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30,000 women die of fistula every year

LARKANA, Oct 30: Around 30,000 women die annually in Pakistan due to fistula complications arising out of complex delivery cases either attended by untrained hands or because of unconventional practices, agreed speakers during a seminar held under the auspices of Pakistan Medical Association and Pakistan National Forum of Women Health.

Principal Chandka Medical College Prof Sikandar Shaikh presided over the proceedings and President National Forum on Women Health Dr Syed Sher Shah was the chief guest.

Fistula is a hole in birth canal normally caused due to prolonged labour and without medical intervention. The problem causes chronic incontinence of urine or faeces, or of both, due to leakage.

The problem, if left untreated is humiliating for the patient and may even lead to chronic medical problems, including ulcerations, kidney disease, and nerve damage in the legs.

Dr Sher Shah said that such incidents happen more often by untrained midwives who carry on obsolete methodologies in villages and called for careful handling to reduce such incidences.

Prof Dr Sajjad, Prof Rafia Baloch, head of the department of Gynaecology, Dr Shahida Shaikh, Dr Malik Jalbani, Dr Waheed Memon, Dr Rasheed Shaikh and others said that 90 per cent correction could be achieved if treated at early stage.

They said a United Nations-sponsored programme was launched in Pakistan with the aim of decreasing the incidence of fistula by applying both tools of dissemination of information and undertaking the surgery at different centres throughout the country. This programme would end in December they said.

They said that 96 cases of fistula were successfully treated at the Fistula Regional Centre Larkana in one year.

The CMC principal said that the college had extended its full cooperation to the centre and promised to serve patients in future.

Speakers urged the media to help in creating awareness as the illness was vastly affecting the rural areas of Sindh.

A large number of postgraduate and undergraduate students attended the seminar.
Source: Dawn
Date:10/31/2008

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