Cote d'Ivoire battles against obstetric fistula

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The Ivorian government, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), hosted the Conference "South-South and Triangular Partnership for the Elimination of Obstetric Fistula by 2030" on Tuesday in Cote d'Ivoire.

Many fistula victims suffer in silence, as a result of the stigma. The First Lady of Côte d'Ivoire urged patients to break the silence.

"I would now like to address especially my sisters and daughters suffering from this disease. I would like to tell you that you are not alone. The treatments and care made available to you by the government and its partners are effective and free. I encourage you to go to health centers and hospitals to be treated and thus regain a normal life" said Dominique Ouattara.

A coalition of donors is working to give these women a new life. Their goal is to enforce the United Nations and ECOWAS resolutions as well as the Abidjan Declaration. It is coordinated by Belgium.

"The Belgian governmental cooperation implemented by our development agency Abell, which will soon be established in Côte d'Ivoire under European funding, is underway and focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights. In many countries of the region. Ladies and Gentlemen Excellencies Belgium welcomes the holding of this high level dialogue and we would like to congratulate Côte d'Ivoire for the initiative and the welcome given to the exchange of regional experiences in view of our mutual commitments. I am pleased to announce that Belgium has accepted the role of coordinator of the donor coalition initiated by UNESCO in Côte d'Ivoire. In order to join efforts to create a platform for the exchange of experiences and good practices for the eradication of obstetric fistulab" expressed the chargé d'affaire from Belgium.

The conference in Abidjan was preceded by an surgical mission coordinated by Professor Magueye Gueye, with the participation of surgeons from West and Central African countries. 180 complex cases of fistulas were operated on, and national capacities were strengthened.

In Côte d'Ivoire, more than 16 women die every day from complications related to childbirth, pregnancy, or in the 42 days following childbirth. 80% of these deaths are due to direct obstetrical causes.

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