BAJAUR AGENCY - Tribesmen and health experts on Friday showed great concerns over increasing rate of child and mother deaths in the tribal areas. They called upon the government and non-governmental organisations to accelerate efforts for providing basic health facilities to women and children of the agency.

They were speaking at a day-long sensitisation seminar on mother and child health, the first ever event of its kind organised by Fata, KP health programme in collaboration with USAID, here at Agency Headquarters Hospital.

Large number of tribesmen, elders, political worker, religious scholars, female activists, senior officials of the administration, health department and representatives of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF attend the seminar.

Bajaur Agency Additional Political Agent Tariq Khan, Agency Surgeon Dr Zakir Hussain, tribal elders Malik Abdul Aziz, Malik Mohammad Younas, well-known religious scholars, Maulana Mohammad Hanif, Maulana Ahmed Noor, Agency coordinator Fata KP Health Programme Dr Misal Khan Afridi, Zahid Khan, Inayat Khan and others spook on the occasion.

They said that condition of existing health facilities in the agency was very poor and insufficient and it did not meet the needs of population.

They said that maternal mortality ratio in the agency had been increased for the last several years and currently Bajaur was on top for its highest ratio of maternal mortality.

Agency Surgeon Dr Zakir Hussain while speaking at the seminar pointed out that  large number of women in the agency particularly in the remote and far-flung areas died during and following pregnancy and child birth due to lack of proper health care facilities.

"Lack of access to skilled medical care during child birth, societal infrastructure, social barriers and lack of awareness are the major causes of increasing maternal mortality ratio in the Agency," said Dr Hussain.

He stressed the need for creating awareness among the people about family planning as it plays a key role in provision of reproductive health services in the agency.

Notable religious scholars Maulana Mohammad Hanif and Maulana Ahmed Noor have highlighted the importance of family planning in Islam. They explained that neither Islam was not against the family planning and nor it prohibited interval in children birth. "The family planning is permissible in Islam as small family can easily support better education and health services and others basic needs," Maulana Mohammad Hanif added.

In the seminar Dr Misal Khan Afridi Coordinator of Fata, KP health program in Bajaur briefed the audience about the activities of this program.

He said that this USAID funded programme, which recently launched in Bajaur was working in seven districts of Malakand Division and four tribal agencies of Fata.

He said that the programme was only focusing on mother and children healthcare facilities and would soon establish several schemes to ensure basic health facilities to women and children at their doorsteps.

He informed the participants that through the programme 20 women from various remote and far-flung areas have been selected for an 18 months long basic training of maternity services and after completion of the training they would be capable to run maternity clinics in their areas.

He added that reasonable stipend will be given to the trainees that would continue after six months of completion of their training and they would also provide free of cast equipment and medicines.

Speaking on the occasion Bajaur Agency political Agent Tariq Khan said the government was making its efforts to improve mother and children healthcare facilities in the agency.

Dengue arrangement begins

Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute and Ameerud Din Medical College Prof Anjum Habib Vohra has urged doctors to aware patients about preventive measures against seasonal diseases, symptoms and treatment and importance of cleanliness to check dengue.

Chairing a meeting held here Friday to review anti dengue arrangements, he directed nurses to keep patients’ history charts as it was important in their early recovery.

Prof Vohra directed officials to ensure availability of medicines in stores in order to combat seasonal diseases. He said paramedics have to play important role in drive against dengue. He said that lectures would be arranged for paramedics by the end of current month. He underlined the need to maintain cleanliness and drainage of water and said that MS, Additional MS and sanitary inspectors would have to discharge their duties efficiently.