Nigeria, a high burden state of obstetric fistula: a contextual analysis of key drivers

Pan Afr Med J. 2020 May 18:36:22. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2020.36.22.22204. eCollection 2020.


Obstetric fistula (OF) remain a source of public health concern and one of the most devastating maternal morbidities afflicting about two million women, mostly in developing countries. It is still prevalent in Nigeria due to the existence of socio-cultural beliefs/practices, socio-economic state and poor health facilities. The country's estimated annual 40,000 pregnancy-related deaths account for about 14% of the global maternal mortality, placing it among the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world for a woman to give birth. However, maternal morbidities including OF account for 20 to 30 times the number of maternal mortalities. This review substantiates why OF is yet to be eliminated in Nigeria as one of the countries with the largest burden of obstetric fistula. There is need for coordinated response to prevent and eliminate this morbidity via political commitment, implementation of evidence-based policy and execution of prevention programs.

Keywords: Nigeria; Obstetric fistula; burden; key drivers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Mortality*
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / epidemiology*