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Ethiop Med J. 2004 Jan;42(1):9-16.

Socio-demographic profile and obstetric experience of fistula patients managed at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

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Fistula Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Obstetric experience, clinical and socio-economic characteristics, and reasons for preference of place of delivery of 639 fistula patients admitted to the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital between May 1999 and February 2000 are described About 94% of fistula patients were married and 83.6% had been through with the delivery caused the fistula before the age of 20. The mean ages at the first marriage and at the causative delivery were 14.7 (sd=2.6) and 17.8 (sd=3.2) years respectively. Mean height of fistula patients studied was 149 cms (sd=8). About 64% were primiparous, 44% (279) delivered at home, and labor lasted for 3.8 days on average. Majority of fistula patients mentioned distance as a main problem for the delays. Lack of money, poor knowledge and delay in referral were the other frequently mentioned reasons for the delays. About 62%(399) of fistula patients owned nothing valuable. Of 279 patients delivered at home 186 were those who owned nothing. Out of 180-fistula patients mentioned distance as the major problem, 103 (57%) stayed at home for delivery. About 54% of fistula patients were already divorced on arrival to the hospital and this figure varied among women with different parity and among those owning different property. Teenage and short stature are observed features of fistula patients. The study also showed the huge problems faced by fistula patients in accessing emergency obstetric care services. Analytic study is recommended to compare the magnitude of these problems among other mothers with different obstetric outcome. Meanwhile, community education about problems following teenage pregnancy, sign and symptoms of obstructed labor and the advantage of institutional delivery might reduce the occurrence rate of obstetric fistula. Community organized fund and maternity waiting areas for young and short expecting mothers are among other recommendations to be considered.

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