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Essay

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Why We Must Provide Better Support for Pakistan's Female Frontline Health Workers

  • Svea Closser mail,

    sclosser@middlebury.edu

    Affiliation: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, United States of America

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  • Rashid Jooma

    Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

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  • Published: October 08, 2013
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001528

Reader Comments (1)

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Health worker safety: What about local "leaders"

Posted by prashanth on 30 Oct 2013 at 09:44 GMT

Thank you for raising this important issue of the daily realities within which the women health workers are going about their important job responsibilities in Pakistan. Indeed, their salaries and security issues are of great importance. While completely agreeing with the arguments in this article, I would like to further add that their situation is not an isolated reality (in my opinion). It is a reflection of the larger society in which they go about their work. Local opinion leaders (religious leaders often occupy this stature, I believe) and community elders play a significant role in shaping local people's reaction and responses to these health workers. Moreover, given the current political situation in many of the places where these women work, mechanistic reforms are not possible. Often, engagement with local leaders and communities is required to take them on board about the importance of women health workers in building a healthier society. To that extent, I believe your article does not reflect this current political reality within which the problem of insecurity of female health workers thrives.

A recent article comparing political situations (particularly violence to health workers) in Afganistan, Pakistan and Nigeria alludes to this problem pretty well. I would read that article along with this one and use them both in taking the issue forward.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Health worker safety: What about local "leaders"

prashanth replied to prashanth on 30 Oct 2013 at 09:45 GMT

The article I referred to in the concluding paragraph of my comment above is: http://www.plosmedicine.o...

No competing interests declared.