Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabanja, observes that the higher academic ladders girl children climb, the less the opportunity cost of marrying at a tender age that culminates to experiencing obstetric fistula during child birth that has become a common condition among child bearing age mothers in Uganda.
Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by obstructed labour.
In a communication read for her by the Minister of Health in charge of General Duties, Ms Hanifah Kawoya at the international day to end fistula held in Hoima city, mid-western Uganda, the premier says empirical evidence indicates that the younger the age, the higher the risk of experiencing obstetric fistula.
International obstetrics records show that women aged 20-24 have 70 per cent lower odds of suffering from fistula than women aged 7-19.
As such, Ms Nabanja says having girls continue with studies in schools is one of the major weapons that can be aimed at this medical condition that is shattering women’s lives in the country.
To achieve this, the premier challenges parents to involve in cautioning, advising and educating their girl children about the health risks that expose any young girl who engages in premature sexual acts to conception and the probable complications during child birth.
She reveals that like any other parts of Uganda that have obstetric fistula cases, Bunyoro region has a record high two per cent of the cases that keep the affected mothers distressed and a burden to Uganda’s economy since it leads to low productivity due to poor personal health.
“Obstetric fistula has caused women to lead a distraught life and the only security that can be provided to a girl child against this condition is to have her continue with studies in school and advise, caution and do all it takes to her know the health dangers that lie in wait to affect their health and life once they engage I premarital sex and early pregnancies. They should always be told that giving birth at a young age sometimes results in experiencing obstetric fistula,” Ms Nabanja states in her speech.
The prime minister appreciated the different government partners like civil society organisations, religious leaders and all private institutions that have taken the mantle to address maternal health care aimed to fight against obstetric fistula.
In Uganda, the national event was held at Hoima boma grounds in Hoima city this week under the theme: “20 years of progress is not enough! Act to end obstetric fistula by 2030.”