Pakistan still lags behind in many health targets

KARACHI: Pakistan still lags behind in many health targets set by Millennium Development Goal (MDG), as far as concerned with reproductive health indicators that are also far behind to accomplish as compare to its regional neighbors.

This was stated by HANDS General Manager, Dr Anjum Fatima, while briefing the journalists regarding HANDS’ health initiative programme in rural Sindh. She said that Contraceptive Prevalence Rate of Pakistan still remains 35 per cent and only around half of all births are in a health facility or attended by a skilled birth attendant, most of the rural Sindh population is living under the poverty line while literacy rate among them is still six percent.

HANDS organized media exposure visit in connection with health advocacy campaign which had started since a month after launching impact assessment report of community health worker (Understanding MARVI). In this regard, countrywide seminars are being organized to disseminate the findings of the report and for the same purpose media has also been involved.

This two-day exposure visit was organized in the remote district of Sindh Umerkot to aware journalists about realities on ground and as well to share HANDS research report findings.

The main reason of this visit is to mobilize media fraternity to come forward and raise voices with civil society for reproductive and primary health care rights. This visit was organized at the MARVI intervention district at Umer Kot for Journalists.

By considering the Health Status of Pakistan, HANDS Health Promotion Program is working for the underprivileged class for the provision of health services, particularly at the underserved and non LHW (Lady Health Workers) areas along with other areas.

The journalists were given briefing about health status by HANDS GM Information Bilquis Rehman. She said that only 20 percent of Pakistanis were getting benefits from public sector facilities, while rest of the people had to bear health expenditures by their own pockets perhaps primary healthcare is the basic right of every citizen from state free of cost.

HANDS district executive manager Bansi Malhi facilitated journalists during the visit along with other staff of HANDS. He said that we were hoping that this visit would be helpful for the media friends to capture current health Status of rural Sind population and compare the model that had been developed. By thanking journalist, Ms. Bilquis Rehman GM Information and Communication said that we were expecting that media’s strong reporting and articles would support in raising voice for the affected population in order to sensitize government.

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