Pakistan: Relief and Health Services for Earthquake Affected Victims
Health Clinic Opened and Beginning Care: December 2015 – April 2016
June 14, 2016
Dr. Rubina Mumtaz, Country Director
Summary of Activities
- Groundwork for Health Clinic Site
- Hiring of Health Staff
- Procurement of Clinic Furnishings, Medical Equipment, and Supplies
- Inauguration of the Health Clinic
MORBIDITY REPORT DECEMBER 2015 – APRIL 2016
This first tri-annual morbidity report covers a four-month period: December 16th, 2015 to April 16th, 2016. The daily clinic operating hours were observed: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a day off and Friday is a half-day, in line with religious demand for Friday afternoon prayers, which are considered sacred.
Over the period of four months, with an average daily OPD of 30–35 patients, a total of 3,425 men, women, and children from UC Matta and its surrounding areas were provided with primary health care (PHC) and maternal and child health care (MCH) services.
Health Clinic Site
Mohalla Laloo Bandee
Our initial proposal had envisioned a large tent to house the clinic. However, the reality on the ground was quite different, and the option to take up a permanent structure was possible. We rented a local house centrally located in the mohalla for the clinic site. Technically this is not a complete house, but part of a larger house that was being used for storage purposes. This portion has a separate entrance from the back and is composed of two rooms and a shared compound. Intensive cleaning over two days made the space fit for a clinic setting. The compound is divided by a curtain into gender segregated waiting areas. One room is for the female patients, and the other room is the male doctor, as well as the pharmacy stand.
Hiring Qualified Staff
Locals Return to Community
As per RMF’s hiring policy, we employ staff from the local areas. A call for interviews was made at the very beginning of the project in early December, and interviews were conducted on a first come, first served basis. A selection criterion was based first on qualifications, but with a strong emphasis on a compassionate and empathetic nature. We selected a husband and wife doctor team, since the couple not only belonged to Tehsil Matta, but had decided to give up lucrative careers in the main cities to come back to their hometown to serve their people. So instead of a Lady Health Visitor (LHV), we have a fully qualified female doctor in her place. Since the clinic site was now not a tent service, we hired a cleaning lady for the sanitation of the building and a security guard for the night.
Health Clinic’s Inventory
Equipment and Supplies
The bare minimum clinic furnishings were procured from Mingora, the nearest large town, and transported to the clinic. The doctors set up the clinic as per their requirements. At this stage, we limited the purchased procurement of furnishing to a bare minimum and took up several unused items from our existing inventory at the Nowshera Health Clinic. The same approach was applied for medical equipment; medical supplies were procured from our Peshawar based vendor, who has been supplying us with medicine for the Nowshera Health Clinic for the last two years. He happily agreed to transport the monthly medical supplies directly the clinic.
The clinic entertained a somewhat equal number of adults and children, whereby the distribution was:
- 74.9% – 1,346 women
- 25.1% – 449 men
- 47.3% – 755 girls
- 53.6% – 875 boys
Primary Health Care Statistics
The most commonly presented illnesses overall during this 4-month period:
- Respiratory Infections – 46.7%
- Diarrhea – 15.7%
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – 13.1%
Maternal and Child Health
A total of 1,212 women and children sought MCH services at the clinic:
- Antenatal Care – 116 pregnant women
- Postnatal Visits – 98 lactating mothers
- Family Planning – 102 women
- Dysmenorrhea – 232 women
- Abnormal Leukorrhea – 192 women
- Irregular Periods and PV Bleeding – 139 women
- Infertility – 81
On October 26, 2015, at 14.09 hrs, an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 hit the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. The epicenter was centered in Badakhsan Province of Afghanistan, 76 Km north of the Chitral border of Pakistan.
The earthquake luckily spared extreme damage to infrastructure of the affected areas, hence the low rate of mortality and morbidity but remote villages tucked deep in the folds of the mountains composed of mud and wood have succumbed to the quake tremors rendering whole villages shelter less. Also the event triggered off a series of landslides in the mountainous regions that, in the face of the impending winter where it has been raining and snowing in some regions, led to power outages in many places and road blocks, isolating large tracts of areas where people are in need.
1. To provide immediate relief shelter
2. To provide immediate relief food
3. To provide immediate health care
4. To assist in rebuilding of destroyed homes
Inauguration of the Health Clinic
Celebrating the Future
Clinic operations began the day the staff moved in and the first batch of medicine supplies reached the clinic. Although the clinic was formally inaugurated on December 21st, 2015, unannounced patients had started to arrive in need of health care from as early as December 16th, 2015.
The medical clinic was formally inaugurated by Local General Councilor Mr. Lajbar Khan from the area. Twenty local men and women were also present during the ceremony. After the inauguration, the traditional Dua was performed and small talks were given by Mr. Lajbar Khan, Ms. Afshan Bhatti, and Mr. Mujeeb-ur-Rehman.
Mr. Lajbar Khan thanked RMF for the initiative and said,
“We are very grateful to RMF, as we always needed such a service and after the earthquake the need has increased. People of this area are extremely poor and have no means to travel to the nearest facilities, which are very far away.”
Mr. Lajbar Khan also ensured his cooperation and said that he looks forward to the extension of this medical center.
Ms. Bhatti thanked Mr. Lajbar Khan and the local people for receiving the initiative so positively. She also thanked the RMF staff and volunteers who worked very hard to establish the center. Ms. Bhatti introduced the staff of the center to the local people and requested the staff to work hard and reach out to the poorest of the poor population.
Finally, Mr. Mujeeb thanked everyone and closed the ceremony. Refreshments were served. After the ceremony, the medical officers formally started examining the patients.