$1.96 million is awarded to Nigeria and seven other countries to combat fistula disorder

Eight West African countries, including Nigeria, have received a combined $1.96 million grant to address the debilitating issue of fistula disorder in the region.

The grant, provided by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Gender Development Centre, aims to empower these nations in tackling this critical health challenge affecting women.

Each of the beneficiary countries, including Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, and Liberia, received a share of $245,000. This funding represents a significant step towards improving the lives of women suffering from fistula disorder, which can have devastating physical and social consequences.

The presentation of the grant occurred during the 91st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held in Abuja. This event highlighted the commitment of regional leaders to address gender-specific health challenges and advance the well-being of women in West Africa.

While presenting the grant, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, acknowledged the economic difficulties facing the region.

He emphasised the importance of resource allocation and urged member states to support financial transparency and accountability to ensure the efficient use of available funds.

ECOWAS Commission President, Omar Touray, also expressed concerns regarding levy collection challenges due to sanctions imposed on some member states

He stressed the crucial role of financial resources in achieving the community’s goals and urged collaborative efforts to overcome financial constraints and advance their collective agenda.

It’s important to note that fistula disorder disproportionately affects women in Northern Nigeria, with an annual incidence rate estimated at 2.11 per 1000 births.

By investing in fistula prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs, West African nations can ensure improved healthcare outcomes for women and contribute to a more equitable and sustainable future for the region.