A matter of life: Lone nurse dealing with all female patients at Alizai tehsil hospital


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
PESHAWAR: There is one nurse to deal with all pregnancies and female-health related cases at the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital (THQ) in Alizai, Kurram Agency.
Before the hospital was upgraded in 2000, it treated around 30,000 patients in a year. Till 2006, it catered to around 45,000 people coming to the outpatient department (OPD) from Parachinar, Sadda and Alizai annually. However, the hospital now faces an alarming dearth of women doctors and the number of patients has diminished drastically.
After the hospital was damaged in an attack in 2007, most of its staff moved to other places. Now a lone nurse is left to cater to all the women of the tehsil.

The 60-bed hospital is not only short-staffed, but also lacks medicines and oxygen facilities. People are often forced to take patients to other hospitals in distant areas, posing a particular problem for expecting mothers in need of immediate attention.

Dildar Hussain, a local, said the hospital was previously staffed with women doctors and lady health visitors, and also had a separate gynecology ward. Currently, there are no such facilities, he added. A large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning home are facing immense problems.

In case of an emergency, families rush patients to Peshawar or Parachinar. The ride, however, is risky considering a woman may go into labour unexpectedly and the roads are dilapidated. In some cases, the patient has expired on the way to hospitals in other cities, said Hussain.

Rehmat Ali, an elder, said the other nearest hospital is in Parachinar, 40 kilometres away.

Another local Wahid Hussain said he lost his wife due to lack of oxygen facilities and a female doctor at the hospital. This is not just one case. Many women have died because of lack of facilities and health experts.

A THQ hospital official, requesting anonymity, said no medical professional is available to deal with women-related diseases and they must depend on one nurse for all emergencies. Four children have died this year alone because of this, he claimed.

Senior Medical Officer at THQ Hospital, Liaquat Hussain said the gynecology ward now remains closed due to shortage of staff. We hope the situation will improve in the future and doctors will come to the hospital to serve humanity, he said.
He added not much can be expected from one nurse since she also deals with other health issues.



Senator (1k+ posts)
Unfortunately a segment of our society believes that the womens' participation in a work force is some how against Islam even though, the FIRST Muslim, "Hazrat Kadija tul Kubra Razi Allah Anha" was a working woman. We reap what we sow but Allah has given a sincere government to KPK and InshAllah this problem will be taken care off.