Hundreds of fistula patients set to benefit as Flying Doctors raise Sh4.6 million

Ms Aruna Chandaria(centre) presents a donation to Flying Doctors Society of Africa’s Illa Devani(left) and the society’s chair, Dr Muringo Kiereni (right)(Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard)

The Flying Doctors Society of Africa (FDSA) has raised Sh4.6 million to go to free fistula treatment.

The society yesterday recognised businessman Manu Chandaria and his wife Aruna Chandaria, who donated Sh850,000 to go towards treatment of 17 fistula patients. A single fistula surgery costs between Sh50,000 and Sh65,000.

Fistula is an injury caused by long and obstructed labour, involuntary control over urination or defecation among some women after delivery.

While the condition is treatable, thousands of women suffer it in silence due poverty, lack of correct information about the condition or poor access to treatment.

"Fistula mostly affects women in the northern part of Kenya, because communities around there practice early marriages and female genital mutilation, resulting in complications for women during childbirth," said Dr Eunice Kiereini, chairperson of Flying Doctors Society of Africa.

She said fistula cases in the region were amplified by limited medical access.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), at least 3,000 new cases of fistula are reported in Kenya annually, with only 7.5 per cent able to access treatment.