Despite a ban by the Sindh High Court, quacks are running their clinics and maternity homes with complete impunity in Mirpur Bathoro town of district Sujawal. The town that has over the years produced adept medical practitioners is now haunted by quacks who have kept the lives of patients at utter risk.
The quacks are minting money without any hindrance, as the poor patients arriving from low-lying areas of the taluka, who cannot afford the fees of private doctors, often opt for a quack without evaluating his qualification.
Reliable sources from Mirpur Bathoro revealed that most of the quacks had the backing of influential political figures in the area, following which the relevant authorities evaded taking any action against them. Furthermore, they were so popular in the area that they had given a tough time to registered medical practitioners having vast experience and high qualifications.
Sharing their views with Minute Mirror, members of civil society and concerned citizens said that it was a burning issue of their town that had been deliberately ignored by the concerned officials. They said that most private maternity homes were either run by quacks or those who only had diploma certificates and did not know much about the field.
Noman Shoro, a local citizen, said that the protocols of quality health care were not followed at these maternity homes, which led to further miseries for mothers and their newborn babies. He further added that the apparatuses used at these maternity clinics were either rusty or not properly sterilised.
Tab-e-Ali, a member of a social organisation, said that since poor pregnant women were resorting to quack clinics, the infant-mortality ratio was rapidly increasing in the remote areas of Mirpur Bathoro. He added that owing to the dearth of oxygen cylinders at those clinics, most newborn babies were afflicted with birth asphyxia – which happens when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients before, during, or right after birth.
Members of civil society expressed grave concerns regarding the silence of the Sindh Healthcare Commission over the crucial issue of the area, urging concerned authorities for prompt and strict action against quacks.