HYDERABAD - Gynaecologist Professor Roshan Ara Kazi has termed the good nutritional status of a woman of reproductive age before conception and during pregnancy as vital for successful outcome of pregnancy.

Talking to APP here on Friday, Prof Kazi, who is Chairperson of Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) said the majority of pregnancies and deliveries were uneventful as some involve complications that range from minor to life threatening for the mother, for the baby, or for both.

Prof Dr Roshan Ara Kazi said that in most cases, the baby is either stillborn or dies within the first week of life while the woman suffers a devastating injury a fistula, that renders her incontinent. Many women and girls with fistula are shunned by their families and communities, deepening their poverty and magnifying their suffering.

Dr Kazi said that the left untreated, fistula can lead to chronic medical problems, including ulceration’s, kidney disease and nerve damage in the legs. She said a simple surgery could normally repair the injury with success rates as high as 90 per cent for experienced surgeons. Sadly, most women with the condition do not know that treatment is available or they cannot afford it, she added.

Dr Kazi further informed that a project has been launched to provide free surgical treatment of fistula in the country. Fistula prevails in the poor only and the project was aimed at providing deserving Fistula patients free of cost treatment to bring them back in normal life, she told adding that they also provide travel expenses to the patients.

The treatment of a more complicated Fistula such as a horseshoe fistula (where the tract extends around both sides of the body) could be difficult as surgeons may lay open only the segment where the tracts join and remove the remainder of the tracts. Dr Roshan Ara informed that if a significant amount of the sphincter muscle must be cut, the surgery might be performed in more than one stage. It may also need to be repeated if the entire tract can’t be found, she added.

Dr. further said that there is no doubt that a healthy and well-nourished woman living in a comfortable environment is able to support the demands of pregnancy and lactation.

The expert also said that the persistence of the problem reflected broader health inequities and health care system weaknesses, as well as wider challenges faced by women and girls, such as gender and socio-economic inequality, lack of schooling, child marriage and early child bearing.