Meet Dr Tahira Nazir- The lioness of Gurez’s health sector

By Mushtaq Bhat

Gurez, April 23 :During winters, when Gurez valley remains cut-off from Kashmir due to heavy snowfall and life comes to a standstill, Dr Tahira Nazir works hard to provide the basic health services to the local populace.
She is currently posted as Block Medical Officer at Community Health Center Dawar in Gurez, but her job is much beyond handling of the administration.


With a shortage of staff, Dr Tahira handles the multiple roles at the hospital. She conducts deliveries and USGs of pregnant ladies herself, as the hospital lacks a proper gynaecologist and other facilities.
Gurez Valley remains cut-off for at least six months following heavy snowfall and the Bandipora-Gurez road’s closure plunges the valley into misery for want of basic amenities and proper healthcare.
In these tough times, providing basic health services to patients is a big challenge.
Braving all odds, Tahira has been working tirelessly since 2005 to serve the people in Gurez valley. Despite the hectic schedule and stress, she has been tackling the patients physically and mentally.
Dr Tahira said that during winters, she hardly visits her children as she cannot cover a distance of 25 kms from hospital to her home.
She said that despite having no gynaecologist, theatre, manpower, radiologist and blood bank at the hospital, she conducts deliveries successfully at the CHC Dawar hospital in the Gurez valley.
Dr Tahira has conducted more than 1000 normal deliveries.
“With the help of our health care staff including doctors, paramedics and Asha workers, we conduct normal deliveries here even in winters. We have not reported a single death so far. It is very challenging to work in this area, but we don’t lose hope and continue working. My staff is also doing a tremendous job,” she said.
She said that they conduct over 25 normal deliveries every month at the hospital.
“We cannot conduct a caesarean as we do not have such facilities here and we don’t have a gynaecologist. In case of any complications in pregnant ladies, we refer them to Srinagar hospitals,” she said.
Dr Tahira said that she along with her staff have handled twin and triplet pregnancies at the hospital.
“We have conducted successful deliveries of mothers who had twins and even triplets. Even could have handled the patients with complications but we do not have such facilities here. We do not conduct surgeries due to lack of facilities,” she said.
Keeping in view the harsh weather conditions, Tahira said that doctors and other health professionals have been trained for high-altitude medical emergencies to tackle the situation.
“We conduct surveys to check the health conditions of pregnant ladies. We keep tabs on the high risk patients. If we find any complications in them, we make ourselves ready and shift them to the centres where they do not face any problem due to less facilities’ and inform them early about the further treatment. We even inform them early if there is a need to visit hospitals in Srinagar,” she said.
Dr Tahira said that despite having no blood banks, they have conducted deliveries of ladies who had less hemoglobin.
“We have even seen complicated patients but we didn’t give up and handled them nicely. Thanks to the Almighty, I have not seen my patients dying here,” she said.
People close to Dr Tahira said that she is helping people without bias. The way she dealt with patients is hailed by one and all.
“She is the Lioness of Gurez serving people of her native place. Her contribution with regard to rendering her services with dedication and commitment is par excellence. She is not only giving her services as an administrator but also as a doctor,” said one of his colleagues.
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