The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari has promised to champion advocacy on the prevention of obstetric fistula, as well as other maternal birth complications in Kwara State.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari made the promise recently in his palace while receiving the Country Project Manager of Engender Health, implementer of USAID Fistula Care Plus Project, Chief Iyeme Efem and his team.
The Emir who is the Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs assured that he would use the meeting of all traditional rulers in the state to charge monarchs to encourage their subjects to attend antenatal care regularly during pregnancy. U
“Women suffer a lot during child bearing. Many people have lost their wives, sisters and mothers because of maternal issue. I can assure you that we the traditional rulers in Kwara will take up this issue and give it the necessary advocacy it deserves to stem the cases of fistula in the state”, he said.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari called on women in the state to always deliver under skilled birth attendants to avoid childbirth-related complications, particularly obstetric fistula.
said the state would be willing to host the National Fistula Centre and appealed to relevant stakeholders in the state and federal levels to facilitate setting up the Centre for the North Central zone in the state.
Alhaji Sulu-Gambari explained that Kwara, as a peaceful and friendly state, is receptive to projects and programmes that would enhance healthcare delivery in the state. The Emir urged women who are down with fistula to seek proper health care through repair, saying that fistula is preventable and treatable.
Earlier in his remarks, the Country Project Manager, Engender Fistula Care Plus Project, Chief Iyeme Efem had intimated the Emir that his team is in Ilorin for another round of free fistula repairs at Sobi Specialist Hospital. Chief Iyeme solicited the support of the Emir and other traditional rulers in the state in the elimination of fistula cases in the state. He said the Monarchs have important roles to play in encouraging their subjects to attend antenatal care regularly and seek higher medical care when in labour for more than eight hours. Chief Iyeme noted that all stakeholders must support any move towards reducing backlog of fistula cases in Nigeria which he said stands at about 400,000 with 12,000 new cases every year.