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Med Trop (Mars). 2009 Feb;69(1):61-5.

[Epidemiology of women suffering from obstetric fistula in Niger].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de médecine préventive et Santé publique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar.



The purpose of this epidemiological study was to determine factors influencing management of obstetrical fistula (OF) by attempting to understand the itinerary followed by women suffering from OF in Niger. Study was carried out during the surgery session that took place at the Niamey National Hospital from April 18 to 29, 2006. Study variables were socioeconomic profile, obstetric/surgical history, support resources, and level of education. Four trained investigators using a specially designed questionnaire carried out patient interviews. Data were analyzed using the Epi Info 3.3.1 software package. A total of 91 patients with average age of 27.30 years (+/- 8.94) were interviewed. Most patients had no schooling (95%), came from the southwest region of the country (85%), and belonged to the Djerma ethnic group (52%). Most were married (76%) or divorced (19%). In the majority of cases the age at the time of marriage and first childbirth was under 18 years (76% and 55% respectively). The delivery that resulted in OF was the first in 59%, took place in a health care facility in 88%, lasted more than 24 hours in 97%, and took place by the vaginal route in 71%. The delay for the first medical visit was at least 3 months in most cases (66%) usually due to a lack of awareness of treatment availability, or to unavailability of transportation. Most patients had a history of surgery (63%) and were unaware of the probable date of the treatment (99%) with many waiting more than 3 months (44%). Prevention of gainful activity was 4.79 times more frequent after occurrence of OF. Management of OF requires not only qualified personnel but also and especially access to the quality obstetric care and greater awareness among the population. Education for girls is a crucial factor for a better health in Niger.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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