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Press Release

UNFPA and KOICA Increase Accessibility to Fistula Treatment in the Northeast with the Commissioning of an Ultra-Modern Fistula Centre and Women Empowerment Centre in Maiduguri

MAIDUGURI, 25 May 2021: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today commissioned the Ultra-Modern Fistula Centre and Women Empowerment Centre in Maiduguri, Borno State, for the treatment and rehabilitation of fistula survivors in Borno and environs, in a bid to increase access to treatment and rehabilitation facilities for those left furthest behind in the Northeast. The 2 centres which were declared opened by the State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, were constructed with the funding support of the Korean Government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Nigeria.


The Resident Representative of UNFPA, Ms. Ulla Mueller who is currently on a working visit to Maiduguri to interact with beneficiaries of humanitarian interventions implemented by the State Government with the support of UNFPA is also meeting with other stakeholders and humanitarian actors collaborating with UNFPA to eliminate maternal mortality, cancel the unmet need for child spacing and abolish gender-based violence and harmful practices.


An obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by protracted, obstructed labour. Left untreated, it leads to infection, disease, and infertility. Affected women constantly leak urine and faeces, which often cause their spouses to abandon them, and many times, they are stigmatized with community rejection and vanishing of employment opportunities. Many women who are affected often resign themselves to a life of misery and isolation. 


Obstetric Fistula is a preventable and treatable condition, and often symbolizes a health system that is challenged in serving its people effectively as it has been observed to only persist in poor countries of the world. It is estimated that over 400,000 women with obstetric fistula remain untreated in Nigeria.


23rd May every year has been declared as the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula by the United Nations General Assembly, and the theme of this year’s observance is “Women’s rights are human rights! End fistula now!”. The commissioning of the twin project, ultra-modern fistula center together with the women empowerment center in Maiduguri is to ensure that every woman who undergoes fistula surgery and is healed of the condition can learn a new skill at the empowerment center and also receive a seed stock to commence an economically viable income yielding venture. The ultra-modern fistula centre is a 40-bed capacity centre equipped with a modern theatre within the State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.  


UNFPA is the United Nations Reproductive Health and Rights agency. Its mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA supports healthcare for women and youth in more than 150 countries which is home to more than 80% of the world’s population.

For more information, contact:

Mr Christian Macaulay Sabum, Humanitarian Coordinator & Head,

UNFPA Maiduguri Sub-Office, No 87, New Extension GRA,

Circular Road, Maiduguri, Borno State