In Pakistan, the police of Peshawar City is tracking down a so-called faith healer after advising a pregnant woman to hammer a nail into her forehead so she could deliver a baby boy she desired despite being told by medical professionals that her unborn child will be a girl following an ultrasound.

The victim has since been given adequate medical attention at Lady Reading Hospital, where neurologist Haider Suleman, who treated the woman, said the 5cm (two-inch) nail had not reached her brain although it had penetrated the woman's skull, the Daily Beast reported.

Suleman said the nail incident happened in the woman's home, noting her family members tried unsuccessfully to pry the nail out of her head.

The staff member at the Peshawar facility also noted that the woman was "fully conscious, but was in immense pain," when she arrived seeking treatment. The mother had earlier confessed that a faith healer guaranteed she could give birth to a baby boy if she carried out the act, which she did so herself.

Hospital staff told local media that the woman, already a mother of three daughters, desperately wanted to keep her husband from leaving because he was upset that she would not bear a boy.

Baby boys are usually preferred in some poorer South Asian countries, including Pakistan, as parents believe a son can better provide long-term social and economic security than daughters. Accordingly, for Pakistanis seeking spiritual solutions to their problems, faith healers serve as a common avenue, DW noted.

On Tuesday, Peshawar police chief Abbas Ahsan said in a tweet that a special investigative team had been formed to "bring to justice the fake peer [faith healer] who played with the life of an innocent woman and put a nail in her head with [the] false promise of a male child".

Vowing to “soon lay our hands on the sorcerer," Ahsan noted his department had been interviewing hospital staff in the past days, with a man-hunt underway for the faith healer responsible.

Police are also working to determine why the treating doctor did not report the matter to authorities when the woman first presented at the hospital, according to the BBC.

The woman, a mother of three girls, hammed a 5cm (two-inch) nail that penetrated her skull in a desperate effort to bear a son after her husband threatened to leave the family. This is a representational image. Unsplash

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