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Maternal mortality rate still on rise

PESHAWAR: At least 274 women in every 100,000 die during pregnancy or in child birth as majority of these deaths occur in rural areas of the country, according to demographic indicators of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
Maternity related deaths and complications infest the health services delivery institutions in Pakistan mainly because of lack of referral mechanism in the rural areas. As so often happens, the toll of a situation like this falls heavily on women and children. After evaluating obstetric and gynecological needs in and around Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?s main city, Peshawar, Doctors without Borders/Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) decided to build a 30-bed reference hospital in University town, Peshawar that is dedicated solely to women and is furnished with a labor and delivery room and an operating room.
MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, is an international humanitarian aid non governmental organization best known for its health projects in developing countries facing endemic diseases.
MSF hospital is one of its kinds that offer free medical treatment in maternity cases. It has achieved the status of a referral hospital to which complicated and cesarean cases are referred from BHUs throughout the province and FATA. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, women who are refugees, displaced, or poor have very little access to high-quality obstetrical and gynecological care. In order to streamline the safety of mother and child during maternity related cases, Basic Health Units have been established throughout Khyber PakhtunKhwa and FATA so that locals may have access to health services.
However, the situation gets complicated when these BHUs do not have the facilities necessary for treatment of complicated maternal cases.
According to officials of the MSF hospital, the facility is working on establishing a referral mechanism in which every BHU in KP and FATA can easily refer patients to the hospital especially in complicated and caesareans cases. For the stated purpose, a medical referral network has been set up among the area?s health centers, rural communities, and displacement camps.
The hospital has been working on mother and child health since 2011 and has acquired the status of a referral hospital for complicated labor cases.
The 33 bed hospital provides state of the art treatment and is equipped with experienced female gynecologists. 18 beds are available for new born and premature babies.
The activities of MSF are funded solely by donations from individuals and no contribution is allowed from institutions or governmental contributors. According to officials of the hospital who wished not to be mentioned, ?Even the attendants are taken care of by providing them with free food during their stay with us. We even cover transportation costs incurred by the patients.?
The hospital provides 24 hours? emergency services and the outreach units consisting of local BHUs identify patients with complicated maternity cases which are then referred to the MSF hospital.
Officials of the hospitals have expressed hope that hospitals of KP will establish a proper referral system on lines of MSF hospital so that preventable deaths may be prevented.



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