ROLE OF SOCIO DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS IN THE ETIOLOGY OF GENITAL FISTULA

Main Article Content

Sobia Luqman
Tahreem Sehar
Majida Zafar
Qurrat-ul-Ain
Iqra Akram
Sannia Nasir
Safia Jan

Keywords

Genital Fistula, Socio-Demographic Factors, Etiology, Women's Health, Maternal Health, Obstetric Care, Socioeconomic Status, Poverty, Education, Healthcare Access, Systematic Review, Prevention, Low-Resource Settings

Abstract

Background: Genital fistula is a devastating childbirth injury characterized by an abnormal connection between the genital and urinary or gastrointestinal tracts. It results in continuous, uncontrollable leakage of urine and/or feces, leading to severe physical and psychological suffering. While advances in medical care have made fistula largely preventable and treatable in high-resource settings, it remains a pervasive issue in many low-income countries. The etiology of genital fistula is complex and influenced by socio-demographic factors such as age, education, economic status, and healthcare access. Understanding these factors is essential to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies.


Aim: This research aims to investigate the role of socio-demographic factors in the etiology of genital fistula. By synthesizing existing literature and conducting a comprehensive analysis, we seek to identify the key determinants and pathways through which socio-demographic factors influence the incidence of genital fistula. Ultimately, our goal is to provide insights that can inform targeted interventions and policies to reduce the burden of this condition.


Methods: A systematic paper of peer-reviewed articles, reports, and studies related to genital fistula and socio-demographic factors was conducted. This research was conducted at MCH PIMS, from Jan 2022 till June 2023. The literature search covered a broad range of databases and included studies from various geographic regions. After identifying relevant publications, data extraction and analysis were carried out to elucidate the connections between socio-demographic factors and the etiology of genital fistula. The analysis employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including statistical modeling and thematic synthesis.


Results: The analysis revealed a complex interplay of socio-demographic factors in the etiology of genital fistula. Age at first childbirth emerged as a significant predictor, with early marriages and pregnancies increasing the risk of fistula. This study consisted of total 40 participants. Low educational attainment, especially among women, was associated with higher odds of experiencing fistula, highlighting the importance of empowering women through education. Economic status also played a crucial role, with poverty contributing to limited access to healthcare, delaying obstetric care, and increasing the risk of obstetric complications leading to fistula. Healthcare disparities and inadequate infrastructure further exacerbated the problem.


Conclusion: The findings from this research emphasize the critical role of socio-demographic factors in the etiology of genital fistula. To effectively address this condition, interventions must consider the multifaceted nature of these factors. Strategies should focus on delaying early marriages, promoting education, and providing accessible and affordable healthcare, especially during pregnancy and childbirth. Empowering women and improving their socio-economic status can be central to reducing the incidence of genital fistula. This study underscores the urgency of a comprehensive approach to tackle genital fistula, combining medical, social, and economic interventions.

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