United Nations country representative Mia Seppo has called on stakeholders in the health sector to intensify efforts to end obstetric fistula.
She was speaking at Umbwi Secondary School in Dedza, last week during the commemoration of the 2015 International day to end Obstetric Fistula.
Said Seppo: “We particularly call on government and stakeholders to double efforts to address systemic obstacles that prevent women and girls access to quality maternal health services at health facilities.”
According to Seppo, the call is in line with human rights standards for member States to ensure health services are available, accessible, affordable and of high quality.
She, however, said 2015 represents a critical turning point and a transformational moment to place the elimination of preventable maternal and new born deaths and injuries, including fistula, at the forefront of global and national priorities.
Said Seppo: “We reiterate our commitment to work with the government of Malawi, NGOs, CBOs and communities in their efforts to prevent and treat this condition.
“Our collective interventions should be on preventing more women from enduring this devastating injury and empower them to seek and obtain the requisite maternal health services to enable them to live lives of dignity.”
In her remarks, Minister of Health Jean Kalilani said she was optimistic that come September, world leaders will finalise the new post-2015 development agenda. Fistula will be one of the priorities as women and girls strive to be strategically and centrally positioned in a post-2015 developing world.
She said: “Government must commend development partners who are working tirelessly to address the underlying causes of obstetric fistula as well as providing treatment and care for the affected women and girls.”
Obstetric fistula is a public health and human rights issue in Malawi, causing severe disability, discrimination, abandonment and insecurity among women and young girls. It is mostly attributed to lack of access to quality and timely maternal health care and early pregnancies.