Amjad Hussain B. Sial, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) addressed the Opening Session of the Seventh International Conference of the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons in Kathmandu last evening. He was the Guest of Honour at the Opening Session.
Organized by the International Society of Obstetric Fistula Surgeons, the two-day Conference brought together some 200 surgeons, medical professionals and experts from around the world and Nepal to discuss prevention and cure of Obstetric Fistula, a medical condition of some women as a result of complication in childbirth.
Addressing the Opening Session, the Secretary General congratulated the Society for organizing the Conference. He said, “this Conference is of enormous significance to SAARC as a regional organization, which accords high priority to the well-being of women in South Asia, including their health. We believe that the empowerment of women socially, economically and politically is crucially important to achieve greater progress and prosperity in our societies.”
In his Address, the Secretary General described Obstetric Fistula as “a serious health hazard” to many women. He said, “Our ultimate objective is to prevent and cure fistula. We should also make sustained endeavours to rehabilitate and reintegrate all those women who are already suffering from it. They should be enabled to live a healthy, comfortable and dignified life. Let us work together to achieve this humane objective.”
He highlighted that programs that improve nutrition, delay the age of first pregnancy, improve family planning and increase access to maternal and obstetric care are necessary to prevent obstetric fistula. He asserted, “On the whole, preventing obstetric fistula requires overall improvement in the status of women.”