AMREF Awareness Creation Campaign and Reduction of Obstetrics Fistula Stigma: Evidence from Misungwi District, Tanzania

Adrian Mgaya

Department of Mass Communication, School of Graduate Studies, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

Prospery M. Mwila

School of Graduate Studies, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Obstetric fistula is a maternal health issue. According to statistics, 3,000 Tanzanian women have obstetric fistula each year. Women, particularly in certain rural regions, endure extended periods of untreated fistula. They experience tremendous psychological stress throughout this time of obstetric fistula pain. In this study, women's empowerment and psychosocial fistula campaigns were used as a case study to explore how AMREF awareness-raising initiatives helped to lessen the stigma associated with obstetric fistula in the Misungwi area. The study employed a sample size of 40 participants, including fistula survivors, healthcare professionals, and fistula ambassadors. Both qualitative and quantitative data gathering techniques were employed in the study. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. According to the study, 54% of the fistula survivors learned about the condition from people who were identified as "fistula ambassadors," followed by 26% of health professionals, 18% of people who heard about it through media such as radio, and 2% of older women. No one mentioned their own personal experiences. According to the research, 60% of the survivors said they searched for health information frequently, 30% said they did so only when necessary, and the remaining 10% said they did not so frequently. The study also showed that 27% of the survivors did not believe that the community had adequate awareness about fistula, whereas 73% of the survivors saw that the community had enough awareness. The stigma associated with not knowing about fistula can be upsetting and invalidating, but it also has more serious effects, including promoting intolerance, fear, and prejudice against other individuals. To have a positive impact on the obstetric fistula programme, organizations should collaborate with respected community members, including local decision-makers, religious leaders, traditional healers, midwives, and other professionals in the health care industry.

Keywords: AMREF, awareness, awareness creation, stigma, obstetric fistula, vesicovaginal fistula, Tanzania


How to Cite

Mgaya , A., & Mwila , P. M. (2023). AMREF Awareness Creation Campaign and Reduction of Obstetrics Fistula Stigma: Evidence from Misungwi District, Tanzania. Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences, 21(2), 14–29. https://doi.org/10.9734/arjass/2023/v21i2463


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