The Nigeria National Fistula Project began with a single surgical operation in December 1983 in Katsina State, and has since gradually expanded over the course of 25 years to become the largest fistula repair and training centre in the world.
The project has been lead throughout the past 25 years by Dr Kees Waaldjik, undoubtedly one of the world’s most experienced fistula surgeons. The project includes 8 fistula repair centres in the north of Nigeria, 1 in the south of Nigeria, and additionally provides substantial support to 3 centres in Niger. Two international fistula training centers have been established – one in Katsina and one in Kano, enabling doctors, nurses and other professionals from all over the world to come for training in all aspects of fistula care. In addition, in Katsina, Kano and Kaduna State, separate rehabilitation centres have been established.
In 2008, a total of 2,350 fistula repairs were performed by the project, bringing the total number of fistula repairs carried out by the project to an astounding 29,684. Over the course of its lifetime, NNFP has trained 321 are doctors, 326 are nurses/midwives and 70 other health workers. 19 workshops have been held over the same period enabling the lessons learned from this project to be shared with other fistula programmes around the world. In addition to providing an exceptional level of fistula surgery, a key objective of NNFP has been to ensure an evidence base for treatment through the meticulous documentation of each case, individual long-term follow-up, implementation of a patient database and analytical research from the patient data.
At the end of 2009, WAHA established a partnership with the Nigeria National Fistula Project to support the fistula repair centres, to expand the training activities, to develop face-to-face and e-learning materials, and to establish an online archive of patient data, including photographic and clinical information.
Read more about this project under our activities.