KARACHI: Poor accountability, inadequate attention towards updated training through mandatory and regular refresher courses coupled with lack of communication skills among a majority of qualified gynecologists are some of the major factors triggering high incidence of “Maternal Morbidity” in the country.
Experts during a session organised by Pakistan Medical Association also identified rampant quackery exposing would- be mothers and women in child- bearing age to severe disabilities with dire consequences on their social, emotional and physical well being.
Gynecologists and obstetricians from different private and public sector facilities while undergoing a serious introspection urged Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), federal ministry of health, provincial health departments and concerned professional bodies to realise their respective responsibilities to address a situation.
They registered their concern that every year 400,000 women are exposed to one or the other type of maternal morbidity, leading to life long disabilities.
Prof. Razia Koreijo, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, referred to the case of a woman from Korangi, who under impression of being attended by a trained professional turned to be a prey of a quack who even performed caesarean section on her leading to a situation where the unfortunate soul not only lost her child but also could no more conceive and thus was abandoned by her spouse.
Prof. Shaheen Zafar of Sindh Institute of Reproductive Health and Fertility said the lady was also referred to her, however, the tubular infection she was made to go through due to mishandling had left her unfit for the otherwise quite successful test tube baby intervention.
The two senior professionals said the case they referred to was not one of its kind but they and their several other colleagues come across such cases on regular basis.
Experts and professionals present on the occasion were of unanimous opinion that such unfortunate incidents caused due to mishandling by unqualified individuals, however, do not absolve qualified professionals of their responsibility in this regard as they too have a role to play in improving the situation – whereby women from all strata are neither intimidated nor may feel uncomfortable to approach a qualified professional.
Senior gynecologist and office bearer of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Dr. Shershah Syed said there was need to review the undergraduate level medical curriculum as well as post graduate level education and training offered to doctors seeking specialisation in the field.
“This is time that we make our training programme community-oriented and specific to needs of local women be they urban or rural women of the country,” he said adding that concerned authorities ought to decide whether doctors trained at our medical colleges and universities are for our country and its inhabitants or not.