Poverty responsible for obstetric fistula

Many women in developing nations are suffering with obstetric fistula because they are poor, the UN Population Fund has warned.

According to Edwige Ravaomanana, spokeswoman for the body, females in less affluent countries such as Madagascar often cannot afford to have the operation to correct the problem.

Speaking to AFP, she said the fact women often do not live close to healthcare facilities can also stop them obtaining the treatment they need.

Ms Ravaomanana noted that many females may not head to a clinic because they are too far away, but said some might not actually know where they are located.

"The women who live far [away] try to give birth with a matron, a traditional birth attendant," she commented.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that obstetric fistula affects between 50,000 and 100,000 females across the globe every year.

This, it warned, can be a key factor behind maternal mortality in many countries.