Update from the Field
December 3, 2009
Dr. Rubina Mumtaz, Country Director, Pakistan
It has been 4 years since the ill fated earthquake that killed over 80,000 people. The memory has faded not only for the world but even for most of Pakistan. The 4th anniversary was acknowledged by only those who lost loved ones. Even the rudimentary remnants of the camps/offices held by foreign funded agencies have practically disappeared from the landscape. The only exception is the RMF-HF clinic. RMF, as per our mission statement, is the only one that has been constant and resolute in providing healthcare for all despite the fading interest of the funding agencies. Although it is becoming increasingly difficult to seek funding for the Pakistan project, RMF is steadfast in its pledge to continue this project.
The OPD of the clinic has maintained the patient load since the beginning of the year. From July to September, 5,544 patients were diagnosed and treated. Of these, 39% were males, 61% females and 28% children. Amongst the women, 244 came for antenatal visits, 177 for gynecological presentations and 141 sought out family planning. We had 23 cases ranging between suspected meningitis to acute appendicitis that were referred to secondary and tertiary care hospitals for further treatment. Home visits by our staff were carried out for 12 bed-ridden patients in several neighboring villages.
The war on terror in Pakistan has rendered road travel to the northern part of Pakistan dangerous. Therefore extra kudos must be given to the staff of Hashoo Foundation who has not faltered in their fortnightly visits to the clinic to keep the stock of high quality medicine up to date. However, despite the insecurity abound in the country, our staff at the clinic feel safe and secure. This can be attributed to the good will earned over the past four years and the fact that our healthcare approach does not transgress on the cultural boundaries of this area.