United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri 
The United Nations Population (UNFPA) is seeking more fund to improve the treatment of Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF)) in Borno State after spending N20 million on the renovation of the centre in the state.
The Fistula ward at the Borno State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri has been in existence since the inception of the tertiary hospital.
The Separate Fistula Theatre and Rehabilitation sites were commissioned between 2003 and 2007 during the administration of Governor Ali Modu Sheriff as a government intervention.
According to a statement by the Media and Communication Specialist, UNFPA, Kori Habib, 14 repairs (operations) took place in 2015 and 32 in 2016, but “in 2017 no repairs were possible because of the lack of skilled human resources for health”.
The statement said: “Currently 12 patients are on the waitlist for a repair pending the remodelling of the theatre and availability of surgeons for repair of which UNFPA has supported these and now looking forward to the campaign in 2018.”
The statement further revealed that in 2017, N20 million was provided for renovation, remodelling, expansion and furnishing of the Fistula unit of the Borno State Specialist Hospital, which has since been completed.
According to the statement, “More funding mobilisation will be required in the interim to support campaigns for mass repair at the centre in future thereby building capacity of hospital staff. Funding is also required for training in other parts of the country.
“The State Specialist Hospital was one of the main site for Fistula repairs in Borno State as it was offered free of charge in contrast to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where an average fee of 60,000 naira is charged as at October 2017.
“Referrals have significantly reduced due to lack of skilled Human Resources, funding for training of existing staff and the humanitarian situation. It is expected that reviving the centre will provide the much-needed care to clients and linkages will be re-established for referral from rural primary health care centres and mobile outreaches.
“The Borno State Government is very much interested in the prevention of Fistula through education of the girl child, increasing access to family planning and safe motherhood, repair and rehabilitation of fistula survivors. At such, UNFPA is supporting the state towards training and provision of equipment’s for the Fistula centre through the KOICA funded project expected to start in 2018. The UNFPA Canada Fund has been used for the remodelling and renovation of the theatre.”