A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has emphasised and called for the need to have a law against stigmatisation of Vesico vaginal Fistula (VVF) patients in Nigeria.
The Director and Chief Executive of the NGO, the African Fistula Foundation, Malam Musa Isa, made the call while speaking to journalists in Kaduna on Thursday, May 21 after the launching of a VVF surgery for 50 women at Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State.
He said the call is necessary in view of the stigma the patients suffered from their husbands, relations and the general public.
"We are not only advocating for a law but we are also planning to see how we can encourage legislators to sponsor a bill on stigmatisation against VVF patients, especially by their husbands.
"The essence of the legislation is to deal with husbands who divorce their wives as a result of the disease, which makes the victims fall into trauma.
"Certainly, it is the responsibility of husbands to do everything possible to assist their affected wives in addition to showing them love, care and concern at all times," he said.
Isa appealed to husbands to avoid any form of stigma against their wives because of VVF, assuring that the disease was a curable.
He said the surgical operation in Zaria is part of activities to commemorate the International Fistula Day which comes up on May 23, every year.
"We are here in Zaria to conduct a five-day full surgical effort in order to reduce the backlog of VVF patients in Kaduna State," he said.
While advising the victims to remain calm and hopeful, the director observed that the disease had nothing to do with devil attack or charms.
"This disease is not a devil attack but it is an injury that needs to be professionally treated and healed in the hospital, hence the need for the victims to visit the designated hospitals in order to be rehabilitated," Isa said.
He said the NGO had rendered such humanitarian services for many years in Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna, among other states.