Correlates of Occurrence of Obstetric Fistula among Women in Selected States of India: An Analysis of DLHS 1-3 Data

Keywords:

India, obstetric fistula, correlates, preventive measures, cephalo-pelvic disproportion.


Published online: Jul 08 2011

B.K. Gulati1, S. Unisa2, A. Pandey3, D. Sahu4, S. Ganguly5

1 Scientist B, National Institute of Medical Statistics, ICMR Campus, New Delhi. E-mail: gulbk@hotmail.com

Professor, Department of Mathematical Demography and Statistics, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India. E-mail: unisa@iips.net

Scientist G & Director, National Institute of Medical Statistics, ICMR Campus, New Delhi. E-mail: arvindp.nims@gmail.com

4 Scientist D, National Institute of Medical Statistics, ICMR Campus, New Delhi. E-mail: sahu_m@hotmail.com

Research Fellow, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India. E-mail: sujataganguly2002@rediffmail.com

Correspondence at: Sayeed Unisa, E-mail: unisa@iips.net

Abstract

Obstetric fistula is the most devastating form of maternal morbidity. It is an opening in the wall of vagina connecting to bladder or to rectum due to prolonged obstructed labour without timely medical assistance. A few research studies carried out in India and recently conducted DLHS-3 survey (2007-08) has information on obstetric fistula that gives scope for further research. This paper examines prevalence of obstetric fistula and its correlates using DLHS-3 data for selected states in India. Ever experience of obstetric fistula among women in these states ranges from 0.3 percent to 3.4 percent, being highest in Uttarakhand. Women living in rural areas have higher chance of obstetric fistula. Age and physical maturity is important factor in the occurrence of fistula and it is found that those women who were below 18 years at the time of their first birth have higher risk of fistula in comparison to those who had child at 18 or above years. In addition to this, those having problems at the time of delivery are around two times more likely to have fistula. Auxulary Nurse Midwife can be key players in the early detection and referral of cephalo-pelvic disproportion, malpresentation and prolonged, obstructed labour cases.