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300 expecting women die yearly for lack of facilities

KARACHI, March 6: Approximately 300 expecting women died in Sindh in the last one year due to lack of adequate facilities in government hospitals in various districts.

This was stated by Syed Sardar Ahmad in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday while responding to a question from Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians MPA Dr Mahreen Razzak Bhutto.

In his written reply, Syed Sardar Ahmad said during 2003-2004 eight women expired in Thatta district during pregnancy. In Dadu the fatality was five and nine during the same period. For Naushehrofiroze the figure was 10 and 13 respectively.

The Sindh Assembly was also informed that there was no sanctioned post of women medical officer in basic health units, however WMOs are posted in BHUs where needed.

Responding to supplementary questions Syed Sardar Ahmad informed the house that out of 761 selected doctors, 200 posts in different districts were still vacant because the candidates had not reported for various reasons.

He emphasised that the government would make it compulsory for doctors to serve in rural areas. He said that out of 761 doctors, 151 were WMOs.

He also informed the assembly that the government would advertise 333 grade 18 and 417 grade 17 posts for posting them all over Sindh.

He also gave details of the facilities available in various district hospitals and observed that although the government released funds to purchase medicines sometimes after approval of budget, but the medicines were purchased not until the last quarter of the fiscal year. As such many patients don’t get medicines.

Responding to a question from PPP-P’s Nasreen Chandio, Mr Ahmad informed the house that admission in the medical universities and colleges in Sindh are made on merit basis only and all eligible candidates are required to appear in the entry test arranged by the universities through National Testing Service.

He said that the percentage of marks obtained in entrance test, intermediate and matriculation examinations is given 50 per cent, 40 per cent and 10 per cent weightage respectively, in order to calculate the over all merit of students. He said the seats are distributed district wise separately.

Syed Sardar Ahmed said that 25,000 health workers had been deployed for vaccination to control hepatitis B and C in the province under the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI).

He said that the federal government also funded for the control of hepatitis B and C and district nazims and DCOs were monitoring this programme.

The opposition members claimed that hepatitis B and C cases had increased in the province and the government did nothing to control the situation. Syed Sardar Ahmed said that after the reports about increase of such cases, he visited Larkana, Jaccobabad and Shikarpur to observe the situation.

However, he claimed that the situation was under control and only a few cases were detected in these districts.

The minister said that the Sindh government had planned ‘Health for All’ and posted doctors everywhere

He also informed the house that a number of hepatitis B & C patients were provided treatment in different parts of the province and dispelled the impression that this ailment was on the rise. In this context he referred to his visits to some parts of the province.

The minister informed the house that in Mirpurkhas there were 2,559 confirmed cases of Hepatitis C from July 2005 to June 2006. Out of these 977 were reported between July-December 2005.

Out of these suspected cases 170 till now have been registered under the prime minister’s programme for Control and Prevention of Hepatitis at Civil Hospital Mirpurkhas.

Source: Dawn