In May 2014 Net Organisation for Youth Empowerment and Development (NOYED) launched Campaign for Fistula Free Northern Ghana. Obstetric Fistula is an abnormal hole in birth canal between the vagina and bowel and/or vagina and bladder.
In 75 per cent of cases it is caused by prolonged and obstructed labour and renders the woman incontinent, in severe pain, often abandoned by her husband and forced into isolation due to the foul odours now coming from her body.
Campaign for Fistula Free Northern Ghana is a community led education campaign engaging and training volunteer leaders to raise awareness on the causes, prevention and treatment methods of obstetric fistula within their communities.
Their contribution is vital as in northern Ghana the condition is prevalent, yet due to the nature of the condition, many women are too afraid or embarrassed to come forward, therefore official numbers for the country are not yet known.
However, around the world more than one million women suffer from obstetric fistula and up to 100,000 women are diagnosed every year.
Phase 1 of the campaign was supported by the Trull Foundation USA, through Sister Cities of Tamale and saw NOYED-Ghana work with four communities in the Tamale District.
The major sponsor for phase 2 of the campaign is Biodistributors Tasmania, Australia and has the NOYED-Ghana team working in Kpandai, the most affected district in Ghana.
To date the Campaign has positively impacted more than 1000 people in the Northern Region through education, skill development, leadership opportunities and improved physical and mental health. If you wish to find out more about the progress of this project, please signup to our newsletter or feel free to contact us.
During 2013, NOYED-Ghana carried out sensitisation on fundamental issuesaround maternal health in four rural communities in the Tamale Metropolis. Dungu, Datoo-yili, Lamashegu and Yong-Dakpem-Yili. The sensitization centered around the needfor pregnant women to visit the health centers regularly for checkups to ensure their unborn babies are in good condition and that when the time comes for delivery they will deliver safely and free of complications.
The communities were also sensitised on the need for spaced and timely delivery of their children to ensure that both mother and baby remain healthy and strong. A survey was conducted and out of 10 women sampled from the four different communities, none of them had ever used contraceptive. When asked why, the common response was that it was for their husbands to decide when to have children. It was also mentioned that some of the pregnancies are unplanned, but they did no feel comfortable talking to their husbands about contraceptives.
This demonstrated the importance of educating and targeting men to get them to understand the importance of contraception, women’s rights and to plan their family.
Under our sexual health program, NOYED-Ghana has been running workshops targeting youth in both school and non-school groups. Our workshops and education sessions focus on sexual rights, contraception and the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS and STI’s. We emphasise the use of condoms for safe sex and provide an application and removal demonstration.
Due to the success of this initial project in 2013, NOYED-Ghana is now in the planning stages of reintroducing the programmes for 2015. In order to have maximum impact and reach a large number of youth NOYED-Ghana is currently NOYED-Ghana wil also target groups outside of the school system including, but not limited to, tailors, hairdressers, carpenters and various youth groups
We will aso be advocating for sexual and reproductive health to be included more strategically and effectively in to school classes and curriculums in order to support and sustain the work that we undertake.