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Page added on October 10, 2011
Airtel, market leaders in mobile telephony have scored yet another first by gifting the Aberdeen Women’s Center a toll-free telephone line for fistula patients across the country.
Fistula is an abnormal opening between the bladder and the birth canal, or the rectum and the birth canal, which afflicts women as a result of prolonged and obstructed labor.
The chairman of the programme Dr. Samuel A.S. Kargbo said that Fistula issue is one of government’s key concerns which should not only be limited to the capital Freetown but nationwide. He observed that Fistula brings shame and disgrace to a woman.
Jude Holden, Country Director of the centre confirmed her happiness for the success of the Fistula surgical operations since 2010 when the Globe Foundation took over the Aberdeen Women’s Centre. She disclosed that the centre currently has a team of 100 staff both national and internationally. She furthered that their partnership with Airtel has made it possible to reach out nationwide by dialing 555 from any Airtel line for enquiries and possible care. She appraised Airtel for such a kind gesture.
Airtel’s Corporate Affairs Manager June Rose Johnson expressed her company’s interest in the Fistula foundation and is therefore proud being partners with the Women’s Centre as Airtel can boast of having the widest coverage in the country.
Mrs. Ratidzai Ndhlovu country representative UNFPA in her statement said that the free toll line is an opportunity for women and serves as a great land mark for Sierra Leone. She maintained that the Airtel network will reduce the rate of Fistula by dialing 555 as the extent of the free line is very important especially in the provinces adding that it is a way of reducing the death rate. Mrs. Ndhlovu pointed that Fistula can affect psychological emotion leading to frustration. She however thanked the Aberdeen Women’s Centre for their tireless effort. She pleaded for the various bodies involved to come together to make a great impact in Sierra Leone as UNFPA is prepared to continue partnership with the Aberdeen Women’s Centre.
The founder of the Freedom from Fistula Foundation, Ann Gloag said that the Fistula foundation was found in 2008 and it has been in operation for three years. In 2010 the maternal health started as a first class standard in which 13,000 babies’s were delivered and lost only one mother. With Fistula, you loose all your dignity ad therefore we all need to work together to meet the slogan. The fistula service operates on a 24 hours basis. The system is simple but brings a whopping change in the lives of women in the country.
First Lady Mrs. Sia N.Koroma expressed her commitment in women’s health. The toll free hotline will help women all over the country from Fistula and also helps to promote institutional delivery. The mobile phone links up the rural areas to the hospital. She thanked Airtel for providing the free service line and Ann Gloag for promoting women in Sierra Leone.
The 1st and 2nd ladies threw two birds in the air to mark the launch of the Fistula toll free hotline.
By N’gardi Lahai
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