First Lady Margaret Kenyatta calls for sustained efforts to end fistula

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 00:00 |
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (centre) interacts with patients during a tour of the Specialised Reproductive Health Clinic 66 during the commemoration of the international Day to End Obstetric Fistula at Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo/PSCU

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called for sustained efforts to end fistula, saying any woman suffering from the condition should be treated promptly.

Pledging her continued support for the global campaign to end fistula, she emphasised the need to step up measures aimed at ensuring new cases.

“I remain committed to supporting the aspirations of the global campaign to end Fistula. I will continue to lend my voice and support for increased investment to restore the dignity of women and girls,” the First Lady said.

She added: “Collectively, we can create awareness, lobby for and put in place supportive measures to strengthen the capacity of our health systems to offer more treatment and surgical repairs as well as training of more doctors.”

The First Lady was speaking yesterday at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi where she visited patients who benefitted from free fistula surgeries as part of activities to commemorate the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.

“This morning, I was deeply touched by the opportunity to meet women who have recently undergone surgical repairs. I met women who have come all the way from Kitui, Baringo, Laikipia, Nakuru, Marsabit, Homa Bay and Nairobi,” the First Lady said.

The surgeries were performed during the ongoing fistula camp organised by KNH that started on 17 May and runs up to May 28.

She said the theme of this year’s International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, Women’s rights are human rights! End Fistula now, is a reminder that women and girls still face many injustices.

She said the theme compels governments and people everywhere to listen and reflect on the injustices that women continue to face.

“We are reminded that women are prime targets of forms of stigma and abuse and that we will never fully gain our dignity until our collective rights are respected and protected,” the First Lady said.

At the same time, she decried rising cases of teenage pregnancies and gender violence, saying the two vices are eroding gains made towards ending fistula.

While applauding the National Hospital Insurance Fund for including obstetric fistula in its health packages, the First Lady noted that there was still a backlog of nearly 1,000 cases of women living with fistula awaiting surgery.

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