Factors influencing obstetric fistula occurrence among adolescent mothers (15-19) in Uganda
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Obstetric fistula is a huge health concern among adolescent mothers yet it can be treated and prevented. It is a major contributor to ill maternal health of so many mothers, especially in developing countries where the health system is poorly structured. Obstructed labor, in the absence of emergency obstetric care and well-skilled personnel, to provide the required assistance that an adolescent mother requires increases the risk of her getting an obstetric fistula. This is because the fetus’ head imposes a great force on the vaginal walls and pelvic bones, increasing the chances of such a delivery resulting in an obstetric fistula. Adolescent mothers are at risk because their pelvic bones are not yet fully developed and thus not strong enough to handle the delivery process. Also, the odds are increased if the surgeons carrying out the emergency surgery to deliver the baby are negligent to the point of causing injury in the process. Unfortunately, the skilled personnel (surgeons) in that field are very few throughout the country thus treatment of obstetric fistula among adolescent mothers continues to be low. Early detection and treatment of obstetric fistula, as well as having qualified doctors and surgeons to handle the treatment process is key in getting rid of obstetric fistula among adolescent mothers. The main objective of this study was to identify the factors that influence obstetric fistula occurrence among adolescent mothers 15-19 in Uganda. The study was based on the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and ICF 2018 where the woman’s questionnaire was revised to get conclusive results. The sample to be studied comprised 4264 (already weighed) adolescents (15-19) years since it is where this study draws the emphasis. Logistic regression was used to identify the key factors influencing fistula occurrence among adolescent mothers (15-19) in Uganda. Results were analyzed using tables where it was discovered that majority of the respondents had never experienced fistula implying that a small percentage was experiencing fistula. It should however be noted that there is a possibility that some victims of obstetric fistula chose to keep quiet about their ordeal so that they are not criticized. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the factors influencing fistula occurrence among adolescent mothers (15-19) in Uganda. As this is a sensitive age group that requires attention which needs to have the government focus in terms of education, training, and equipping health centers among others.