Vodafone staff raise funds for fistula patients

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Employees of Vodafone, Ghana, have raised GH¢12,000 for 20 patients to undergo free surgery at the Tamale Fistula Centre.

The money will be used to treat obstetric fistula patients in the Northern Region and also raise awareness of the condition that affects many young women in the region during childbirth.

A statement signed by Mrs Carmen Bruce-Annan, Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, Ghana, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the fundraising was in support of a global initiative by Vodafone to eradicate the condition in Tamale where there is an unusually high number of young women suffering from the condition. 

The statement said the employees’ fundraising activities included auctioning items donated by staff members themselves, sale of items donated by the Vodafone Group and cash donations from family and friends.

It said the plight of women suffering from obstetric fistula was first highlighted in HealthLine, Vodafone’s flagship TV show, where five women received free surgery to treat their condition.

The statement defined obstetric fistula as a severe medical condition in which a hole develops between either the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and the vagina after prolonged childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available.

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It said sufferers from this disorder were usually subjected to severe social stigma due to odour, perceptions of uncleanliness, a mistaken assumption of venereal disease and in some cases the inability to have children.

The statement said nurses at the fistula centre expressed their gratitude to Vodafone presented the cheque to them. 

The statement commended the efforts of the employees in raising the funds, adding that “we are all touched by the suffering of these women in Tamale who have had to go through traumatic childbirth which has resulted in a condition they cannot afford to correct.”

“We are very keen to take the opportunity to change the lives of some of these women and also raise awareness of the condition.”

It said the Administrator at the Centre, Mr Jeremiah Tiimob, on behalf of the hospital and patients, said: “This act of generosity by employees of Vodafone Ghana needs to be applauded. Apart from the good work that the company is doing through HealthLine and other life-changing initiatives, it is very gratifying to know that the employees are also deeply involved in improving the lives of community members.”