Dying mothers of Balochistan – TBP Feature report

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Maternal deaths have increased to an alarming level in Balochistan. According to a survey, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in Balochistan this year is more than 650 percent.

Recently, another woman died along with her newborn in Dera Bugti district. For ten days, the number of women and newborn children who died in Dera Bugti increased to six.

According to sources, the deaths of pregnant women have increased to an alarming extent due to the absence of gynecologists in the district headquarters hospital Dera Bugti.

Moreover, Recently, the young wife of Saeed Bugti, a resident of Zhanko, died during childbirth along with her newborn. The deceased woman was the mother of two children.

In most areas of Balochistan, where there is no facility like a lady doctor or lady health worker, dependence on midwives continues.

Experts say that every woman doesn’t need to go through complications during pregnancy or childbirth, but it is important to avoid untrained midwives and doctors. The pregnant woman should be taken to the hospital immediately to avoid a complicated delivery.

This is the situation in most of the districts of Balochistan. Taking this important issue, The Balochistan Post recorded the painful incident of 32-year-old Pari Gul (pseudonym) in Tehsil Mand, bordering Iran, of Kech district.

Pari Gul’s husband says that when she felt discomfort, she went to a local midwife for traditional treatment. In the starting days, medicines were used which gave her temporary relief.

One night, when the intensity of the pain increased, she was taken to Turbat for further treatment.

Borrowing some money, he quickly arranged a rental car and left for Turbat. The journey of one hour was completed in four hours due to the poor roads and the wife had died while arriving Turbat.

It’s not just with me, they say. It’s the same story in two out of every ten homes.

Dr. Rababa Khan Buledai says that the situation of maternal mortality rate in Balochistan is still serious, 298 out of 100,000 mothers die during childbirth in the province, this rate is twice the national average and more than any other country.

Significantly more than in any other province, still a large number of maternal deaths from rural areas go unreported due to which the analysis report and all factors of maternal mortality are not accurately identified.

Bolan Medical College, Quetta Gynecology Unit Professor Dr. Najma says that “the dilapidated infrastructure in Balochistan is a major reason for the increase in maternal mortality, but after the floods, the infrastructure has been further damaged, making it difficult for pregnant women to reach medical facilities”.

According to a report, 196 BHUs in 735 primary health centers in 25 districts of Balochistan have been affected by floods and rains, of which 24 BHUs have been completely destroyed, and the buildings and doors of 173 BHUs have been partially damaged.

The highest rate of maternal mortality in Pakistan is in Balochistan, where 298 mothers die out of 100,000 births.

According to the Department of Health, it is trying to bring the deaths of 78 out of 1000 women to 50 and 298 out of 100,000 women to 200, for which the shortage of LHVs is being met and the recruitment of gynecologists is being done.

According to the report of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Islamabad 2021, the highest poverty rate in Pakistan is 40.7% in Balochistan.

It should be noted that in the budget 2022-2021, the provincial government has set aside 38 billion rupees for health in the districts of Balochistan. This included providing all health facilities in hospitals, providing treatment facilities to the people, providing hospitals with modern machinery, and establishing new hospitals.

While a grant of 2.937 billion rupees was also provided by the federal government. Five modern laboratories were also to be set up with this allocated money, but unfortunately, as usual, this money turned into corruption.

Socio-political circles say that the maternal mortality rate can be reduced if primary health centers are activated and provided facilities across Balochistan, while people also need ‘counseling’ in this regard, but these measures must be picked up by the government.

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