Healthcare for all

The healthcare facility is one of the basic necessities and rights for all citizens of Pakistan to be provided by the government. According to Sehat Kahani, in Karachi, more than 50% of citizens in Pakistan do not have access to basic primary healthcare services, and about 42% fail to receive health coverage. This shows the pathetic healthcare situation of the country.

Despite such a harsh situation, people like us find hope in the Sindh government’s Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) which works 24/7 in the rural setup. Here I share my experience pertaining to the level of satisfactory service provided to the patients diligently. Whoever works well should be praised for their actions. PPHI’s working style should be adopted by other entities concerned.

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PPHI is a non-profit organization that started working in district Kashmore, Sindh, Pakistan in 2007. In 2013, the organization was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

Once we were heading towards Larkana with some guests to attend a marriage ceremony. One of the guests fell ill and observed stomach disturbance. Near Taluka Manjhand, district Jamshoro we decided to see a doctor if any. Thanks to a shopkeeper who guided us to the Basic Health Unit (BHU) of PPHI in the said Taluka.

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I went to PPHI-maintained BHU at Taluka Manjhand. I had some doubts before approaching the BHU whether a rural health facility would provide ease to the pain, however, private hospitals are providing good facilities to the patients than these BHUs. But I was wrong. The doctors checked out the patient in detail and gave medicine that worked out speedily. However, we decided to see another doctor if the patient’s condition did not improve, but thanks to the PPHI’s setup that kept the patient satisfied and we did not go to another hospital and continued the journey.

According to Mr. Abdul Hafeez Bhatti, Executive Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, PPHI in Sindh has been working in 22 districts with 1176 health care facilities. PPHI resolved the issue with the provision of 190 ambulances to serve the poor free of cost in their catchment areas. It has repaired and renovated 1025 government health facilities and also 465 health facilities have been solarized throughout the province. Whereas, PPHI established two eye hospitals and nutrition intervention in nine districts. 

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As per my experience, I will suggest all people of Sindh to visit PPHI’s healthcare facilities in their areas, where qualified paramedic staff is available and the facility is provided, which is quite satisfactory. However, there is no penny charged upon availing of the service. Now I myself prefer visiting PPHI’s health facility to any private hospital in Hyderabad.

In addition, PPHI aims to provide quality preventive and curative primary healthcare to the most deserving communities for promoting and protecting their physical and economic wellbeing.

In my opinion, the government should provide more funds to PPHI in order to strengthen its impact on the whole of Sindh province. Each and every person should know of the facilities of the PPHI and to make it possible PPHI can do a partnership with media houses, and national and international welfare organizations including World Health Organization (WHO) to organize district-wise awareness campaigns and programs on televisions that benefit the masses as a whole.

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Concluding, Mr. Abdul Hafeez said that PPHI has first time appointed 447 lady doctors in remote areas to provide the best health service for maternal and children’s needs. Medicines and laboratory tests are provided free of cost to the patients. It has 86 percent data accuracy, whereas 265 mini laboratories, 293 ultrasound machines including color doppler, 100 plus Kangaroo Mother care units, 332 Ice-Lined Refrigerator (ILRs) for Expended Programme for Immunization (EPI) in some districts.

PPHI’s awareness campaign should also run in the primary and high schools of Sindh where students can be the source of information dissemination to their families. Whereas the pamphlets should also be in local languages including Marwari, Dhatki, Brahvi, Baluchi, Pashtu, and other spoken languages.

More the people are benefitted, the purpose of the established organization is served.

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The Opinion has been sent in by Ajesh Kumar. The writer is a social researcher. He can be reached at ajeshkumar1900@gmail.com.

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