A professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Professor Munirdeen Ijaiya has revealed inventing a surgical procedure for the treatment of Vesico Vaginal Fistula.
He made this known in his paper presented at the 243rd Inaugural Lecture entitled ‘The Leaking Pipes as Avoidable Tragedy of Womanhood; The Odyssey of a Fistula Surgeon’ in the institution on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that VVF is a childbirth complication that causes an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder and the vagina, and which allows the continuous, involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault.
The condition represents significant morbidity in female urology, with continual wetness, odour and discomfort, causing serious social problems.
The UNILORIN don, who teaches in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences of the institution said the treatment procedure invention is named ‘M. Ijaiya’s Technique’.
According to him, the technique treats a rare and difficult juxta cervical VVF involving the anterior lip of the cervix where the posterior lip of the cervix is used for fistula closure.
He said, “Over time, I have perfected the skill of fistula repair, as evidenced by a marked reduction in surgery time and a near 100 per cent success rate in recent years, irrespective of the complexity of the fistula.
“Obstetrics Fistula or VVF is an abnormal connection between the vagina and urinary bladder or between the vagina and rectum.
“This may develop after prolonged obstructed labour and complications, which leads to continuous urinary or faecal leakage.
“OF is as old as womanhood; it dates back from antiquity, while the cause is related to procreation.”
Ijaiya revealed that reports indicated that an estimated 150,000 Nigerian women live with VVF, and 12,000 new cases occur annually.
He added that available data also reveals that the disease is prevalent in the Northern part of the country, as well as Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi in the Southern part.
“The social class of women, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, the availability and the strong cultural opposition to caesarean deliveries are some of the determinants,” he added.
The expert lamented that most patients suffer from unnecessary and avoidable psychological complications such as loss of self-esteem, divorce, or separation and depression.
“The patient’s husband and sometimes their families desert them because the continuous urine leakage and odour make them socially unacceptable.
“It is believed that they have brought shame and dishonour to their families, therefore, they are shunned by society and eventually become social outcasts.
“In spite of successful fistula repair, some patients cannot enjoy a happy married life because of painful sex.”
Ijaiya, therefore, appealed to the government to make fistula repair services accessible, free or affordable as many of them are indigent.
He advocated for organised outreach surgeries where fistula surgeons and obstetrics fistula cases would be pooled to reduce the cases.
He added that corporate bodies, NGOs, universities, teaching hospitals and individuals could provide support for the pool effort of fistula repair.