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KARACHI: A three-day surgical course on genital tract fistula in female population opened on Wednesday at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) as leading gynaecologist Dr Sadiqa Jaffery inaugurated its opening session.

Organisers said the aim of the course was to train medical professionals in dealing with one of the “most dreaded complications” among women during childbirth.

The genital tract fistula is a common ailment in developing countries where obstetric health facilities are not available, particularly in Asia and Africa.

According to experts once fistula occurs the suffering female gets socially and culturally isolated and neglected from her husband, home, in-laws and even parents.

Sohier Elneil from University College Hospital, London, Prof Oladosu Ojengbede from University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and Dr Tariq Tassadaq from Saudi Arabia, spoke to a packed audience at the SIUT auditorium and later demonstrated a live surgery.

They said that the numbers of fistula victims were very high in Africa and Asia; its rate was 1/300,000 in Scandinavia while it was at its worst in Africa at an alarming rate of 1/12.

A large number of doctors from across the country joined foreign experts to deliberate on various aspects of the subject.

Inaugurating the course, Dr Jaffery lauded the efforts of SIUT in taking up a vital medical and social issue by providing training facilities for professionals.

The audience was told that patients with genital tract fistulas were usually in a difficult and miserable social and personal situation. They needed a multi-disciplinary holistic approach to manage their problem, including urologists, gynaecologists, colo-rectal surgeons, physiotherapists, nurses, continence advisors, nutritionists and other ancillary health workers such as social workers and occupations therapists.

Professor Adibul Hasan Rizvi, director, SIUT, said such training sessions were a need of the hour as by doing this his institute was improving on its utility and plugging the gaps it had been facing since its inception.

“With every such step, we are improving our capacity and performance, which, in turn, increases our ability to serve humanity more efficiently.”

He welcomed guests and spelt out the aims and objectives of the training course.

Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2016