Help the Tamale Fistula Centre perform more surgeries

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One Year Impact Report
This project was funded in part with matching contributions from Johnson & Johnson.
– Thank you!

Throughout this past year, we provided the resources needed to improve the flow of patients at the Tamale Fistula Centre and shortened the long line of Ghanaian women desperate to transform their lives.

Impact For Girls & Women

136 is the total number of gynecological surgeries performed at the Tamale Fistula Centre in 2013. 81 were fistula repair surgeries. The information was extracted from the theater record book at the Centre. 

Estimated girls & women affected

136

Broader Impact

There are an estimated 634,850 of women in their reproductive age from the Northern Region of Ghana (in 2013), where the Tamale Fistula Centre is located. The Centre is the only fistula repair facility in the region. The figure was taken from the Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service.

Estimated community members affected

634,850

You saved women’s lives in Ghana

Your generous support provided the resources needed to improve the flow of patients at the Tamale Fistula Centre and, ultimately, shortened the long line of Ghanaian women desperate to transform their lives, and restore their health and dignity. Thanks to you, the Tamale Fistula Centre carried out the following activities: We bought and installed a Hot Air Autoclave (for equipment sterilization) and an Anesthetic Machine. Having the Hot Air Autoclave at the Tamale Fistula Center allows the surgeons to sterilize their surgical instruments on site rather than having to bring them to the closest hospital. This has decreased the amount of time needed between surgeries and increased the number of repairs they are able to carry out at the Centre. Also, we selected a team of three obstetrician gynecologist and three theater nurses for training in obstetric fistula repair and post-operative care and management. The training has been delayed due to accreditation and certification issues, as Ghana currently does not have an institution accredited for training in fistula repair surgery and post-operative care management. Arrangements have been made to work with two accredited Fistula Hospitals in Nigeria and Ethiopia to train the Ghanaian team of gynecologist and surgical nurses this year, as their training calendar was fully booked in 2013.

Up close

‘’Thanks to UNFPA and Friends of UNFPA for making this possible. We have received countless pledges in the past from various organizations and individual who visited the centre, but you have delivered on your pledge. We will no longer have to send our surgical instruments and other related items to the Tamale Teaching Hospital for sterilization’’. Dr. B Gandau, Fistula surgeon at the Tamale Fistula Centre.

Risks and challenges

We face the challenge of not having a resident gynecologist/trained fistula surgeon at the Tamale Fistula Centre.

What we’ve learnt

We’ve learned that it’s important to always consult with our end-users, in this case the health staff at the Fistula centre who are going to use the equipment, in deciding the types and capacities of the equipment to purchase. It was during one of these discussions that an electrician at the hospital explained the cause of the frequent breakdown of critical medical equipment as the frequent electrical power cuts and the intermittent power fluctuation. He recommended the installation of power stabilizers to guard the new equipment to be purchased. Following the advice, power stabilizers were purchased and installed for the new equipment, and they have since been functioning without any breakdown.

Next steps

Next, we’ll develop a resource mobilization strategy to raise funds to expand the surgical theater and bed capacity of the centre. Our goal is to expand from a 10 bed to 30 bed ward facility.

Budget

Line Items

Original budget

Amount spent so far

Hot Air Autoclave & Anesthetic Machine

Train 3 Gynecologist & 3 theater Nurses
 

Total

$8,500.00


$3,500.00


$12,000.00

$8,500.00


$3,500.00


$12,000.00

Further reading

Thank you again for your support of UNFPA’s lifesaving work in Ghana. Should you have any questions about this report, please feel free to contact Louisa Rahmani at lrahmani@friendsofunfpa.org.

Some good news

posted May 17, 2013 by Kelly Dudine
Great news! Friends of UNFPA is delighted to announce that we have reached our funding goal for the second phase of the Tamale Fistula Centre project! This funding will help continue what you started by improving the quality of care provided at the centre. In particular, the project will help increase the centre basic healthcare supplies, create a management committee to help improve centre operations and advocate for fistula prevention and treatment in Northern Ghana. This project was funded entirely by Kathleen Savicki and Jean Lindsay in honor of Zilpha Wilson Boppell, MD.
90 Day Report

En route to transforming lives in Ghana

posted May 10, 2013 by Kelly Dudine

This project was fully funded on January 23rd, and Catapult delivered your donations to Friends of UNFPA on February 14th. We are currently in the process of transferring these funds to the Tamale Fistula Centre in Ghana. Your donations are scheduled to arrive in the country by early June, so the project activity can get underway. As a result, we’ll provide a more comprehensive update for you here on Oct. 5, 2013.

Preparations to put the funds to good use are in progress, and we’ve been working to share information about obstetric fistula repair with physicians in the region. For instance, the information of a visiting urologist shared by the Sunyani Regional Hospital with the repair facilities led to repairs for 11 women whose injuries had been declared irreparable due to the complicated nature of their fistulae.

In other important news, the United Nations has designated May 23rd to be the first ever International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, which coincides with the 10th year anniversary of UNFPA’s Campaign to End Fistula. The amplified visibility for the issue, combined with these funds will continue to help ensure Ghana’s fistula victims receive the care and treatment they need to restore their health and transform their lives.

On behalf of UNFPA’s Representative in Ghana, Dr. Bernard Coquelin, the entire UNFPA/Ghana team and most certainly the women living with fistula in Ghana, “We want to thank you wholeheartedly for your support ... and, again we say,….thank you…medaa ase!”

  • Health
  • Maternal health
  • Technology

Support the Tamale Fistula Centre by building its capacity to conduct more fistula repair surgeries through the purchase of essential equipment and the training of surgical staff.

Why we care: Obstetric fistula—a hole in the birth canal resulting from prolonged or obstructed childbirth—is a preventable condition that leaves up to 100,000 girls and women each year, with life-long incontinence. As a result of the stigma associated with the condition, women living with fistula are often isolated, neglected or abandoned by family and community, and left to rely on the charity and mercy of others.

How we’re solving this: Help the Tamale Fistula Centre in northern Ghana perform more fistula repair surgeries and meet the growing demand for fistula services in the region.

Since its doors opened in 2010, the Tamale Fistula Centre has successfully treated more than 200 women and girls.. The Centre, which is supported by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and other regional agencies, has one operating room, a 10-bed recovery ward and a staffing office. In order to provide treatment to the backlog of 100 women and girls awaiting fistula repair surgery, the Centre needs to buy essential surgical equipment and train more medical personnel.

Essential needs include the purchase of a hot-air autoclave and an anesthetic machine, as well as the service training of two gynecologists and two operating-room nurses.. The autoclave and the anesthetic machine together cost about $8,500; the autoclave is used for sterilizing equipment, a major clinical requirement in any operating room. The anesthetic machine helps numb the patients for the surgery.

These services will enable the Tamale Fistula Centre to improve the flow of patients and accomplish more work efficiently – ultimately shortening the long line of women desperate to transform their lives, and restore their health and dignity.

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