NIGER / WOMEN HEALTH CENTRE

09-Jul-2018 00:03:33
The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed visited Saturday a women's health centre specializing in obstetric fistula care and met with those who suffered from the condition due to child marriage, early pregnancy and female genital mutilation. UNIFEED
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STORY: NIGER / WOMEN HEALTH CENTRE
TRT: 3:33
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / LOCAL LANGUAGE / NATS

DATELINE: 07 JULY 2018, OUTSKIRTS OF NIAMEY, NIGER
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, women at the health centre
2. Various shots, DSG at the health centre
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General:
“They are an oasis, a place of sanctuary for girls in early child marriage, who have ended up with horrendous fistula repairs which have to be done. Not only is it damaging to their own wellbeing physically and mentally, they are also stigmatized. Within their families and societies, they no longer have a home. So places like this are a sanctuary to get repair, a sanctuary to find a new way and livelihood so they can go back again whole. So I think the people that giver service here, deserve all the support they can get. There are two sides to this; supporting, making sure we put more money into the repairs and the work that the doctors do here tirelessly and then also take up the advocacy, because we should be able to prevent and bring zero child marriage to our children in Niger and the rest of Africa.”
4. Various shots, Kodi Moumdau in the centre
5. SOUNDBITE (Local Langage) Kodi Moumdau, local resident:
“When I started work, I had paralysis of the lower limbs. I asked that they be massaged. I was transported to Ouallam health center. I had just felt the doctor remove the child (stillborn) before putting a hose on me. I was really scared at first. I spent my days and evenings crying. I did not know what it was at the beginning. When I started this illness, I did not go back home. I was directly transported here.”
6. Various shots, Abdoulaye Idrissa in the medical centre
7. SOUNDBITE (French) Abdoulaye Idrissa, Doctor, National Fistula Centre:
“Even if it is a case that is operated, it is considered a progress. But, it must be said that upstream the task is heavy. The task is difficult because you know that Niger's population is growing very rapidly and the needs are increasing accordingly. But on our side we really fight to have good results. Each year, the number of obstetrician trained gynaecologists, trained surgeons, and open centres is increased. There is more and more an increase in medical coverage in Niger.”
8. Various shots, Idrissa with the patients
9. SOUNDBITE (French) Abdoulaye Idrissa, Doctor, National Fistula Centre:
“The essential factors remain poverty, illiteracy, isolation thus the problem of access to health services. Social factors as well, the marriage a little early.”
10. Close up, feet
11. Various shots, patients in bed
STORYLINE
The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed visited Saturday (7 Jul) a women's health centre specializing in obstetric fistula care and met with those who suffered from the condition due to child marriage, early pregnancy and female genital mutilation.

Speaking to journalists, the UN deputy chief said that the centres are “an oasis, a place of sanctuary for girls in early child marriage, who have ended up with horrendous fistula repairs which have to be done. Not only is it damaging to their own wellbeing physically and mentally, they are also stigmatized.”

She added “within their families and societies, they no longer have a home. So places like this are a sanctuary to get repair, a sanctuary to find a new way and livelihood so they can go back again whole. So I think the people that giver service here, deserve all the support they can get.”

The deputy chief also noted “there are two sides to this; supporting, making sure we put more money into the repairs and the work that the doctors do here tirelessly and then also take up the advocacy, because we should be able to prevent and bring zero child marriage to our children in Niger and the rest of Africa.”

In the National Fistula Centre, one of eleven fistula treatment centres in Niger, there are 69 women who are accommodated in neatly arranged wards in the dusty and parched hospital compound. Of those, 42 are waiting to have the operation to repair the tear to their bodies.

Twenty-three-year-old Kodi Moumdau is one of the women who have been treated and survived an obstetric fistula condition. She said “when I started work, I had paralysis of the lower limbs. I asked that they be massaged. I was transported to Ouallam health center. I had just felt the doctor remove the child (stillborn) before putting a hose on me. I was really scared at first. I spent my days and evenings crying. I did not know what it was at the beginning. When I started this illness, I did not go back home. I was directly transported here.”

Abdoulaye Idrissa is the director of the centre. He carries out about six operations a week. The average age of patients who he treats is 18 years old, but he frequently sees girls as young as 12 or 13 years old.

He said “even if it is a case that is operated, it is considered a progress. But, it must be said that upstream the task is heavy. The task is difficult because you know that Niger's population is growing very rapidly and the needs are increasing accordingly. But on our side we really fight to have good results.

Each year, the number of obstetrician trained gynaecologists, trained surgeons, and open centres is increased. There is more and more an increase in medical coverage in Niger.” He also recognized the causes behind the increase in obstetric fistulas are common to many developing sub-Saharan countries.

Idrissa said “the essential factors remain poverty, illiteracy, isolation thus the problem of access to health services. Social factors as well, the marriage a little early.”
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