Sociocultural vulnerabilities to obstetric fistula among female children in North Western Nigeria

Oluyinka M. Dania, University College Hospital, Ibadan
Obioma C. Uchendu, University of Ibadan
Hadizah Adeoti, University of Ibadan

Introduction: Obstructed labour remains the commonest cause of obstetric fistula in Nigeria. In Northern Nigeria this is further aggravated by socio-cultural practices such as early child marriage. This study examined the impact of these practices on the vulnerabilities of the girl child in developing obstetric fistula. Methods: Patients with obstetric fistula (211), attending three fistula centers in Northern Nigeria were interviewed to identify the predisposing factors and effect of obstetric fistula. Results: Only 8.5% of the respondents had formal education and 101( 47.9%) were divorced. All had their first childbirth before 15years of age. About half had lived with an obstetric fistula for more than 5 years (113, 53.6%), 13.3 %( 28) suffer from severe depression. Some of the respondents experienced “gishiri cutting” – a type of female genital mutilation. Conclusion: Socio-cultural factors predispose the girl child in Northern Nigeria to obstetric fistula. They are also fraught with psychosocial challenges.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 2