Dr Mahama made the appeal when he launched the “Fistula Free Northern Ghana” programme in Tamale on Wednesday at a workshop organized by the Net Organisation for Youth Empowerment and Development (NOYED), a youth related organization.
He said inadequate midwives and doctors in the region was a leading cause of fistula because most doctors refuse postings to the region and indicated that most of the cases of fistula, which leads to maternal mortality were as a result of homebirths by some unskilled Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).
Dr Mahama advised husbands in the Northern Region, especially those in the rural communities to encourage and accompany their pregnant wives to attend antenatal care to ensure that they received safe delivery to minimize maternal mortality.
Chief Alhassan Issahaku Amadu, Board Chairman of NOYED said fistula was still prevalent in the Northern Region and expressed worry that a lot of pregnant women in the region were not attending antenatal care saying, “Most women with fistula were most often discriminated against”.
Mr Alhassan Abdulai Iddi, Executive Director of NOYED said the organization was focusing on Dufaa, Paganaa, Jerigu and Gbelahibilla communities due to high incidence of fistula cases and urged all the volunteers of GHS to engage and educate community members more on fistula.
Madam Esther Dodoo, Deputy Director of Nursing Services of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) stated that early births, malnutrition, female genital mutilation, sexual violence and insufficient Calcium and Vitamin ‘D’ were leading causes of fistula.
Madam Martha Wumbei, a volunteer of the GHS and a TBA expressed joy for being part of the fight against fistula and pledged to help fight against fistula together with other volunteers in her community.