KARACHI – Health experts stressed the need for training community midwives and surgeons on a mass level across the Pakistan to control the prevalence of fistula cases.
Speaking at a news conference held at Karachi Press Club in connection with International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, observe globally on May 23, a representative of Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Pakistan, Dr Shershah Syed, said that 300 to 5,000 new fistula cases are reported every year in Pakistan out of which 700 to 800 approach fistula treatment centers operating in the country.
He informed two million new obstetric fistula cases are reported every year worldwide and most of the women suffer fistula disease during pregnancy due to unskilled birth attendants. He said major factors of high fistula incidence are social and cultural issues such as early marriages, poverty, lack of education, high fertility rate and poor heath infrastructure, etc.
“Obstetric fistula is a preventable and the disease occurred when a woman or girl suffer prolonged, obstructed labour without having timely access to an emergency, he said, adding that thousands of women suffer in isolation and feel embarrassment.
At the outset, Dr Shershah said that obstetric fistula is one of the most telling examples of inequitable access to maternal health care.
Social activist Sheema Kirmani said fistula cases are only reported in poor countries where outdated pregnancy methods still exist.
PMA secretary general Dr Mirza Ali Azhar said that fistula is treatable and preventable disease.
He underscored the need for providing training to birth attendants so they could save the life of women during pregnancy.