The Co-founder and Regional Director of the West Africa Fistula Foundation, Dr. Darius Maggi on Tuesday 19th February 2008 made a courtesy call on the First Lady of the Republic, Madam Sia Nyama Koroma at the First Family’s residence in Freetown.
During that brief meeting, the Regional Director disclosed that the Foundation was formed several years ago to assist women living with vesico-vaginal fistula complications who do not have the financial strength to undergo proper treatment. He took the opportunity to congratulate the people of Sierra Leone for their resolve in seeing that true democracy prevails in the country. He described Sierra Leone as wonderful.
Presenting the delegation to Madam Koroma, Dr Ibrahim Thorlie of the Government Medical Services disclosed that the programme started in the country during the rebel war to target women as the most vulnerable group. He said the magnitude of the problem gave birth to the initiative as the programme flys in Surgeon Specialists to help women remove the stigma of living with the disease.
He however stated that after some time, the Foundation lacked the requisite funding to function properly, which he said was why they sought the assistances of an international NGO, the Mercy Ships.
In her response, Madam Koroma thanked the delegation for their visit. She disclosed that while in London some months ago, she advocated on the issue of maternal mortality and morbidity in which latter category the fistula condition fell. The First Lady expressed her willingness to do everything humane to assist the foundation. She said they can count on her support any time needed.
The Country Representative of the Foundation, Samuel Pieh informed the First Lady that they are in partnership with the government to address issues relating to the condition, adding that the Foundation, has helped some 1,400 women to have their fistulas repaired.
Source: Awareness Times – 3 March 2008