The Mankesim Fistula Unit, located at the Mercy Women's Catholic Hospital, has received a donation of surgical equipment from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the quality of healthcare for patients suffering from obstetric fistula.
The Unit called for a more reliable funding structure to serve patients with obstetric fistula, citing it as the main issue impeding improvements in the treatment, care, and empowerment of patients.
Obstetric fistula is a debilitating medical condition that occurs during obstructed labour, causing a hole in the birth canal and resulting in the uncontrolled passing of urine and stool.
The donated equipment, estimated at USD 45,000, includes patient monitors with stands, beds, and lockers, trolleys and stainless steel medication trolleys, suction machines and microscopes, and 50 bedsheets.
Dr Wilfred Ochan, the Country Representative of UNFPA, expressed his commitment to supporting the rights and restoring the dignity of all women and girls through the donation of this equipment.
Dr Joseph Berko, a Residence Doctor at the Unit, highlighted that most of the patients were teenagers, people from poor backgrounds, and others not working, who were unable to pay for the surgery themselves.
Madam Rose Mantey, a Principal Nursing Officer at the Hospital, disclosed that the Unit currently had 25 cases on its list but was only able to treat 11 patients last year due to a lack of funds to embark on the surgery.
She called for support from donors to treat patients on time and prevent them from losing their spouses and friends in the communities “due to the stench.”
Dr Ochan applauded the Management and Staff of Mercy Women's Hospital for their contribution to ending the plight of women with obstetric fistula in Ghana and beyond and suggested that the Mankessim Fistula Centre could be supported to be a hub for routine repairs in the country.