The mobile surgical outreach program for management of patients with genital fistula in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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The mobile surgical outreach program for management of patients with genital fistula in the Democratic Republic of Congo


JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Publication date – Jan – 2020
Authors – Raha Maroyi , Laura Keyser, Lauren Hosterman, Amisi Notia, Denis Mukwege
KeywordsCommunity outreach, Democratic Republic of Congo, Genital fistula, Mobile surgical outreach, Surgical training
Open access – Yes
SpecialityObstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgical Education
World region Central Africa
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on May 12, 2020 at 4:55 am
Abstract:

Objective
To describe components of the mobile surgical outreach (MSO) program as a model of care delivery for women with genital fistula; present program results; and discuss operational strengths and challenges.

Methods
A retrospective observational study of routinely collected health data from women treated via the MSO program (2013–2018). The program was developed at Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet the needs of women with fistula living in remote provinces, where travel is prohibited. It includes healthcare delivery, medico‐surgical training, and community sensitization components.

Results
The MSO team cared for 1517 women at 41 clinic sites across 18 provinces over the study period. Average age at presentation was 31 years (range, 1–81 years). Most women (n=1359, 89.6%) presented with vesicovaginal fistula. Most surgeries were successful, and few women reported residual incontinence postoperatively. Local teams were receptive and engaged in clinical skills training and public health education efforts.

Conclusion
The MSO program addresses the backlog of patients awaiting fistula surgery and provides a template for a national strategic plan to treat and ultimately end fistula in DRC. It offers a patient‐centered approach that brings medico‐surgical care and psychosocial support to women with fistula in their own communities.

OSI Number – 20354
PMID – 31943188

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