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Improving maternal health services topmost priority: Health Minister

LAHORE – Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid renewed pledge to end Obstetric Fistula from Punjab through special focus on mother and child health. 

In her message on the ‘International Day to end Obstetric Fistula’ Dr Yasmin said that Obstetric Fistula was most devastating medical injuries that effect both physical and mental health of women. She said it should not left to the fates as to who survives and who suffers such a grievous injury.  

“Everyone deserves a life of dignity, and this day served as a reminder that we cannot ignore such a promise,” she said. Dr Yasmin said the Health Department under the leadership of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar was committed to improve the maternal health services and ending Obstetric Fistula. 

Countries around the world mark the International Day to end Obstetric Fistula on May 23 with a variety of events to raise awareness of this neglected health and human rights challenge, she said. 

The Minister elaborated that the problem was caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely problems, depression, social, isolation and deepening poverty. Dr Yasmin Rashid said the problem was preventable with appropriate medical assistance and its occurrence was a violation of human rights. She said that obstetric fistula had been eliminated in developed nations, as it was preventable, however, an estimated 3,000 to 50,000 new cases of the disease develop each year in Pakistan. 

The Minister appreciated the efforts of Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health, Fistula Foundation and Jahandad Society of Community Development for providing free surgical services for the treatment of fistula in Pakistan. She informed that over the last seven years, Fistula Foundation had directly supported more than 3,400 women and girls to receive surgical treatment for fistula in Pakistan through their seven regional centres in the country. 

The campaign was based on the three key strategies of prevention treatment and social reintegration of survivors, she added.  

She said that the Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health was implementing this project by providing surgical treatments, training for doctors and mid-level healthcare providers and raising awareness on social issues related to obstetric fistula.

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