By Christiana Ekpa and Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday urged the federal government to include Vesico Vaginal Fistula(VVF) patients into the N-Power Scheme as beneficiary to enable them recover from the low self-esteem they been suffering from and reintegrated into the society.
The House equally urged the federal ministry of health to release funds to the VVF corrective designated hospitals as a matter of urgency to immediately take care of the patients.
The resolutions followed a motion raised by Mrs Aishatu Dukku(APC, Gombe) and Mr Abdullahi Salame(APC, Sokoto) during matter of urgent public importance at plenary on Wednesday.
Leading the debate, Mrs Dukku noted that over 800,000 Nigerian women and girls live with the despicable disease which is often caused by obstructed labour, poverty and women’s limited control over the use of family resources.
According to the lawmaker, the VVF patients are often abandoned by their husbands and relatives adding that they are left in isolation from their communities due to smell and associated shame of urine leakage.
She hinted that effective surgical techniques for Fistula repair are available in some settings and should be expanded to reach those in need especially in the rural communities.
Contributing to the debate, Mrs Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers) and Mrs Nkiruika Onyejeocha(PDP, Abia) called for the enactment of law to criminalize men who impregnate young girls under the ages of 12-13 and discriminate against these patients.
Recalled that a peaceful protest to express feelings over neglect by the government and society erupted in Kano last week by thousands of its patients.
To this regard, the House mandated its committee on Healthcare Services to monitor compliance.
VVF as it is popularly called is defined as a hole that develops between the vagina and the bladder, resulting in uncontrollable leaking of urine through the vagina.