A still born baby’s head was cut off and left inside their mother’s womb during surgery in rural Pakistan, in a medical incident that highlights the country’s lack of access to maternity care.
The botched operation took place last week at a charity hospital in Pakistan’s Tharparkar district, where a woman was brought in to deliver her dead infant, which was in a breech, or bottom-down, position.
During delivery, doctors separated the baby’s torso from their head, which remained stuck in the mother’s uterus. The surgery was conducted without a gynaecologist present.
The head got stuck after delivering the torso because the delivery was done by inexperienced hands,” a top health official of Sindh province said in a statement on Saturday.
After the failed delivery, the woman, whose life was considered in danger, was transferred to another hospital 51 miles away with the baby’s head still inside of her on an hour long journey.
But they discovered upon arrival that the hospital did not have adequate facilities to treat her. She was then sent to another hospital in Hyderabad city, nearly 134 miles away. The baby’s head was removed through abdominal surgery because her uterus was ruptured.
The mother is now out of danger and is in recovery Pakistan has the highest infant mortality rate in South Asia. According to UNICEF, the country reported 54 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a figure that’s twice as high as neighbouring India’s and at least 10 times higher than developed nations’. Although the country’s infant mortality rate has been declining in recent years, a marked disparity exists between its urban and rural areas.