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How Informed Are You About VVF?

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VVF, a known
abbreviation for Vesico Vagina Fistula, is one health challenge that has constituted itself a nightmare to women.
Ambiguous as it sounds, experts explain it as an obstetric trauma, occasioned by wrong or poor obstetric practices. But what meaning does that hold for a layman?
In a very simple term; VVF has to do with holes resulting from the breakdown in the tissue between the vaginal wall and the bladder or rectum caused by unrelieved obstructed labour.
The consequences of such damage, experts say, are urinary or faecal incontinence, and related bodily discomforts such as dermattis and erosion of the skin and other tissues in the vulva and vagina from the constant leakage of urine or faeces. In extreme cases, the urethra, bladder and vaginal wall can be completely eroded.
According to medical findings, if nerves to the lower limbs are damaged, women can develop Foot-drop, a loss of co-ordination with one or both of the lower limbs.
Victims of this health phenomenon however, consider the physical challenge, a lesser problem to an acute social problem that comes with it.
Due to constant leakage of urine or faeces, and the accompanying odour, most communities stigmatize these women hence cutting them off from all social activities. Like the biblical story of the “haemorrhage woman” , commuting in public vehicle and engaging in activities that congregate people become extremely difficult.
Aisha (surname withheld) relieves her ordeal as a victim as she said “my husband divorced me because of this problem. Out of shame, I left my father’s house to this city where I feel I’m not known”.
Even where a victim is not  overtly stigmatized there is usually a loss of self worth as victims naturally exhibit a withdrawn attitude as if nature has refused to be fair to them and always thinking that everybody is aware and conscious of their predicament.
VVF was first referenced in 1550 BC otherwise it was observed in the mummies of Ancient Egypt in 2050 BC. It was later linked to obstructed labour in 1030 AD
Like a minor problem observed in just a few women, VVF gradually became a problem to contend with in most of what is today known as developed world, including  US and Europe between the 17th and 19th centuries.
In 1855, the first world VVF specific hospital was established in New York. However, the incidence of VVF decreased in the face of development.
The Nigerian experience however, appears a far-cry from that of the developed world. Despite the availability of VVF repair facilities in some Nigerian hospitals for some decades now, the problem persists.
Some health analysts have ascribed the reasons to general underdevelopment of community health services structures and widespread poverty, while others blame it on underage marriage/teenage pregnancies, awkward traditional practices (symphysiotomy) and  obstructed labour/forced delivery.
While various reasons have been suggested as possible causes of this health phenomenon, it may also be rife to say that individuals’ attitude towards self medicare counts a lot. To many, even in the face of good medical facilities at their door steps, because it is a deviation from the traditional method they patronize, these facilities  are never accessed and explored.
However, research indicates that there appears to be a concentration of victims in northern, South-Eastern and middle belt regions of the country.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health between 500,000 and 1,000,000 women/girls are living with VVF, and an estimate of close to 80,000 new cases annually.
The prevalence of VVF seems high in areas poverty is high, especially among women. Also, in areas where education is low, or some cases non existent. It accounts for 75% of loss of babies & 55-60% of divorce rate.
Regrettably, most victims, due either to cost or distance, never make it to any formal medical establishment for appropriate attention.
VVF can be repaired surgically unless they are too large or associated damages to other tissues makes repairs impossible. Treatment is only available in a few specialist hospitals.
More so, once VVF is incurred, and possibly repaired, it is adviceable to have subsequent deliveries by caesarean section to avoid a reopening of the hole.
However, promotion of quality, accessible, obstetric care can be a major step towards reducing the incidence of VVF while prevention and awareness of the problem are equally important.

 
Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi

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Women

What Women Should Know In Marriage

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Every married person should be able to quit childish ways for a long lasting marriage.
Growing up in marriage means keeping the vows made during holy matrimony, obeying the rules guiding marriage. Love your spouse and treat him/her kindly. Growing up is being able to hold intelligent discussions with your partner.
Do not allow problems to make you expose your spouse in the public.
When married, you kick out childish behaviours. These days, you see a lot of people unable to manage their emotions well.
Do not take up relationship when you still think like a child. If you are not ready to take up responsibility, do not go into marriage. You may be having money or being financially buoyant, but maturity matters a lot. How you respond to issues matters a lot in your marriage. When arguments come up, it should not lead to a point where couples start destroying valuable items in the home.
Do not get angry all the time. Anger causes destruction in a home that might have been built for several years. Do not be like kids, who want to throw away toys when they get angry.
In marriage, the woman is responsible to the husband and the man should be accountable to the wife. Marriage requires new skills in communication if it will work well.
The woman needs to grow up to be able to manage the home. Managing the home is not a child’s play.
You have to build a home that will suit your taste. Sweet homes were built by people. When your spouse gets angry, you put yourself into his or her shoes. Showing empathy to each other will help to run the family smoothly.
Appreciating the woman who does all the house work alone is good. From childbearing through nurturing them till they become adults rest squarely on the woman.
Building formidable marriage is not just for two people but for everybody around them. The woman should care for her in-laws and others in her care. Treating other children like her biological children.
In marriage, treat your spouse better than you handle your phones. Priority should be given to your spouse instead of phones. Some women can get glued to their phones for a longer period instead of attending to their husbands. Activities in your phones should not take all your time as your spouse is more important than them.
Some men often complain about their wives’ addiction to their phones.
There was the issue of a woman that was accused by her husband about getting glued to her phone always and the reason she gave was that her husband was not coming home when he should come. She said as a result of that, she needed something to keep her busy.
Avoid the habit of sleeping with your phones. It is disrespectful when a spouse is talking to a partner and she is attending to a phone or internet. This is a habit women should work on as it is in many homes. Experts say that it leads to emotional gaps.
In marriage, communication is key. Communication must be a two- way thing. When a partner is talking, the other must respond and not just nodding his or her head.
Couples need to be together for bonding. Relationship with children is temporary while that with spouse is more permanent. When children grow up and get married, they will leave the home while husband and wife will live on forever. You see where husband and wife will be living in a big house.
A spouse should be able to accommodate eath other’s weakness.
Do you know that home is a person. Life can give you everything you desire but can be disastrous if there is no love.
Do not allow fear to rule you while trying to show love in building your home. A situation where you think that after building a home and it tears apart in future. This should be discouraged.
When you grow up in marriage, you build formidable marriage.

Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Women

Women Can Eradicate Child Abuse In Homes

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It is disheartening to note how in the 21st century, some women abuse the rights of both their children and wards. No day passes without getting information on how a child was beaten with an object or harmful substance used on a child for little errors that should not lead to provocation.
The role of women in
curbing child abuse can never be over-emphasised.  Mothers are the ones who nurture and groom their offsprings and wards whether, biological children or adopted.
It is necessary that any child who falls under the supervision of a mother, be responsible to that woman.
Shaping the life of a child depends so much on the mother, even if certain percentage of care is being expected from a father.  The mother starts nurturing a child from age zero till the adolescent stage.  She should always do a follow-up at every stage of development of every child in her care.
Within the period of growth, if there are negative tendencies exhibited by the child, the mother should be able to identify before the child goes to school. This is because the child starts learning from the home.
When you talk about child abuse, it starts from the home and the way every child is treated matters a lot.
The menace called child abuse is something that every hands must be on deck to ensure it is eradicated in the society. The major agent of eradication is the mother.
There are various forms of child abuse.  You may discover that for every form of the menace, the woman is involved and should be held responsible for its consequences.
Of course, it is clear that child abuse does not have any positive impact on the society except the perpetrators of the act.  Some persons derive joy in seeing either their own children or other’s children being denied their rights to accomplish their own goals.
According to UNICEF in 1989, child abuse is the portion of harm to children that results from human action or inaction  that is proscribed, proximate and preventable.
The African Network for the Prevention or Protection against Child Abuse or Neglect (ANPPCAN), looked at child abuse as the intentional, unintentional or well-intentional act, which endangers the physical, health, emotional, moral and the educational welfare of the child.
Broadly, it means maltreatment of a child. It is any form of action that brings about physical, mental, psychological and social torture to the child.
When you talk about child labour, which includes buying and selling, most times, a woman will intentionally send the child out for hawking with the aim of making money. A situation where a woman’s children will be in school and she finds pleasure in sending a house help out potends danger to that child.
Just recently, when pimary and secondary schools resumed for third term, a woman told her househelp to resume school one week after resumption, thereby dening her classes for the first week of resumption.
A woman should not send an adopted child out to the neighbourhood alone to fetch water when her own children are idle because her role is to protect every child in her care, whether biological or not.
When you talk about child trafficking, apart from children being in school, the mother should be aware of the location of the child at every time. Monitoring the children should be the watchword of every committed mother. When a woman is careless about the whereabouts of the child, that child can be picked up from any location without her knowledge.
A woman should not express anger on everything the child does at home.   A child/ward can be corrected for wrong doing without being battered.  It has been discovered in some homes that child battering has led to death or deformity of some children. A mother should know the kind of punishment a child deserves for correction.
An undergraduate teenage student who was housed by another woman because the student was unable to secure accommodation in the university had it rough with the woman that it got to a point where she slapped the girl during examination period. She never considered that maltreating her could affect her performance in the semester academic work.
No matter the level of provocation, you don’t slap a student who is writing examination.
Some women neglect their children by sending them to others for inability to provide basic needs in the home.  Every responsible woman should be able to have the number of children she can cater for.  While the child is in another woman’s house, no one knows how many meals he or she takes in a day.
Sending a child out for hawking, especially a female, signals danger to the girl.  That is a simple way of exposing her to sexual abuse.  Some irresponsible persons with the pretence of buying something from her can lure her into undesirable sexual abuse.  The danger in this is that it can lead to unwanted pregnancy and contracting of STDs and HIV/AIDS.
Most rape cases that have been recorded are as a result of sending a girl out to hawk.
There is no harm in asking children to assist in selling so as to make up in the home, but if they are to sell in a kiosk no matter how little it may be, a mother can monitor the children there.
A mother should know that giving a child under the age of 18 out for marriage is an abuse. Women must nurture the children to maturity before sending them out in marriage because the dangers of underage marriage are devastating. When an underaged girl is given out for any reason for marriage, it must be remembered that any consequences that arise from that will fall back on the mother.
A mother should not send her child or ward out for prostitution in order to make money.
Parents and guardians, especially mothers should be more educated and more awareness acquired on why they should pay more attention to their children and wards.

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Women

The Wise Woman

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The wise woman builds her home. Mothers are supposed to live exemplary lives. The roles of mothers in the building of the modern Christian home cannot be overemphasized.
The function of the mother is to help the man build the home. She is a helper. A helper to the husband when the man is not doing well. It is important for the wise woman to assist when the man is not able to meet up with the items needed in the home.
A wise woman needs to reference God first and then the husband. Also the wise woman should respect her husband.
Caring for her own children as well as others is very crucial.
Do not despise children from other mothers. Discipline the child who is going the wrong way.
Ensure family bonding, show love and don’t discriminate. Connection with children is very important, especially the females. Find out who is her friend. Also find out the kind of lives they live. Caution, counsel and guide so that they make good partners.
Teaching children the dos and donts should start from birth. Inculcate the word of God in them so that when they grow, will not depart from it.
From the Scripture, some women influenced their families positively. Virgin Mary influenced the world, she never destroyed herself hence she gave birth to Jesus Christ.
Elizabeth, despite her age, God blessed her as she waited patiently.
A wise should curb favouritism in the family and love children equally. Whether a child is your biological child or not, it is necessary to show love equally. Reprimanding the children should be the function of both man and wife.

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