NAME: SAAD AHMED
Registration Number: 180607
Department: Bachelors of Electrical Engineering Telecom (BEET)
Class: Pakistan Studies
Professor: Ghulam Mustafa
ASSIGNMENT NO. 1
HEALTH FACILITIES IN RURAL AREAS OF PAKISTAN
What is Health?
According to WHO.
Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being, not just the absence of disease or infirmity.
We commonly said this, “the state of being free from illness or injury.
Health Care in Pakistan:
Health is one of the major indicator for development of any country but unfortunately the condition of healthcare is still not satisfactory in Pakistan.
Total budget allocated for health care in Pakistan is only 3%, that’s not enough.
Health sector in Pakistan has been struggling for many years. Health delivery system is run by both state and non-state authorities. People living in urban areas have an easy access to best healthcare facilities whereas, in rural areas, accessibility to proper medical services is difficult. People either live far away from the clinics/hospitals or they don’t have any such institutes in their areas.
Health Issues in Rural Areas:
In Pakistan, more than 70 million of the population is living below the poverty line. These people don’t have any access to basic facilities including food and water. In addition to that, if they get sick, they don’t have any proper healthcare facilities.
In the history of Pakistan, health has never been a top priority especially of the people living in rural areas. Middle and upper-income class families are able to get treatment from best hospitals as they can pay from their pockets. On the other hand, for the underprivileged community, there are local hospitals but the number of patients is far more than the doctors available to treat them. Also, the number of beds are too less in these hospitals. Due to this, a large number of people have to sit on the floors which are also reported by media many times.
Health facilities for rural areas in our country in the present state are in total disarray. The private sector does not find it financially viable to set up medical facilities in villages. The Basic Health Units and Rural dispensaries, set up by the provincial and district governments in some villages, mostly have no doctors and the patients are left to the mercy of dispenses or quacks. The young doctors do not want to work in these locations because of lack of proper residential and other infrastructure. Buildings of many of these facilities are in a dilapidated state.
In the majority of rural areas, there is not even any local hospital to facilitate the people. Especially in Sindh, there are many small villages and slums where people are dying because they don’t have clean water and food. Due to this, they suffer from a number of deadly diseases. The infant mortality rate in Pakistan is also alarming which is 66 per 1000 births.
These states run institutions do not even have minimum medical equipment like X-ray machines or other equipment prescribed in their own policies. They do not have ambulance facilities to take patients requiring emergency treatment to a hospital. Non-availability of medical advice and medicines to the poor from these institutions has led to rise in mortality rates as well as increase in incidence of diseases.
Due to lack of proper care, mothers are not able to maintain their health during pregnancy resulting in the deaths of their babies. In many cases, children are born with various diseases including heart defects. Apart from the lack of medical facilities, there is not any health insurance system for the underprivileged through which they can treatment for free or at least at discounted rates.
Due to the shortage of nurses and doctors for rural areas, every year thousands of children die during birth or if they survive, they suffer from one or two diseases. The increasing number of heart patients mostly including children suffering from congenital heart defect is alarming. The mortality rate of women is also high because they are treated by midwives with no professional knowledge.
Added to this is the lack of proper sewerage and sanitation in addition to inability of local governments to provide clean drinking water in small and even district towns. This has caused increase in water borne diseases.
Organization’s Working in Healthcare Sector:
There are a number of NGOs working in the healthcare sector. Majority of them are providing free medicines that can heal the pain of patients who are suffering from flu, cough or other mild diseases.
But for those, who are suffering from serious diseases and need proper treatment, there is no care provided to them. The government hospitals are not enough to cater the needs of thousands of suffering people. If they need surgical treatment, they have to rely on local hospitals who put them on a long waiting list. By the time their turn comes, either the patient gets expired or his/her health gets deteriorated.
Alarming Health Conditions in Pakistan
In Pakistan, only 3% of the total budget is allocated for healthcare which is not enough. Keeping in mind the number of people who are living in extreme poverty, the government should take serious steps. Due to lack of basic facilities and healthcare, a large number of our population is suffering from a number of diseases. Following are 8 most prevalent health issues in Pakistan which need immediate action:
List of Top 8 Health Issues in Pakistan
1 – Tuberculosis2 – Hepatitis A, B and C3 – Dengue fever4 – Ischemic Heart Disease5 – Stroke6 – Cancer7 – Diabetes8 – Malaria
These are only some of the health issues currently widespread across Pakistan and need an immediate action. Even though many new strategies are introduced to improve the health care facilities in Pakistan, there is a need to take more steps in order to provide proper healthcare and improve health education. The government also needs to initiate programs that can help those who are not financially stable and are unable to undergo medical treatment.