Stakeholders' perceptions on improving women's health after obstetric fistula repair: results from a qualitative study in Guinea

Alexandre Delamou, Moussa Douno, Alison M. El Ayadi, Aissatou Diallo, Therese Delvaux, Vincent De Brouwere

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

Abstract

The holistic care of obstetric fistula remains a significant public health concern in developing countries. Improving women's outcomes after repair requires perspectives on post-surgical period within which women have to fulfil their social roles and expectations, mainly becoming pregnant, cooking, resuming farming activities or sexual intercourse. Our objective was to explore stakeholders' perceptions of women's health and well-being after fistula repair, and their perspectives on strategies for improving their quality of life in Guinea. A qualitative study involving representatives from the Ministry of Health, regional, district and hospital managers, representatives of NGOs and funding bodies, local leaders, women who underwent fistula surgery and their relatives (husbands, family members), health providers and community health workers at different levels was conducted. Thematic analysis was performed using NVivo software. Overall, 41 in-depth interviews and seven focus group discussions were conducted with 83 various stakeholders. Unanimously, respondents perceived women treated for obstetric fistula are "diminished " and "vulnerable ". This "vulnerability " encompasses physical, socio-emotional and economic dimensions. The high risk of maternal and neonatal complications such as fistula recurrence, abortion or stillbirth in these women was mentioned. Stakeholders emphasized the need for a multidisciplinary approach to improve women's health after repair. Social support, economic empowerment and medical follow-up were identified as key components to mitigate women's vulnerability for successful post-repair reintegration. The programmatic level in Guinea should consider women's health after fistula repair a vital component of the holistic fistula care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAfrican Journal of Reproductive Health
Volume26
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
ISSN1118-4841
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Fistula
  • qualitative methods
  • women?s health
  • Guinea
  • FEMALE GENITAL FISTULA
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • OF-LIFE
  • CHILDBIRTH
  • OUTCOMES
  • REINTEGRATION
  • DETERMINANTS
  • PREGNANCY
  • SYMPTOMS
  • SURGERY

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