Meet Dr. Laal – Shimshaal valley’s “one-woman army”

Pakistan has a population of 220,215,928 people. This makes us the fifth most populated country in the world. With thousands of babies born every day, the healthcare industry struggles to keep up.

Every year about 30,000 women die in childbirth in Pakistan. The pre and post-partum care for women is pretty much non-existent unless you’re paying millions of rupees in private hospital fees and even then, the care is sub-par.

Every day we hear stories about women being mishandled or treated poorly by doctors and nurses. These few healthcare professionals ruin the trust people have in all doctors. They start to believe that it’s normal to be mistreated and have a terrible birthing experience. But every now and then we hear of someone that overshadows them all.

Dr Laal is one of those names.

Dr. Laal hails from Shimshal Valley in Hunza, Pakistan. She’s what we call “A one-woman army”.

For the past 28 years, she’s been the sole person everyone in Hunza looks to when they’re expecting a baby in the family. She’s single-handedly delivered all the babies born in Hunza for almost 3 decades!

Not only does she deliver these babies but she’s an all-over care provider. From being the person who prescribes and gives the medicine, handling all of the vaccination work, being the midwife and the doctor to the women who come to her, she does it all.

In 28 years, there have been no women that died during childbirth that were under her care.

If any of her patients need to travel to a hospital she goes with them. She’ll happily make the 4-10 hour journey and be there with her patients when they need her. Her only worry is that while she’s gone someone might need her back in Shimshal.

She says that it’s like “Allah has placed the responsibility of the whole village on me”.

Indeed, and this woman makes sure to fulfil that responsibility with everything she’s got.

Doctors like Dr. Laal, prove to the world that no matter what we hear about doctors around us, there’s always someone out there that has put their whole life on hold so they can be present for their patients instead.

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