As the most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria makes up 3% of the world’s population, yet it accounts for 14% of all maternal deaths. In its vast rural areas, health facilities are scarce and often undersupplied, and where services do exist, cultural and social pressures can limit women’s ability to use them.
Since the Fistula Care project began in 2007, we have focused on preventing and treating obstetric fistula in Nigeria. To do so, we train doctors and nurses to perform fistula repair surgery, and we partner with hospitals and health centers to improve or introduce emergency obstetric care so that laboring women who reach a hospital in time will not develop fistula. In addition, we support health facilities in building awareness about fistula prevention, maternal health, and family planning services. Under the previous Fistula Care project from 2007 to 2013, we trained more than 450 Nigerian nurses and doctors to perform fistula repair surgery, and we supported 10,284 fistula repair surgeries.
Our work today continues to strengthen fistula prevention and treatment in Nigeria through the Fistula Care Plus project by expanding our efforts to build community awareness and increasing our focus on the integration of family planning services with fistula and maternal health care.
- National Obstetric Fistula Center, Babbar Ruga, Katsina State
- Gesse VVF Center, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State
- Faridat Yakubu General Hospital, Zamfara State
- Laure Fistula Center at Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano State
- Maryam Abatcha Women and Children’s Hospital (MAWCH), Sokoto State
- National Obstetric Fistula Center, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
- National Obstetric Fistula Center, Bauchi State
- Ogoja General Hospital, Cross River State
- Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State
- University College Hospital at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State
- Jahun VVF Center, Jigawa State
- Adeoyo General Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State
National Obstetric Fistula Center, Babbar Ruga in Katsina State serves as a national and FIGO-designated training site for fistula repair surgical teams. The center was managed by Katsina State Government until 2013, when it was taken over by the Federal Government of Nigeria. It has two wards and two operation theaters, exclusively for fistula repair surgeries. The center can accommodate up to 200 clients, with 80 clients in the postoperative wards. The center also provides family planning services.
National Obstetric Fistula Center, Ningi, in Bauchi State is located in Ningi town, Northern Bauchi State. The center started conducting fistula repairs in March 2011. The center was managed by Bauchi State Government until 2014, when the Federal Government of Nigeria took over the facility. It is the first of its kind in the North East geopolitical zone. The center also provides family planning services and a wide range of other in and outpatient services.
Faridat Yakubu General Hospital is a public hospital in Zamfara State that provides women with comprehensive emergency obstetric care and family planning services. It has 24 beds for patients seeking fistula repair. It also has a functional rehabilitation center which provides skill acquisition and women empowerment programs.
Laure Madaki Fistula Center is the dedicated fistula section of the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital in Kano. It has its own operating room and 24 beds for preoperative and postoperative care. It serves as a national and FIGO designated training site for surgical teams. Kano has a large caseload of fistula repairs, performing approximately 350 fistula repair surgeries each year.
Maryam Abatcha Women and Children’s Hospital (MAWCH) in Sokoto State was founded by the former first lady as the first national hospital specifically for women and children. Among a diverse array of other services, it offers comprehensive emergency obstetric care and family planning services. Fifty beds are available to women undergoing fistula repair surgery.
The National Obstetric Fistula Center (formerly known as the Southeast VVF Center) is located in Abakaliki, the largest city in Ebonyi State. It is a fully equipped hospital with 100 beds and serves as a national and FIGO-designated fistula training site. The Center also provides family planning and a range of gynecologic services.
Ogoja Fistula Center is located at Ogoja General Hospital in Cross River State. The center has 24 beds for both preoperative and postoperative care, with a trained fistula surgeon and nurses who were trained in family planning and fistula management.
Sobi Specialist Hospital in Kwara State provides a range of general medical, surgical, pediatric, and gynecology services. A 24-bed ward has been designated for fistula repair services while the gynecology theater is used for fistula surgeries.
The University College Hospital at the University of Ibadan in Oyo State began operating in 1957 and today serves as a tertiary hospital with 850 beds in addition to providing training for doctors, nurses, midwives, and other health professionals. The hospital reserves 14 bed spaces for fistula clients but is expandable to 21 beds. Fistula Care began supporting the facility in February 2012 to address complex fistula cases, serve as a center for training, and accept referrals from nearby states in addition to providing family planning services.
Jahun VVF Center is located within Jahun General Hospital in Jigawa State. It has close to 60 beds and a dedicated theater for fistula surgery. The Fistula Care Plus Project plans to provide support to this center by training local doctors who will facilitate routine repairs and quality services. The Fistula Care Plus expansion to this state could help scale up family planning services and improve family planning methods utilization.
Adeoyo General Hospital at Ibadan, Oyo State is a new general hospital located very close to the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan. Oyo State Government has dedicated this hospital to be a fistula repair facility. Fistula Care Plus will facilitate collaboration between Adeoye and UCH in provision of fistula repair surgery, training and quality improvement.