- 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, Balochistan – Pakistan’s most underdeveloped province and home to thousands of Afghan refugees.
- Staff regularly see malnourished patients and provide nutritional support to severely underweight infants, young children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- Teams also admitted 697 people suffering from cutaneous leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease prevalent in this region, and provided treatment and supportive care.
- North of Quetta, at Chaman district hospital, Médecins Sans Frontières supports medical services for women and children, including reproductive healthcare and specialist neonatal and paediatric care. There are also inpatient and outpatient feeding programmes, and treatment and support services for trauma patients.
- Médecins Sans Frontières also supervises the women’s outpatient department, which is mainly run by health ministry staff using Médecins Sans Frontières protocols.
- In eastern Balochistan, Médecins Sans Frontières works closely with the health ministry and focuses on malnutrition and on providing specialist care to newborns, infants and children suffering from acute medical complications at the District Headquarters Hospital in Dera Murad Jamali district.
- There are high rates of malnutrition throughout this region, which worsen during the May to October ‘hunger gap’ between harvests. An outpatient feeding programme, which runs all year, was increased during these months to cover eight locations in Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts, in which more than 8,800 people received nutritional support.
- The obstetric and maternity components in Nasirabad and Jaffarabad were handed back to the Ministry of Health at the end of October. Médecins Sans Frontières also handed over Sohbat Pur and Mir Hassan Basic Health Units to the ministry at the end of May and the sexual and reproductive health components in October.
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.
- Médecins Sans Frontières teams also work at Nawagai civil hospital, in the outpatient department, emergency room, and mother and child health department. Paediatric services include vaccinations and therapeutic feeding for malnourished children.
- For complicated cases, Médecins Sans Frontières ensures timely referral of patients to Khar, Timurgara or Peshawar.
- In the Sunni enclave of Sadda, Kurram Agency, Médecins Sans Frontières runs a paediatric outpatient department for children up to the age of five, inside Tehsil Headquarters Hospital. There is also a therapeutic feeding programme for this age group.
- In Alizai, a Shia community in Kurram, Médecins Sans Frontières operates a paediatric outpatient department for children under 12 years of age.
- 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.
- Mother and child health is the focus at the government-operated Hangu hospital too, where Médecins Sans Frontières runs a round-the-clock emergency room, an operating theatre and surgical wards, and provides technical and referral support to the delivery room. Médecins Sans Frontières also supports the health ministry’s blood bank and X-ray departments.
- Médecins Sans Frontières continues to work in the District Headquarters Hospital in Timurgara, Lower Dir, providing medical expertise in the emergency room, resuscitation room and in the observation room. Comprehensive obstetric care is available, including surgery for complicated deliveries.
- In May, Médecins Sans Frontières opened a neonatal unit for premature and low birth weight babies.
- In addition, Médecins Sans Frontières supports the hospital’s blood bank, sterilisation and waste management systems.
- Isolation wards were established in Timurgara following outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea and measles. Médecins Sans Frontières also ran dengue fever prevention and awareness activities in communities and schools in the area.
- 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.
- Health promotion teams run health and hygiene education sessions for parents and children, and staff conduct mental health consultations.
For the latest news on where we work visit: http://activityreport.msf.org/
Médecins Sans Frontières has worked in the country since 2000 and at the end of 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières had 1,558 staff in Pakistan.