HSA, UNFPA mark Int'l day of Midwife 2022 and day to end Obstetric Fistula 2022

08:14 PM | 25 May, 2022
HSA, UNFPA mark Int'l day of Midwife 2022 and day to end Obstetric Fistula 2022

ISLAMABAD – Health Services Academy, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund celebrated the International Day of the Midwife 2022 as well as the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula 2022 on 23rd May in Islamabad.

To commemorate these international days, high-level dignitaries, experts, and participants from all the provinces and federal were present. Many officials from the Public and Private sector took part in the panel discussion including Director General-Population, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSR&C), Dr. Sabina Durrani; Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov; Head of Gynae at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Prof. Dr. Syeda Batool Mazhar; Vice Chancellor, HSA, Prof. Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan; Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), Dr. Saima Hamid; President of International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeon (ISOFS), Dr. Shershah Syed; Head of RMNCH at HSA, Prof. Dr. Farid Midhet; Assoc. Prof. Health Services Academy (HSA), Dr. Mariyam Sarfraz; Registrar, Pakistan Nursing Council (PNC), Ms. Fouzia Mushtaq; Academic Head of eDoctor and Gynaecologist at Dow University of Health Sciences, Prof. Dr. Jehan Ara; Representative of The Society of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of Pakistan (SOGP), Brig. Dr. Ambreen Anwar, and Assoc. Prof. of RMNCH at HSA, Dr. Samina Naeem. 

Vice Chancellor HSA opened the events and gave remarks on the importance of Midwife and the effects of obstetric fistula on women. Subsequently, Dr. Shershah of ISOFS elaborated the need to improve and deliver quality health services for maternal and new-born segments and pressed the need to spread awareness among the larger community. 

Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov explained from the global perspective that the United Nations’ Social Development Goal (SDG) 3 addresses all major health priorities, including reproductive, maternal and child health; communicable, non-communicable and environmental diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines. More specifically SDG #3.7 is to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services by 2030. Representative of SOGP, Brig. Dr. Ambreen Anwar mentioned that obstetric fistula is one of the most severe and tragic childbirth injuries, caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. It ultimately leaves women with incontinence problems, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation, and deepening poverty. She pressed upon the solution that this problem is preventable with the correct medical assistance and its occurrence is a violation of human rights and a reminder of gross inequities. 

In continuation to the explanation of problems in the women health caused by obstetric fistula, the discussion took a turn towards the role of midwife to contain such issues. Prof. Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan explained that the midwife, by virtue of her education, sphere, scope of practice and unique relationship with women and their families is in an ideal position to provide the information, services and support which women need in planning their families, as well as to influence the type of services which are available to them. He also mentioned that this is high time for midwives to come forward and take the lead. It was endorsed by all major organizations of the public health that to improve maternal and neonatal health and to meet the SDGs, midwife-led continuity of care is crucial. During the panel discussion on the role of midwife, it has been suggested that policies that support midwives and allow them to perform their full scope of practice would strengthen the primary healthcare systems and foster happier, healthier families and communities. 

Considering the importance of these commemorated international days and the HSA’s commitment to uplifting public health of Pakistan, a new degree program of BS-Midwifery was also inaugurated today at HSA. This program is in process of getting recognized by HEC and the Pakistan Nursing Council. Lastly, continuing such initiatives, a larger, fully supported midwifery workforce would increase women’s, children’s and adolescents’ access to healthcare through midwives, decreasing the number of patients turning to hospitals and general practitioners to provide this care. This would thus alleviate strain on Govt. of Pakistan to open new specialized hospitals to contain the maternal and child death. The event ended by the closing remarks of the Representatives from UNFPA and the MoNHSR&C.