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August 8, 2019

Pakistan`s first qualified midwife`s services eulogised

KARACHI: A large number of midwives, doctors and civil society members gathered at the Pakistan Medical Association House on Saturday to pay homage to Imtiaz Kamal, Pakistan`s first qualified midwife and the only living founding member of the Family Planning Association of Pakistan.

She also established the Midwifery Association of Pakistan. The event was organised by PMA.

Highlighting some important features of her life and services, Dr Abdul Ghafoor Shoro representing the PMA said Ms Kamal not only made a name in the field of midwifery/nursing, but also established herself as a dedicated educator, public health scientist, researcher, author and poet.

`In 1948, she gave up her law career to take up nursing because Pakistan needed nurses. She got her diploma in nursing midwifery and public health from the UK and BSc and master`s degrees from Columbia University, USA, he said.

Ms Kamal served the government of Pakistan and Nursing Association of Pakistan for 17 years before starting her international career during which she held key posts at the WHO and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.`Upon her retirement from the W HO, she was hired by Pathfinder International to open its office in Pakistan. During this period, the National Committee for Maternal and Child Health was established for which she has been working for the past 25 years in volunteer capacity,` Dr Shoro said, adding that throughout this time Ms Kamal retained her right for international consultancies and worked for organisations including the UNFPA, Unicef and the World Bank.

As the citation about her concluded, the audience gave a standing ovation to Ms Kamal.

Paying her homage, Dr Nighat Shah said that she was the most meticulous of midwives who worked all her live for the promotion of skilled and competent midwifery system in the country.

`She is not only a midwife, but also a health worker and public health expert,` she said.

Dr Arjumand and Dr Alia Ali appreciated Ms Kamal`s dedication and commitment in these words: `The best thing about her is that she is always available and ready to help, advise and fight for the right cause. It is great to have a colleague like her. The whole team learned a lot from her.

Dr Asif Aslam recalled that Ms Kamal produced a thorough report on the status of midwifery education on Unicef`s request which showed that 90 per cent of midwifery students became qualified midwife without doing a sin-gle vaginal delivery of any pregnant woman.

`It was after her report that international non-governmental organisation and the government took notice of the neglected field in the country,` he said.

Dr Shershah Syed said Ms Kamal was a great trainer and one of the best friends of nursing and midwifery cause in Pakistan.

`She has been through a very difñcult personallife and taking care of her son for the past 15 years who needs 24-hour nursing.

These challenges haven`t dampened her enthusiasm for the cause she has been leading for decades, he noted.

In her brief speech, Ms Kamal expressed the hope that all provincial governments and the federal government would promote midwifery and that she would see this change happening in her life.

She advised midwifery students to work hard and never compromise on quality of care.

`Never lie and be friendly to your clients. Teachers should support their students in all circumstances without fear. A competent midwife in a rural area is a blessing. Midwives should be well trained and should be well paid too,` she said.

Shehla Naeem, principal of the School of Nursing at the Dow University of Health Sciences, Dr Khairunisa of Sindh Nursing Education Board and Dr Tazeen Saeed also spoke.

Source: Dawn 



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