A maternal health hero: Shershah Syed

Nicholas Krisof has written an amazing profile of Dr. Shershah Syed, a physician in Pakistan that has devoted his life and career to maternal health and helping women who have suffered complications in the process of giving birth — particularly fistulas that have left them wounded and alienated from their communities.

Maternal mortality rates remain high in Pakistan, where a woman dies ever 35 minutes due to pregnancy or childbirth. The real tragedy, however, according to Dr. Shershah(right), is that the technology and knowledge exists to greatly reduce these deaths, but the government simply hasn’t made it a priority.

While Dr. Shershah was able to get government funding for his maternity wing at a public hospital in Orangi outside Karachi, he believes that more attention and money could eradicate the problem of maternal mortality altogether. He is currently raising private and public funds to open a new maternity hospital elsewhere near the city within five years.

Still, Dr. Shershah is just one man, and there are thousands of women who require his brand of care. You can donate to his development projects via the National Health Forum. Contact Dr. Naseem Shekhani at [email protected], or call 314-255-7409 to find out how you can help.

For more stories like Dr. Shershah’s, check out Kristof’s On the Ground blog on the New York Times website.

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