Our reporter Kath Sansom urges modern day suffragettes to join House of Lords rally in support of Sling The Mesh
PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:10 06 February 2018
Women's campaign group Sling the Mesh is staging a modern day suffragette rally to tie in with the 100th anniversary of when women were first given the right to vote in the UK.
Around 50 members of the group, led by our journalist Kath Sansom, are travelling from across Britain to join a protest outside the House of Lords.
They will be calling on the Government to hear their voice with a slogan: ‘100 years of votes for women, now hear our voice, Sling the Mesh’.
The group began in June 2015 with 20 women, today it has 5,400 members.
One of the mesh injured women attending is Annette Power, of Cambridgeshire, who is following in the footsteps of her grandmother who was one of the original suffragettes.
Annette is close to becoming antibiotic resistant and is at risk of sepsis because of a mesh implant given to her to treat mild stress incontinence.
Following the protest women will join Lord Phillip Hunt inside the House of Lords as he calls on ministers to suspend mesh implants pending the outcome of a Government audit, announced last week.
Lord Hunt said: “Pelvic mesh is routinely used in the UK. So many women have suffered as a result and it is time for the Government to take action now by suspending its use.”
A survey of 570 women in Sling the Mesh shows when pelvic mesh implants go wrong there is a “shocking extent of injuries”.
Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, Owen Smith MP said: “These results are truly heart-breaking and show the shocking extent of the suffering some women are facing following mesh implant surgery. Many of the issues detailed in the survey are life-changing and cannot be ignored.
“Until we have a clear understanding of the long term risks and benefits of mesh, its use should be suspended.”
The survey shows seven out of ten women lose their sex lives and six out of ten suffer depression.
One in seven loses their marriage/partners.
A third gives up work.
More than half suffer constant urinary infections and one in 20 is becoming antibiotic resistant.
Kath said: “A century ago Government heard the political voices of women, so in 2018 it is time they heard our voices to stop the biggest women’s health disaster since Thalidomide.
“Our survey shows the personal devastation when women suffer mesh implant complications. We have women in the group who are suicidal, who don’t want to carry on because the pain is so intense. Yet previously they led healthy lives.
“Surgeon societies know there are big problems as 18 specialist mesh centres have been set up across England. Also conferences are being held on how to deal with mesh litigation.”