Challenges Facing Vesico Vagina Fistula (V.V.F.) Patients and the Roles of Librarians in Providing E-Health Information Services: A Qualitative Case Study of V.V.F. Patients in Kubau Metropolitan Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria
Jumare Mohammed Hamza
Department of Library and Information Science, Federal College of
Education, Zaria. Nigeria
Phone Number: +2348063911880
Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) is one of the delicate diseases that require extra careful attention to diagnosed individuals about its complications. As such, this study aims at finding out the challenges facing V.V.F. patients in Kubau metropolitan area of Kaduna state, Nigeria. Specifically, the roles of librarians in providing E-health information services. To achieve the objectives of this study, qualitative research approach was used. Ten (10) participants were interviewed. The findings revealed that uncontrolled leakage, bad odor, suicidal behavior, and stereotyped were the challenges faced by V.V.F. patients in this case study. Finally, the researcher proposed some roles E-Librarians can play in curbing the challenges of VVF patients in Kubau local government area of Kaduna state, Nigeria.
Keywords: Challenge, Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF), VVF Patients, E-Librarians, Health related Information, Qualitative case study, thematic analysis.
Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) is a major women’s health problem in the world. Vesico Vagina Fistula (VVF) is a type of disease between bladder and Vagina which leads to unrolled urine leakage (Ahmad and Holts, 2007). Over, one hundred thousand (100,000) women suffer from V.V.F. disorder in developed countries (W.H.O., 2006). While, in developing countries like Nigeria, about five thousand (5,000) cases of V.V.F. were recorded annually (Sadiq and Daniel, 2000).
If all the above mentioned are true facts then, there is a critical need to have an empirical study that would identify, capture, and document the challenges facing V.V.F. patients in Nigeria.
What is known?
Scholars within the health profession have discussed the concept of V.V.F, types of V.V.F, causes of V.V.F, preventive methods of V.V.F, and medications for V.V.F.
What is unknown?
The researcher of this study confirmed that there is no one single empirical study that identifies, capture and document the challenges facing VVF patients in Kubau metropolitan area of Kaduna state, Nigeria. Specifically, the roles of librarians in providing e-health information services.
E-library is also known as a digital library or online library is a type of library that offers access to informational materials such as text books, novels or information via internet (McCredia, 2013). Furthermore, E-library has been described as the combination of computer hardwires and soft wires to acquire, store or display electronic information resources.
Who is E-Librarian?
An E-Librarian is a professional librarian with ICT skills that has the ability to acquire, process, store, retrieve and disseminate information resources through internet interface (olanlokun, 2005). Moreover, E-Librarian can be described as an individual who is professionally trained and can package and repackage relevant information that would breach the information needs and information gap of his/her users, patrons or customers with the help of ICT’s devices.
The researcher adopted a qualitative research methodology to have an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing VVF patients in this case study. Qualitative methodology has been proven to be a useful mechanism in identifying human’s inner-pains, experiences, perceptions, and behaviors about a particular issue or incident (Creswell, 2002).
Raw data collected from VVF patients in this study were achieved with the help of semi-structured face to face interview. Before the commencement of the interview, participants were brief about the aims of the study and assured them that their privacy and confidentiality is secured for not mentioning their names or contact address at any stage of this study.
Interview was conducted with 10 VVF patients at their various choices of locations.
Data collected from the participants were analyzed using three (3) steps of thematic analysis techniques as proposed by Miles and Huberman (1994).
Step 1: Data Reduction
The first step is to read and re-read the transcribed data aim at underling sentences or phrases that represent answers to a particular interviewed questions. The researcher recorded sentences and phrases on clean plain sheets of paper.
Step 2: Data display
At this stage, the searcher grouped all sentences that answered the interviewed question together and formed four sub-themes.
Step 3: Conclusion drug & vindication
At this final step, the researcher re-check and re-confirmed the sub-themes and condense them together to form three themes that explained the challenges of VVF patients in this case study, as described in table 1.
To abide by the ethical considerations governing health research reports, the researcher were given approval by the ethics board of Ahmadu Bello University teaching hospital Shika. More so, each participant was brief about the purpose of the study and assured them that their names would not be mentioned anywhere in this study to ensure their confidentially.
Relevant that were collected and analyzed in this study generated several themes and sub-themes, as presented below:
Table 1: Challenges facing Vesico Vagina Fistula patients in Kubau metropolitan area of Kaduna state, Nigeria
What are the challenges facing Vesico Vagina Fistula patients in Kubau metropolitan area of Kaduna state, Nigeria?
Physical challenges as a theme in this study have generated some few sub-themes such as uncountable leakage and bad odor.
Uncountable leakage as a sub-theme in this study comprises narrations of VVF patients in Kubau metropolis with regards to the shameful feelings they experienced. For example, one participant narrated that:
“uhm! (Pause for a while) my major problem with this disease is that I cannot control my urine. I remember the day my in-laws visited us in our house I was trying to bring refreshment to them suddenly I started urinating non-stop [Pause and shade tears]. I was so ashamed of myself that day”
Another participant with different perception reported that:
“Kai! (Shouted) I still have that flash-back in my brain, the day I thought I started feeling fine then I decided to escort one of my friends to the market then the person next to me was like asking me “is that water running between your legs or what?”. Kai! Mtsww it was so embarrassing experience [Pause and shade tears]”.
VVF patients in this case study also reported bad order as one of the challenges they experienced. This claim can be traced in the words of the participant when she stated that:
“Well, the most irritating problem I have with this disease in noting rather than the unpleasant smell of my body, no matter how powered perfume I spray on my body I still smell bad and don’t feel comfortable.”
A Psychological challenge as a theme in this study has generated one major sub-theme, which was described as suicidal behavior as explained below.
Sucidal l behavior sub-theme comprises a lot of psychological issues related to VVF disease such as how the patients felt like committing suicide as a result of stigmatization attitude they recieved from some individuals. For example, one of the participants stated that:
“Gush! Well seriously speaking due to the level of depression and sometimes the negative attitude I received from people around me made me mad. I sometimes felt like killing myself but thank God for my family support.”
Another participant with similar but different version experience stated that:
“Ah! You [The interviewer] see I felt like my life has come to an end because I had so many voices in my brain telling me to drink rat poison and end this miserable life. But, Yah! Thank God I received some advice from the co-patients I meet in this hospital (Ahmadu Bello university teaching hospital Shika Zaria) and am somehow ok now.”
A Sociological challenge as a theme in this study has generated one major sub-theme, which was described as stereotyped as explained below.
Stereotyped as a sub-theme comprises a lot of sociological complications related to VVF disease. For example, one of the participants stated that:
“Ehn! Am another issue with this disease I faced is nothing rather than the way many of my close friends disassociated themselves from me because they claimed am smelling bad and there was a time I heard them gossiping about me.”
Another participant claimed that:
“uhm, you see there was a time I attended a wedding ceremony of one of my friends, and you know how women behave in this kind of gathering. So wherever I go around the venue, people were like uhm this is terrible smelling and they don’t like to sit near me because they don’t wanna be infected with my wahala (problem).”
- DATA DISCUSSION
The collected data were analyzed and discussed below:
(1) This study found out that VVF patients encounter so many challenges such as uncontrolled urine leakage and smell bad order. This findings tally with the findings of Kabir, Iliya and Umar (2004) who find out that VVF patients in Kano state experienced uncontrolled urine leakage and smelling bad which resulted to social stigmatization.
(2) Moreover, this study also found out that psychological challenges such as suicidal behavior as a result of negative attitudes VVF patients received from individuals around their community was also another challenge VVF patients in this case study experienced.
This is really a serious problem, imagine a human being suffering from depression and anxiety even thinking of ending the precious one short soul he/she has. Timothy (2018) reported that among the top reasons why individuals wants to end their lives is when they were being diagnosed with serious medical conditions and also even when they are being socially isolated, especially as a result of bullying.
(3) Finally, this study also found out that VVF patients in this case study experienced socio-cultural challenge such as discrimination from friends and stereotyped as unwanted people in their various communities.
This finding is corresponded with the study of Mselle and Koli (2015) who found out that VVF patients in Tanzania experienced social discrimination therefore, they were stereotyped as individuals who cannot contribute to the family income financially and also those who cannot bear children neither satisfy their suitors sexual desires.
Conclusively, this study positioned that VVF patients in Kubau local government area of Kaduna state Nigeria encounter several challenges in their everyday life activities. This is because there are insistences in the data collected that support this claim. For example, some of the participants reported that their major challenges with the disease are uncontrolled urine leakage and smelling bad order. Moreover, some of the patients claimed that they experience high rate of depression due to stereotyping and stigmatization they received from people in their various communities.
At this junction, the researcher suggested the following roles of E-Librarians in curbing the challenges of VVF patients in Kubau local government area of Kaduna state:
- E-Librarians of medical libraries within Kaduna state should be able to organize seminars in collaboration with medical doctors aimed at communicating new ideas for controlling uncontrollable leakage and smelling bad odor. Moreover, the seminar sessions should be recorded via video/audio devices for the purpose of preserving and communicating it to online VVF patients that were not able to attend the seminars.
- E-Librarians should bear in mind that it is their responsibility to acquire, process, store, retrieve and communicate medical information to patients especially those suffering from chronic diseases like VVF. Therefore, the researcher of this study recommend that E-Librarians in conjunction with behavioral counselors should provide relevant information to VVF patients through psychotherapy counseling services.
- E-Librarians of medical libraries within Kaduna state should unite themselves and organize an anti-stereotyping campaign against VVF patients through social medias such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Snap chart, and Instagram. Furthermore, the E-Librarians should subscribe to YouTube handle aimed at uploading anti-stigmatization video clips.
I declare that this study does not receive any grant from any funding agency in the world.
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