Women and children in particular suffer from the lack of access to healthcare in Pakistan and there is an overwhelming need for neonatal care. Mother and child health remains a focus for Médecins Sans Frontières.
Teams also respond to the medical needs of vulnerable communities largely excluded from medical care, including people displaced by conflict, and marginalised, low-income groups.
Government restrictions, bureaucratic processes and a climate of insecurity and sporadic violence pose operational challenges in Pakistan. The presence of armed militant groups and ongoing counter-terrorism operations hamper humanitarian access and there is a general distrust of aid workers.
Médecins Sans Frontières continued to provide basic healthcare with a focus on women and children in Quetta and Kuchlak. A total of 3,361 individual and group psychosocial sessions were undertaken with both women and men in 2014 and additional psychosocial support services, such as children’s play groups, were available.
Teams also admitted 697 people suffering from cutaneous leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease prevalent in this region, and provided treatment and supportive care.
Overall, Médecins Sans Frontières conducted almost 59,690 consultations and assisted 3,598 births in Quetta and Kuchlak.
Teams carried out 6,978 outpatient consultations and assisted 4,048 births. Over 5,795 women attended a prenatal consultation.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
Médecins Sans Frontières provides medical care to displaced and vulnerable communities in Bajaur Agency, the northernmost tribal agency. Medical staff support two basic health centres in Talai and Bilot, and are improving services in the outpatient departments and antenatal care units. Children are screened for malnutrition and receive vaccinations.
Médecins Sans Frontières runs a paediatric outpatient department for children up to the age of five, inside Tehsil Headquarters Hospital. Newborns and children under 12 needing hospitalisation are treated on the Médecins Sans Frontières-supported paediatric ward, and referrrals are organised. Médecins Sans Frontières staff also assisted the ante- and postnatal departments. In addition, some 160 patients received treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis at a centre Médecins Sans Frontières established for the general population.
In Alizai, a Shia community in Kurram, Médecins Sans Frontières operates a paediatric outpatient department for children under 12 years of age. More than half (59 per cent) of patients in 2014 were under the age of five.
In Peshawar, the province’s capital, Médecins Sans Frontières runs a 35-bed maternity hospital receiving patients from health units, government-run hospitals and other health partners in the district and FATA. Over 3,700 patients were admitted and 3,268 babies were delivered.
Médecins Sans Frontières continues to work in the District Headquarters Hospital in Timurgara, Lower Dir, providing medical expertise in the emergency room (where 114,957 patients were triaged), resuscitation room (where 27,576 patients were seen and treated) and in the observation room. Comprehensive obstetric care is available, including surgery for complicated deliveries, and 7,369 deliveries were assisted in 2014. In May, Médecins Sans Frontières opened a neonatal unit for premature and low birth weight babies.
Médecins Sans Frontières also ran dengue fever prevention and awareness activities in communities and schools in the area. More than 8,000 students and teachers attended health promotion sessions.
The Machar Colony slum is situated on the edge of Karachi’s Fish Harbour, and is crowded and polluted and has no proper sanitation. Médecins Sans Frontières opened a clinic in 2012 with local partner SINA Health, Education and Welfare Trust, providing basic and emergency healthcare, including outpatient consultations, triage, stabilisation and referrals for emergencies. Labour and delivery support for pregnant women is also available.
Médecins Sans Frontières first worked in the country in: 1986
No. staff: 1,528
This text is an excerpt from the 2014 International Activity Report, published annually looking at our work in the previous year. The full report is available here.
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