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Pakistan lacks operating hospitals

As Taliban influence continues to ravage Pakistan, people have been fleeing their homes and numerous hospitals have been shut down, making it hard for those displaced - especially women, to find proper medical facilities, IRIN reports.

Lady Reading Hospital in Peshwawar, Pakistan, is one of the only hospitals in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (KP) province that has been safe from conflicts.

"Since the conflict began in the tribal areas and elsewhere, around three years ago, we have a 20-25 percent increase in patient load," Hamid Afridi, hospital chief executive told IRIN. "We now see 5,500-6,000 patients daily in the outpatient and emergency departments."

The lack of female doctors who feel safe enough to practice is another major concern, as most Pakistani women refuse to see a male doctor.

Many female workers were made examples of by the Taliban, who believe women should not work, including Shahida Bibi, a "lady health worker" from the KP who refused to stop working even after they took over. She was later kidnapped and brutally murdered for doing her job, the news outlet reported.

The lack of hospitals has caused an increase in health problems, and humanitarian groups are trying to figure out ways to get medicine and doctors to the KP region.
"We cannot afford to go elsewhere for medical help," one local woman told the news source. "Good women doctors are hard to find in Mingora [in the KP region], and my husband refuses to let me see a male doctor." "I often fear for the future of my children," she added.
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