The National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki (NOFIC) was established in 2011 by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the first national health facility for the treatment, rehabilitation, research, reintegration of and training in obstetric fistula mainly and related reproductive health issues.

Initially started in 2008 as the brain child of Her Excellency, Chief Mrs Josephine Nwuzor Elechi, the wife of the second Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, who built The Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI) Fistula Centre in Ebonyi State for the purpose of advancing maternal health through her pet project, The Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI) with the support of development partners and stakeholders in Ebonyi State.

The Centre expanded to treating patients from neighbouring states in the South East region and was hence upgraded to South East Fistula Centre, Abakaliki. This finally gave birth to our Centre as the first National Obstetric Fistula Centre in Nigeria in 2011.

Following the above development, the Federal Government of Nigeria appointed its pioneer Medical Director, Prof. Ilogbeun. Sunday-Adeoye (2011 – 2019), where together with about ninety-six inherited staff from Ebonyi State civil service, ensured the implementation of the Centre’s mandate, which includes being a national reference Centre for free Treatment, Training, Rehabilitation, Research, and Prevention of obstetrics fistula. The Federal Government of Nigeria has ensured recruitment of additional staff for efficient service delivery, with the staff strength currently standing at one hundred and ninety-four staff. Following the expiration of the tenure of the pioneer Medical Director, in May, 2019, a new Medical Director, Professor Johnson Akuma Obuna was appointed to take charge of the affairs of the hospital. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre.

In terms of service delivery, National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki has between 2008 – 2010, caused the surgical repair of over one thousand obstetrics fistula cases from twenty (20) states of the federation. For the period 2010 – 2019, over three thousand (3,000) obstetric fistula clients have been successfully repaired, in addition to surgical treatment of one thousand (1,000) uterine prolapse.

In the areas of training, the Centre is the designated Centre for training of medical doctors and specialists, nurses and other paramedicals from teaching hospitals and other healthcare facilities on obstetric fistula management. The Centre has recently obtained approval from Ebonyi State University, in line with its mandate, to run post graduate degree programmes in Obstetric Fistula, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Reproductive Health, Nursing Oncology and Rural Medicine. It also undertakes the teaching through rotational postings of medical, nursing students and other paramedicals from universities at both national and subnational levels.

Currently, over fifty (50) medical doctors and nurses and more than two hundred (200) under-graduate medical and nursing students have successfully been trained in the Centre, in the past five years. The postgraduate degree programmes is expected to be operational by 2020.

Rehabilitation services are offered to repaired fistula clients. The Department of Social Works with support from Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, other MDAs and organisations have trained repaired clients on tailoring, bakery, weaving, bead-making, hair dressing, soap /detergent/perfume production, etc. Efforts are on to establish relationship with conditional grants schemes to support repaired clients to access funds for corporative and small scale businesses in order to support, champion and sustain maternal health among rural dwellers.

Currently the Centre has provided free treatment for over 2000 women from over twenty states of the federation (including Ebonyi, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta, Kogi, kwara, Benue, Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Bauchi, Abuja) with genital fistula including free feeding, investigation, surgery, medications etc.

The Centre has continued to champion multidisciplinary research not only among staff, but also with universities in clinical and public health evidence-based intervention in Obstetric Fistula and Maternal Health in the African sub-region. With works published, and good number of universities sending their students at all levels for their researches, we hope to capture the interest of international research institutions and universities to support research in the Centre.

Preventive services offered at the centre includes family planning services, community mobilization and resource utilization. With the pioneering effort of the Social Mobilization and Disease Control Department whose Director/HOD, Dr. Henry Uro-Chukwu, in consultation with others, was instrumental to the design of the organisational structure of the Centre, issues such as female genital mutilation, other gender-based violence, rape, poor girl-child education, delayed labour, involvement of men in reproductive health etc, are being addressed through public enlightenment, community visits, advocacy to institutions, and liaison with offices of wife of political leaders as champions of maternal health. The family planning services are accessible to both sexes within the hospital and at the community level. So far, 3,212 women have benefited from family planning counselling.

Additionally, the Centre has a functional Invitro Fertilization (IVF) complex which has recorded six (6) successful deliveries through the assisted reproductive technology.

Secondly, the construction and installation of a Renal Dialysis Centre and equipment respectively is to support women with uro-gynaecological complications and renal patients.

Other services offered at the Centre includes cervical screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer screening using the latest mammograms and screening for prostate cancers. While 20,553 clients have been screened for breast and cervical cancer, 389 men have been screened for prostate cancer. Of these number, 1,440 cryo-therapy have been carried out on women with premalignant cervical lesions. The new management has introduced Antenatal services and Postnatal Unit to support repaired clients whose desires to improve on their family sizes have been assessed suitable. The Centre has support services from well-equipped Medical Laboratory, Physiotherapy and Radiology Departments.

Successful Years of Operation
Repaired obstetrics fistula cases
Medical Doctors and Nurses trained
Under-Graduate Medical doctors and Nursing students
Treated Uterine Prolapse
Family Planning Counselling
IVF Deliveries
Breast & Cervical Screening


DR. HENRY CHUKWUEMEKA URO-CHUKWUDirector/Head of Department, Social Mobilization and Disease Control
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