Airtel’s 555 hotline brings hope to fistula patients
The silent suffering of women in the country is uncountable. Fistula is one amongst many. 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.
Airtel in support of health and concern for Sierra Leoneans brought hope and light at the end of the tunnel for fistula patients by providing a toll-free line (555) to the Aberdeen Women Clinic for Fistula patients to reach them so they can acquire treatment. Airtel links up the rural areas to the hospital and it is a 24hrs service.
The chairman of the programme Dr. Samuel A S Kargbo at the launch on Saturday said that Fistula is one of government’s key concerns which should not only be limited to the capital Freetown but nation wide. He observed that Fistula brings shame and disgrace to a woman.
Country Director, Jude Holden of the centre expressed happiness for the success of Fistula surgical operations since 2010 when the Globe Foundation took over the Aberdeen Women’s Centre. She commented that the partnership with Airtel has made it possible to reach out nationwide by dialing 555 from any Airtel line for enquiries and possible cure. She rained praises on Airtel for such a considerable gesture.
Airtel’s Corporate Affairs Manager, June Rose Johnson, states her company’s interest in the Fistula Foundation and is therefore proud to be partners with the Women’s Centre as Airtel can boast of the widest coverage in the country.
Ann Gloag, founder of the Freedom from Fistula Foundation said that the Fistula foundation was founded in 2008 and it has been in active operation for three years. In 2010 the maternal health started as a first class standard in which 13,000 babies’ were delivered and lost only one mother.
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 help to promote institutional delivery as reproductive health right is part of women’s right. She however thanked Airtel for providing the free service line. First and Second lady demonstrates fistula freedom by release birds in the air.
Other dignitaries that attended the programme were Mrs. Ratidzai Ndhlovu, country representative; UNFPA etc.
Testimony was shared by a patient. The Fistula patients at the centre sang praise songs in their local languages and danced in appreciation of what the organization and Airtel did for them.
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