As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to promote the total health and wellbeing of women in Nigeria, Diamond Bank PLC, a leading retail bank in Nigeria, will be sponsoring medical surgeries for 15 young Nigerian women suffering from Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF).
The project, which is in partnership with Extended Hands Charity, a non-governmental organisation, has also concluded arrangements to donate medical equipment to selected fistula centres across the country.
VVFs are holes resulting from the breakdown of the tissue between the vaginal wall and the bladder or rectum caused by unrelieved obstructed labour. The consequences of such damage are urinary or faecal incontinence and related conditions in women. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the condition is the single most dramatic aftermath of neglected childbirth.
A 2008 research by NDHS shows that Nigeria has the highest prevalence of VVF in the world with approximately 400,000–800,000 women living with the condition and about 20,000 new cases occurring annually. Ninety percent of the cases go untreated.
Mrs. Ayona Trimnell, Head, Corporate Communications, Diamond Bank PLC, said that the Bank places high premium on women’s health and its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is strategically focused on reaching as many women as possible who may require help.
According to her, “VVF is an avoidable medical condition and the initiative to reduce its spread is borne out of Diamond’s Bank’s commitment to reduce the maternal mortality rate in the country.
The initiative will sensitise women on how to internalise good health habits as well as make better informed choices regarding their health and those of their partners. It will also provide basic healthcare services to women in rural areas and empower them economically in the areas of agriculture and trading. This unique approach will ensure that the affected women are able to make better choices concerning their wellbeing and also have the economic power to improve their living standards.”
The programme commences in October in Ilorin, Kwara State.