Lack Of Reproductive Healthcare: A Peril To Umerkot Women

Lack Of Reproductive Healthcare: A Peril To Umerkot Women
Tradition and the warm greetings of the locals are what give Umerkot its high cultural worth. But the otherwise beautiful city is plagued by poverty, drought, a lack of clean water and a food shortage, all of which have increased the amount of healthcare problems among the inhabitants. Malnutrition-related deficiencies, water-borne illnesses including cholera and typhoid, hepatitis brought on by unsanitary conditions, cholera and typhoid are among them. Due to their lack of access to healthcare, Umerkot women experience the greatest hardship.

The most pressing challenges are those relating to reproductive health in particular. Basic equipment is not present in hospitals. Tertiary hospitals are insufficient to give services to all Umerkot residents since they outnumber hospitals by a large margin. Numerous women face a threat to their life due to fibroids – from a lack of services. When rich women experience reproductive problems, they may think of seeking treatment in Hyderabad, but what about less well-off women? Another pressing concern is C-section fatalities. People lament the loss of the new mother rather than celebrating the birth of a baby. How vile and pitiful!

In order to maintain a high standard of living, health facilities are crucial. Many life-threatening viruses are unknown to us, and discussions about reproductive health are frowned upon. Because Umerkot residents favour the practice of pardah, they won't be able to voice their concerns about their reproductive health. If untreated, a hormonal imbalance can make life difficult and will cause suffering all the way up to death.

Santosh Kumar, a native of Umerkot and a BSN student at DUHS, related his experience. Due to the lack of a decent specific OB-GYN, his mother was having some health issues and was forced to see a female health professional. Since finding a doctor at that time was a huge undertaking in and of itself, this was their best choice.

Despite taking medicines, nothing improved. Things worsened over time, and Santosh was forced to take his mother to Duhs for therapy. His mother must have a myomectomy at Duhs (a renowned tertiary hospital). Santosh's doctor said that these fibroids could be treated with medicine, but because of a mistaken drug prescription, things worsened, and his mother was left to face the full burden.

This kind of case serves to highlight Umerkot's current predicament. For their health difficulties, people must go a great distance. Everyone does not have access to resources that would enable them to reach the best hospital. Due to the incorrect prescription, an issue that might have been resolved via medication has now required surgery.

Many lives were lost as a result of the severe lack of doctors in the Umerkot district. The government must pay close attention to the Umerkot health care industry. Male literacy rates are 54% and female literacy rates are 20%, according to the Pakistan Almanac. This enormous discrepancy demonstrates that women did not have the same access to education that males had, in addition to the basic healthcare system.

The gender disparity reveals much more about cultural attitudes. Women who lack education must rely on their male partners to survive. Moreover, the marginalisation may also be seen as being along religious lines: Hindus make up the majority in Umerkot, and they are not as fortunate as Karachi residents in terms of having access to the same amenities. These residents are responsible for keeping Umerkot alive, and deserve higher levels of care.

Women will be able to make changes if they are empowered. Even if it is a lengthy voyage, the rewards make the journey worthwhile. Women in this region won't be able to advance in the greatest way or be able to contribute to society if they can't get adequate health care and education.

The writer is a columnist and researcher who has previously worked with Pakistan Daily.