By Aminat Ahmed, Bauchi
Some patients of Visco Viginal Fistula (VVF), in Bauchi State, were left in tears, trauma and felt rejected as urine flow persistently.
To them, accessing Medical attention became a nightmare and life threatening by the day as a novel coronavirus pandemic distanced them from their chances of treatment.
The delay in accessing healthcare was attributed to the partial lockdown, hike in transport fare among others.
Speaking to some VVF patients from Ganjuwa Local Government Area of the state, Mrs Aisha Mohammed, said that the delay has caused more trauma than ever before.
“Before the pandemic, I was not aware of the Ningi center.
“It was around February that someone told me about the center and before I got financial support for the treatment, COVID-19 set in and the drivers refused to travel for fear of lockdown.
“I felt bad and traumatised because I had a place to go for treatment yet, there was no way to move.”
Mrs Fatima Inuwa from Burra, Ningi local government, said that the pandemic has made her unable to access services due to fear of pandemic.
“Even with the face mask, physical distancing in commercial vehicles and the hike in price, coming for the first time, my family developed fear over the cost of transportation and treatment, not knowing that the treatment and feeding was free.”
The National Obstetric and Fistula Center(NOFC), Ningi said that Novel coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic delayed routine treatments for women suffering from viscoviginal fistula(VVF) in Bauchi state.
VVF is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder and the vagina that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault, mostly caused by prolonged labour.
Speaking to our correspondent, the Director Clinical Services of the center, Dr Lamara Dattijo, said that the weekly exercise recorded zero number of treatments due to lockdown, hike in the prices on consumables and inadequate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
He said from the month of March to July, the center had either 1 or zero repairs.
Dattijo said that in the month of October, 2020, the center had to conduct repairs for the health wellbeing of the patients.
He emphasized that in the first quarter of 2021, there was zero surgery due to the pandemic, adding that in October, the hospital conducted surgery to not fewer than 38 women.
“From February to March, there were no clinical services because patients can no longer move. Also, the sudden demand for PPE made prices shot high.
“That also affected the facility because we have zero IGR and treatment and feeding is free.
“We later had to organise training for health personnel on guidelines for COVID-19,” he said.
Also, speaking with our correspondent, the Gender analyst, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Bauchi State, Ms. Deborah Tabara, said UNFPA has supported Vesico Virginal Fistular (VVF)
Center, Ningi and General Hospital Gamawa with Personal Protection Equipment during COVID-19 for service delivery to patients alongside training of Health workers on adherence to Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
This article is part of Covid-19 Response: Together For Reliable Information Project Implemented by PAGED Initiative supported by the EU & FreePress Unlimited.