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KARACHI: Emergency obstetrical care to rural women urged

February 25, 2006

KARACHI, Feb 24: Specialists at a seminar on “prevention and treatment of post-partum complications (fistulae) in Pakistan” emphasized that it was the worst complication of pregnancy and childbirth, which can be prevented by overcoming three delays of pregnancy that leads to fistula formation.

The seminar was organized by Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund at PMA House, Karachi.

Fistula is a curse to a woman’s life which leads to urine incontinence, Dr. Riffat Sultana from Sindh Government Qatar Hospital said.

Dr Aziz Abdullah, a urologist from Liaquat National Hospital, said that urologists play an important role in management of fistula patient and stressed that no fistula patient should be refused treatment.

Dr Nighat Shah said that fistula causes drastic impact on women’s mental, physical and social life. In her talk, she narrated a real story of a young girl who suffered obstructed labour at the age of 14 and due to continuous passage of urine, her family threw her in a jungle to be eaten by hyena as a belief that she was captured by some evil forces. Fortunately, she crawled to a hospital and after treatment she became a useful member of society, and now she has become a competent nurse.

Dr Shaheen Zafar discussed the role of active management of labour in the prevention of fistula and said that most common cause of fiastula is difficult labour.

She emphasized the importance of midwives in assessing, diagnoses and managing the labouring women. She highlighted that the labour should not be prolonged more than eight to 10 hours.

She also emphasized that the government should provide emergency obstetrical care to all our women living in rural areas.

Dr Samrina Hashmi said that we are also having fistula due to inadequate and poorly performed obstetrics and gynaecological surgeries by the untrained doctors. Therefore, proper training of doctors should be organized and untrained gynaecologists should not play with lives of women.

Dr Shershah Syed, Associate Professor at Nawabshah Medical College, said that it is a very common problem of our rural areas as it is a disease of poor women so the government should offer health facilities to these women.

He said there are three fistula centres available in the country - Peshawar, Multan and Karachi — where treatment of fistula patients is available free of cost.

Prof Majeed Memon of the Hamdard University shared his 45 years experience regarding fistula. He emphasized that prevention is better than cure. He also said that 90 per cent patients with fistula can be cured by simple operation.—PPI