By AK Lodhi
KARACHI – Sindh health department and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation have failed to evolve an effective strategy to check the menace of quackery in the city’s suburban areas which have become hub of illegal dental and medical clinics.
A visit to different parts of the metropolis would show that hundreds of illegal dental and medical clinics which have sprung up there, especially in its suburban areas, continued to operate unchecked and unabated.
These dental and medical clinics and maternity homes are being run by quacks having no relevant qualification whatsoever.
Different parts of the city, including the Old City areas of Karachi such as Saddar, Lea Market, Lyari, Mauripur, Quaidabad, Landhi and Malir, have become hub of illegal dental and medical clinics and maternity homes.
Besides, quacks’ unlawful practice could also be seen in different urban slums existing in North Karachi, North Nazimbad, New Karachi, Surjani Town, Orangi and Sohrab Goth.
Though the provincial health department and KMC had earlier launched a number of campaigns against quacks in the city, such efforts on their part could not yield desired results merely because of poor planning and lack of coordination among different departments.
According a report prepared by Pakistan Medical Association, there are over 60,000 quacks in the city and they are playing with lives of the citizens.
PMA’s finance secretary Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said that illegal dental and medical clinics being run by quacks are a major source of prevalence of hepatitis and HIV/AIDS in the society. “As a matter of fact there is no concept of sterilization of surgical instruments and use of new syringes in such dental and medical clinics,” he deplored.
Dr Sajjad demanded of Sindh Assembly to approve the Anti-Quackery Bill without any further delay.
Director Health Karachi Zafar Ejaz said that previous campaigns launched against quacks in the city could not bear fruit because of shortage of manpower and non-existence of proper registration system.
Underscoring the need for a proper law against quackery and its implementation in letter and spirit, he said that authorities concerned as per rules and regulations of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council could only register FIR against quacks.