KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Saturday asked his inspection team to urgently initiate an inquiry into the medical treatment given to 12-year-old Najma Khaskheli allegedly by some quacks in Badin due to which she lost her limbs.He asked the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT) to interview all the doctors and the quacks whoever treated her right from day one and find out where and what went wrong that caused serious infection leaving doctors in Karachi with no option but to amputate her arms and legs to save her life.“This is extremely painful and heart-breaking to see a poor girl with bandages on her chopped arms and legs,” said Mr Shah while expressing displeasure and shock over her state of distress and despair to find herself in the plight of lifetime disability.
“This is a crime against humanity and must be dealt accordingly.“This is very serious as the quacks keep playing with the lives of poor and innocent people openly, but now enough is enough,” said the chief minister in his order.Critics, however, said the government failed to rein in the increasing number of quacks due to ineffective implementation of the healthcare commission bill that had been passed some years back but put into the cold storage.
Officials said the girl had been suffering from diarrhoea when her father took her to a ‘clinic’ in Pangrio town of Badin district, where she stayed for three days. When she returned home her arms and legs started swelling. Her father, Hanif, a donkey-cart rider, rushed her to the same clinic but the ‘doctor’ referred her to Karachi. She was finally brought to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), where doctors found no other way but to amputate her limbs to save her life.
The chief minister asked the CMIT chairman to put personal interest into the inquiry because of its gravity and submit the report to the chief minister within a week. “This is serious and I don’t want to spare the quack whosoever he is,” he said.Mr Shah also asked the health minister to launch a crackdown against quacks in every nook and corner of the province. “For God’s sake don’t allow them [quacks] to play with the lives of the poor people,” he said.
In a meeting early this month, action had been ordered against quack doctors across the province, but practical steps on the order were yet to be seen. In the meeting, the district health officers had been asked to take action against quacks with cooperation of local administrations and police. But the crackdown could not be carried out until a young girl was fatally victimized by one of the over 80,000 self-styled doctors in cities and villages of Sindh.