Health issues of country to remain a challenge unless steps for improving public health are taken: Shura Hamdard

KARACHI – Dr. Faiyaz Alam, General Secretary, Dua Foundation, Karachi said, “national health’s promotion and preservation is the core responsibility of any government, which is unfortunately ignored as 46 out of 1000 children die within 29 days after birth, this rate is higher than Afghanistan. 75 percent births take place in homes through unqualified midwives. Moreover there is no system of specialized training for midwives.”

He was speaking in a Shura Hamdard’s meeting, presided over by Dr. Abubakr Sheikh, titled “Public health, alarming situation and national efforts” at Hamdard Corporate Office, Karachi.

He further said, “in order to resolve health issues, there should be appointments on merit instead of political basis in health department and in hospitals. Incompetent appointments have created a menace as they are playing with the lives of masses. Government has established many hospitals all over the country but there are no facilities in them”.

He advised governments to hand over management of those hospitals, which government could not run successfully, to reputable, credible NGOs as there have been several successful examples in this regard. Therefore government should bring all NGOs on board and start collective efforts to fight this menace. The private nursing homes have been popped up like mushroom on as small covered area as 80 yards, he added.

He said government has given no priority to nursing, that’s why 78 women out of 1000 die during child birth. He emphasized on the importance of awareness and collective efforts of government and private sectors. “Thalassemia in our society is the result of ignorance and can be prevented easily by spreading awareness”, he said, adding “it has become a common practice of government hospital physicians who direct patients to their private clinics; it is a matter of moral conduct and should be considered in the light of morality.”

Brig (R) Dr. Riazul Haq stressed upon the general health of masses and said “only those nations would survive who are healthy. But still we are clueless about the importance of health and education while there two sectors have long term impacts on society.”

“Health issues can only be resolved until we manage to promote a healthy environment with special focus on public health,” he added.

Dr. Abubakr Sheikh emphasized on political will to overcome this challenge and said that government should patronize general health. “The widespread dengue virus is an eye-opener for us. With complete fumigation, good governance and effective management, we can overcome this obstacle and we must do that as health is such of such importance that nations’ rise and fall depend on it”.

The President of Hamdard Foundation Pakistan, Mrs. Sadia Rashid said that national health was pivotal for nations’ development and progress; therefore it was imperative to create awareness among children and youths by inducting chapters on “health science” in curricula of primary and secondary schools.

Mrs. Mussarrat Akram criticized the practice of prescribing antibiotics to children. She urged awareness for physicians and said “generally it is a practice of unqualified physicians.

Dr. Rizwana Ansari said “infant mortality is alarmingly high. As many as 62 children out of 1000 die after birth. 45 percent children are born with weak body and mind”.

We have not been able to defeat polio and dengue too, which was spreading and as many as 34,000 people have been affected so far, many hospitals lacked of dog bite medicines. Mostly village women faced anemia, caused by malnutrition and lack of family planning, she said, adding that such issues were posing serious challenges to our society and great efforts are needed to create awareness.

Saleem Mughal, Director, Programmes and Publication, Hamdard said that prevalence of health related issues were the results of corruption and lack of education. He also said “these societal ills can be overcome with government private collaboration. Hamdard always strive to play greater role for improving general health”.

While repeating the suggestion, given by Sadia Rashid about educating children and youths on “health sciences”, he said that we have been highlighting the importance of health and hygiene for children through “Hamdard Naunehal”, the children magazine for over a half century.   


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