Factors associated with obstetric fistula in Western Uganda
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Background: Obstetric fistula is a maternal morbidity creating devastating health problems for the women. Continuous and uncontrollable leaking of urine or feces from vagina can lead to life changing stigmatization for women in third world countries. The underlying factors and consequences of this problem are not yet fully identified and adequately documented in Uganda. Methods: The study based on secondary data from the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2011. Results: The majority of women that were interviewed were aged 15-19 years 23.6 percent. Among women that were interviewed, majority were from the rural with 86.3 percent. Most of the respondents had gone through primary and had their percentage as (58.5%). Majority of them were Catholics (41.7%) then followed by protestants (34.7%). The majority of women that were interviewed were currently in union at 60.9 percent. Among women that were interviewed belonged to the middle income households (26.7%) and majority had never experienced obstetric fistula (96%). At the second level analysis at the second level, chi square tests were used to establish the relationship between dependent and independent variables, a highly significant relationship was found to exist between obstetric fistula and age of respondent, marital status and place of residence were significant with p-value <0.005. Conclusion: The study identified that demographic, socio-economic and health related variables have an important effect on determinants of obstetric fistula in western Uganda. Despite the numerous strategies that the government has put in place in addition to international organizations like WHO and UNFPA that work holistically to reduce the occurrence of fistula and its causes. Fistula is still a major cause of most maternal and infant deaths in Uganda. Increased participation in Antenatal Clinics will see the occurrence drop down as many mothers will be able to detect that they can’t have a normal delivery so they will have opt for timely caeserean section and avoid obstructed labour that brings about the development of a fistula.