Chairperson Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC), Dr Tipu Sultan said that there was a need of reestablishing the primary healthcare system, initiation of more basic health units, and mapping of the quacks operating in Sindh in order to gain reliable numbers. He touched on these pressing points while speaking at the one-day Stakeholders Consultative Meeting, organized by the Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC) in Karachi.
Various medical experts from across the province of Sindh urged the Government authorities and policy makers to engage with the Union counsellors and work towards eliminating the menace of quackery from Sindh by implementing the Anti-Quackery (AQ) Strategy.
Director General Health Sindh, Dr Mubin Memon; Special Secretary Health Sindh, Naseem-ul- Ghani Sahto; Director Health Services Karachi, Abdul Fateh Maher; representatives of People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) and Health & Nutrition Development Society (HANDS); District Health Officers; and Assistant District Health Officers attended the consultative meeting.
Health experts have urged SHCC to prepare lists of high risk districts, where quackery is commonly being practiced, followed by launching a rigorous crackdown against the culprits.
A technical advisor from PPHI suggested that all basic health units of Sindh should be made functional 24 hours of a day, to provide prompt and better health facilities to the needy. This initiative would help in reducing the burden of diseases from society and also curb the menace of quackery.
According to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), more than 600,000 quacks are operating across Pakistan, out of which one-third are based in Sindh. An estimated number of 80,000 are operating in Karachi, putting several lives at risk.
Quackery is one of the leading causes of the increasing morbidities in Pakistan.
Moreover, patients belonging to low socioeconomic areas are also visiting ‘allied healthcare workers’ that are not qualified or registered as medical practitioners.
Every year, thousands of people suffer from significant harm or much worse, lose their lives, due to the increasing act of quackery, which goes unnoticed due to flaws in our health system; no strict law and order implementation, and most importantly; lack of education.
Prof. Dr S Tipu Sultan, urged the policy makers to come up with comprehensive and effective approaches to address these issues and to eliminate quackery from the province of Sindh.