Authorities Worry on Rising in Fistula Cases

Authorities at Bwaila Fistula Care Center in Lilongwe have expressed worry with rising numbers of fistula patients in the country as it has treated about 250 patients from January to August this year.

Fistula Surgeon at the facility, Dr. Ennet Banda Chipungu, says most of the cases are involving young girls between the ages of 15 to 17 a majority of which are Machinga, Mangochi and other Mozambique bordering districts.

Dr. Chipungu, however, says there are over 59 patients waiting for treatment a scenario which will surpass their annual treatment target of 300 patients, putting a strain on resources midway through the year.

"This year we are surpassing our annual treatment target of 300, we are registering new cases frequently and most of them are girls in border district of the country, " lamented Chipungu.

Public health expert, Professor Maureen Chirwa, has called on local chiefs to take up their role as custodians of culture, to deal with practices that put girls at risk.

"This battle can not be won without having the chiefs take the lead in it. Some cultural practices are fueling the vice in this country and we need deal with them," Chirwa said.

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