A six year old with an STD

A little girl entered my clinic. She was diagnosed with genital herpes. Who could sink so low as to infect her?

Bushra Maheen Rahman October 21, 2010
I am interning at the Ob/Gyn department nowadays and nothing has been as psychologically taxing as this rotation.

Everyday hundreds of poor women come to the out-patient clinic for consultations, each with a unique problem of her own.

Yesterday, however, a little girl  with big brown eyes and shabby clothes entered the clinic.

She was barely six years old and had a cape tightly wrapped around her shoulders. The lady who came with her was her paternal aunt who told us that the girl was complaining of a rash around her genitals. On examination, it turned out to be  genital herpes - a sexually transmitted disease.

The consultant probed her and tried to reach a conclusion about how she had contracted it. She tried her best to somehow make her talk and find out whether she has been assaulted, raped or sexually abused. The kid, with those scared, big, brown eyes did not want to speak up. Her aunt didn’t know any better.

On further questioning, it turned out the child’s mother was pregnant with yet another child. She had three daughters and three sons already and didn’t deem it fit to visit the clinic with her daughter. Another of the child’s relative told us that the mother didn’t want daughters, continuously neglected them and was pregnant hoping for another son. I was flabbergasted, sad and shocked at the sheer absurdity and stupidity of the mother.

We admitted her and started treatment. The shrill screams of the child when we touched her to administer the medicine still haunt me. She was begging the doctor to stop. My mind refuses to let go of her face. All I can think of is the physical and psychological damage that the child has suffered and will continue to suffer throughout her life. Now that her family knows, she’ll be stigmatized further. I can’t seem to let go of how viciously “luck” has turned out for her.

I know this case is not the first of its type and that a lot of them go unnoticed yet I couldn't believe my eyes. I also know that, as a doctor,  I have to get 'used to' all sorts of unimaginable things. I have to see more of them - still my brain refuses to register the fact that a human could turn into an animal so low.  How could someone let go of all inhibitions and harm a child like that without thinking twice about the repercussions? Without even considering the fact that another innocent human is being crushed?
WRITTEN BY:
Bushra Maheen Rahman A doctor from Peshawar who writes, blogs at www.pistaye.wordpress and tweets @MaheenRahman
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

COMMENTS (41)

Bilawal | 10 years ago | Reply @Hamood: Is mie bhi amreeca ki galti hai lol
Sania | 10 years ago | Reply @Ghausia my apologies. I didnt read the comment above yours to which you were responding. Nonetheless, most of us have clouded our minds into believing that external forces are responsible for anything and everything that is going on in pakistan without for a second stepping back and evaluating our own characters.
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