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The Dawn

Published Date: May 9, 2014

Policy needed to bind doctors to serve in rural areas, says expert

Even 28 years after the establishment of the Pakistan Institute of
Medical Sciences (Pims), Islamabad could not get another hospital though
the population of the city has been increasing.

This was stated
by Pims Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram while speaking at a discussion "Advocating health for newborn in Pakistan in the context of world
health assembly."

The event was organised by the World Vision
International Pakistan, Save the Children and Sustainable Development
Policy Institute on Thursday.

“There are 1,100 doctors at the
1,400-bed Pims. Doctors do not want to leave the hospital because
certificates issued by Pims are acceptable all over the world. We have
to devise a policy to send doctors to the rural areas because the ratio
of skilled birth in Pakistan is only 40 per cent,” he said.

Dr
Akram said 15 per cent of women in Pakistan were suffering from
hepatitis and it was very difficult to prevent communicable diseases
without ensuring the availability of skilled birth attendants.

Dr
Qudsia Uzma, the director health and nutrition, Save the Children
Pakistan, spoke about the highest ratio of stillbirths in the country.

“The
government should take steps to bring down the child mortality rate.
More than 200,000 children in Pakistan die each year during birth or on
their first day of life which is the highest rate in the world,” she
said.

Health specialist Dr Maqsooda Kasi said the real problem was
lack of political will, financial gaps and failure to address other
social determinants of health.

Member National Assembly Romina
Khurshid Alam of the PML-N said a number of mothers died during
pregnancy and childbirth without being counted by the government records
and without even accessing life-saving health services.

"The government will address inequalities and give particular priority to the most vulnerable children and women," she said.

The
discussion was held in order to highlight the importance of the 67th
World Health Assembly to be held in the last week of May in Switzerland
and to provide child health stakeholders a platform to discuss the
subject.

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1105201