32 displaced pregnant women prone to multiple risks
KARACHI, December 1, 2010: Over 30 pregnant women at Musharraf Colony’s relief camp are prone to pregnancy related multiple risks sans any immediate maternity advice or help available to them within the proximity.
A tent-to-tent survey of 500 Quarters’ IDP Tent Village at Gulshan-e-Benazir, Kemari Town, conducted by the Karachi-based child rights organisation, Roshni Helpline, has revealed that there are 32 IDP women who are in different stages of pregnancy. All of them are living without any regular advice or help, let alone any medical checkup or treatment.
The Helpline has become aware of a case in which a woman has already suffered miscarriage. The family of that woman had hailed from Shahdadpur, and now shifted back to their hometown. According to information gathered by neighbouring women she had suffered miscarriage in absence of an immediate maternity help at the camp. She was shifted to Murshad Hospital and delivered a dead child, but luckily her life was saved.
According to the report of the survey as many as seven women are in end stage of their pregnancy and in normal circumstance would have been hospitalised for continued care and treatment. According to information available, one woman has even crossed the due date and could be considered a very critical case.
Other breakdown showed eight women in eighth months of their pregnancy, six in seven months and rest of them were in early stage. “In normal circumstances we would have been taking advice and help of qualified gynaecologists or at least of general physicians, but no advice or help is available to us here, neither we can afford,” they said.
Roshni Helpline President Muhammad Ali said these women deserve proper advice and care of a trained doctor or of a lady health worker, at least. He said the survey was aimed at sensitising the issue so that these women could get help from any circle.
Roshni Helpline is running a women-friendly space and four children-friendly spaces under a psychosocial programme at the camp. Under the programme, women are imparted basic vocational, educational and recreational skills, and are also extended advice on their and their children’s safety and protection. The organisation is operational partner with the Islamabad-based rural women welfare organisation -- Potohar Organisations for Development Advocacy (PODA).
“We try to help out these women and children and resolve their immediate and small grievances and highlight those which are out of our jurisdiction or resources so that they get due attention of concerned stakeholders,” said Muhammad Raza, child protection officer of PODA Psychosocial Programme.
According to independent estimates, nearly 30,000 women die in Pakistan each year due to pregnancy-related complications, and in absence of help any woman could be a potential victim.
Despite the fact that there are some basic health clinics in Musharraf Colony and Maripur, these women cannot get any help for reasons that they are on their own and unfamiliar with nearby localities. “We cannot go anywhere alone because we do not know any one around and going out of our camps is a potential question of our own safety and security,” a number of women said. “The most important issue is that we are poor people, who have lost all our belongings in the floods, so who is going to pay for our medical bills.”
Roshni Helpline have appealed to the federal and provincial health ministries to order arrangement of a weekly or fortnightly visits of lady health workers to each IDP camps. “The best is that federal and provincial governments make a permanent arrangement for each camp,” said Muhammad Ali. “But if there are some issues, they should arrange frequent and regular visits of Lady Health Workers to provide these women a continued advice and help so that the question of risks is eliminated and these women feel safe and healthy.”
He also appealed to the relevant social sector organisations to offer their support and services to these women. “Our motive is to bring the issue into limelight and all organisations working in this field should come forward and help IDP pregnant women,” he said.