Not even a single female doctor in Paktika
SHARANA (Pajhwok): Ailing women and expectant mothers are facing a lot of inconvenience due to a shortage of female doctors in southeastern Paktika province, residents and officials say.
Paktika is one of Afghanistan’s remote and insecure provinces. Niaz Mohammad, a resident of Yusafkhel district, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Tuesday that there was not even a single lady doctor in the entire province where residents did not avail essential healthcare services.
A resident of Sharana, the provincial capital, Abdul Aziz, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “There is no female doctor in the whole of Paktika and ailing women have to visit male doctors.”
Naz Bibi, a patient admitted to the central hospital in Sharana, said: “There is no female doctor in this hospital. Ailing women often stay home because their families do not take them to male doctors.”
She said there were some females working in the central hospital, but they were not doctors and only provided first medical aid to patients.
A tribal elder in Urgun district, Haji Syed Jan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that child and mother mortality rates had increased in Paktika due to the lack of lady and professional doctors.
All those interviewed urged the government to provide essential healthcare facilities to people in the province.
All people in the Gomal district visit Sharana when they need treatment, said Mirdad, a resident. “We are far away from Sharana and in winter it becomes hard to travel there. Many people here store medicines in winters and give them to patients on their own.”
Public Health Director Dr. Wali Gul admitted there was no female doctor in Paktika. “Because people think this province is volatile, but its security situation is better compared to many other provinces, still the province lacks lady doctors.”
He said there were a total of 35 health centres in Paktika but without female doctors. Of the health centres, 13 have no buildings of their own and are operated from rented buildings, he said.
The public health director said he had shared all these problems with the Ministry of Public Health, but failed to elicit a positive response.
Paktika Governor Amin Shariq also told Pajhwok Afghan News besides the lack of lady doctors, residents of the province were not offered essential healthcare services. “If a lady doctor comes here, we are ready to offer her attractive salary,” the governor said.
The governor said he had initiated talks with the authorities concerned to resolve these problems.
Apart from Paktika, other provinces in the region also face the shortage of female doctors and people take their patients to neighbouring Pakistan.
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