representative, who is also Fistula Services Coordinator in Bugando, Dr Elieza Chibwe, said the items would greatly support the patients, and urged new sick people not to shy away from seeking treatments.
He said since the Foundation started partnering with Bugando in 2018, at least some 150 women suffering from fistula have been served on annual- basis, where each was settled USD325 (752,862/-) for surgery services and transport costs from home to hospital and back.
“Fistula is still a major problem since the Foundation receives not less than 300 patients, but only manages to serve a half of the number. We urge other stakeholders to backup these efforts so as to meet the demand,” he said.
Dr Chibwe also recommended that a budget should be set for continuous awareness campaigns to both health services providers and fistula patients, and mostly educate them on how to manage the disease that is curable if a patient has timely access to medical care.
He stressed that fistula is still a major challenge in the country with about 3,000 cases being recorded every year, but only 1,000 patients are served, adding “It is because many are from poor families with limited financial resources to pay for the medical services.
“At the same time, some have been kept indoors with a poor idea that fistula is a shaming disease.”
On his part, the Hospital’s Director General, Dr Fabian Massaga, expresses his gratitude to the Foundation for the endless support to the patients, saying: “Through this aid… we see how much the Foundation cares for fistula patients and make sure they are also well protected from coronavirus.”