Vesico Vaginal Fistula: An Unaddressed, Major Issue in Nigeria
Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), a highly prevalent issue in Nigeria, affects between 400,000 to 800,000 women — particularly young women.
VVF, an abnormal connection between the bladder and the vagina, results from the combination of pregnancy at a young age and complicated labor. Those affected must endure continuous leakage of urine into the vagina.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of the 20,000 new yearly cases go untreated, and Nigeria has the highest number of VVF cases of all countries.
As mentioned, one of the major predisposing factors of VVF is pregnancy at a young age, which is very common in northern Nigeria. Many 11-15 year-old girls become mothers either through early marriage or unwanted pregnancy. This coupled with unskilled birth attendance due to poverty, illiteracy, inadequate knowledge, a husband's restriction of women's movement, or a lack of transportation increases the risk of VVF multifold.
Many women suffering with VVF are deemed as social outcasts due to their repulsive smell and inability to bear children, and many are abandoned or divorced by their husbands. Some are even ostracized by their own families.
Currently, the only cure for VVF is surgery, which costs around $250 per individual. This is unsustainable for low-income communities.
We need your help to spread awareness and raise the necessary funds to give many of these young women in Nigeria their peace and wellness back.