Ruhengeri hospital in the Northern district of Musanze is in a drive to treat fistula patients in association with ministry of health and volunteer doctors from Switzerland.
According to the hospital statistics, they have been able to operate on about forty women this year.
Fistula is a severe medical condition in which a hole develops between either the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina after severe or failed childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available.
Dr. John Karake, the Director of Ruhengeri hospital says that the volunteers are doing the services free of charge and have diagnosed 91 women with the disease. They are also training Rwandan doctors so that they are able to treat the disease in future.
“We have treated a total of 602 cases of Fistula since 2006 to date,” said Dr. Karake.
He however, says that 602 women are those that have been operated from Ruhengeri hospital alone. Women from all over the country are treated in different hospitals like CHUK, Kanombe military hospital, Kibogora and King Faisal referral hospital.
The Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho during her visit to Ruhengeri hospital on February 16 said fistula is a big problem to Rwandan women although there is no study yet showing the exact number of fistula patients.
“What shows that there is a complex fistula problem, is the number of women that lineup for treatment whenever volunteers come here,” said Binagwaho.
According to Dr. Karake, fistula affects women who get complications during child birth whereby the uterus and urine bladder are severed.
“Women who give birth from their homes and those who delay to reach the doctors during labour stand high chances of getting Fistuala labour get fistula,” says Doctor Karake.
Some of the treated patients in Ruhengeri Hospital have been with the disease for over twenty years.