You are here

5th Urological Meeting in Dakar considers obstetric fistula and cancers as public health issues.


The 5th Urological Meeting in Dakar was organized by the Institute for Training and Research in Urology & Family Health (IFRU-SF) in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO), bringing together national and international experts under the theme of obstetric fistula and new techniques of cancers management. This year's edition considered the repair of obstetric fistula and cutting-edge cancer treatment techniques as public health issues. The aim was to further promote the commitment of States to eradicate these two scourges.

Senegal's Minister of Health and Social Action Mr. Abdoulaye Diouf SARR, on Friday 13th of April, 2018 officially opened the 5th Urological Meeting of Dakar, in Somone, Senegal, in the presence Ms. Beatrice Mutali Deputy Regional Director of the UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office.

Several national and international experts from the United States, France, England and African countries participated in the meeting during which they shared good practices and experiences in new treatment techniques of obstetric fistula but also new cancer management techniques.

Obstetric fistula remains a major concern in developing countries, where it is estimated that more than two million women and girls are victims. The eradication of obstetric fistula has been a priority for UNFPA since it launched the Global Campaign to Eliminate Fistula in 2003. However in the West and Central Africa region there are still many challenges, among wich , mastering data on the issue is one.

Indeed, the exact number of women with Obstetric Fistula is not known, although latest estimates are close to 1,000,000 with 46% in Nigeria. The incidence rate is around 30,000 new cases per year. Fistula, child marriage, early pregnancy and female genital mutilation are all interrelated. These scourges all share gender inequality and social norms, gross serious violations of the rights and integrity of girls and women, and especially their empowerment. Child marriage is growing concern in Africa and particularly in West Africa where over 40% of girls are married before their 15th birthday. Female genital mutilation in West Africa, for example, affects 44% of girls aged 15 to 19 years.

URODAK 2018 and UNFPA are hoping the materialization of the Call of the First Ladies of Niamey 2017 which invited the States to devote at least 3% of their budget for the fight against the maternal and neonatal health complications. The implementation of the recommendations of the Fistula Resource Mobilization Regional Technical Meeting held in Banjul from 5 to 7 March 2018 will also be a crucial step. The Banjul workshop recommended the formalization of a regional platform to fight against fistula to facilitate the interconnection between States, donors, technical partners, the civil society organizations’ and the communities affected by these scourges. It is also essential in addition to the prevention, treatment and reintegration of victims to include aspects related to regional coordination of the fight but also to the protection of human rights and awareness against indirect causes namely: early marriages, female genital mutilation and gender-based violence.

This year's Congress was preceded by practical training workshops for urologists, oncologists and gynecologists at Grand-Yoff General Hospital on 10 and 11 april 2018.