L-R: The Chief Medical Director of Sobi Specialist Hospital, Doctor Musa Sanni, making his speech; Country Project Manager, Engender Health Fistula Care Plus Project, Chief Iyeme Efem; Commissioner for health Kwara State, Dr. Sulaiman Alege; the State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Alhaji Wasiu Odewale, during the formal opening of the fistula pool effort surgery, at the hospital.
The commissioner for health in Kwara State, Dr Sulaiman Alege, said about N16million was budgeted and already partly released in a bid to eradicate obstetric fistula in the state.
The Commissioner announced this during the formal opening of free fistula repairs organised by the Kwara State Government in conjunction with the EngenderHealth, implementing partners of USAID, held at Kwara State Specialist hospital, Sobi, Kwara state.
He explained that part of the money will be used to support the free fistula repair programs, adding that, the state plans to increase fistula budget line in the Kwara State 2018 supplementary budget which is already in the pipeline.
“Kwara state government is happy working in relationship with EngenderHealth in the area of intervention of fistula in the state. Last year around N10 million was budgeted for fistula in the state. This year, about N16 million has been budgeted for fistula and we have released part of the money.The pool effort is aimed at bringing women with fistula from the various communities in the state for a repair”, he said.
The Commissioner explained that the state is ripe enough to be made a proper fistula centre for the north central region with support from Engender Health Fistula Care Plus Project, and other stakeholders.
In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Alhaji Wasiu Odewale said the state is in the process of reviewing the 2017 appropriation Law and promised further support to the health sector.
Alhaji Odewale assured that the ongoing Supplementary budget process would favour increased in the budget line for fistula repairs.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Ayinke Saka represented by Hajia Aminah Yahya described the fistula repair exercise as women project, saying that women lost dignity as result of stigma against fistula clients.
She enjoined women to attend antenatal care regularly and deliver under the supervision of skilled birth attendants to avoid coming down with fistula.
Earlier in his remarks, the Country Project Manager, Engender Health Fistula Care Plus Project, Chief Iyeme Efem explained that the pooled effort was organised to assist fistula clients to live normal lives.
He showed appreciation for Kwara state for having a fistula desk and being one of the few states that have a budget line for fistula.
Chief Efem said the Project by USAID is supporting a number of hospitals across the country in organising pooled fistula repairs and called for government commitment to sustaining the project.
In his remark, the Chief Medical Director of Sobi Specialist Hospital, Doctor Musa Sanni said the Hospital had managed two hundred fistula cases since the intervention begun in 2011, with the clients from rural communities and neighbouring states of Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Kogi and Lagos.