The Pakistan Met department issued a heat wave warning last week, predicting that temperatures in the city may soar to as high as 42 degrees in the coming days, and advised all stakeholders to take preventive measures. During the day when the temperatures are at its peak, use of wet towels will ensure that body temperature do not rise, and are able to bear their fast easily. Water bottles are also being distributed in the afternoon at different high volume traffic points.
SINA, is a leading provider of quality primary health care to the poorest of communities in Karachi since 1998. Having treated 850,000 patients last year in the urban slums of Karachi recently conducted heat wave activities for the poorest of the poor. SINA has set up 14 location points outside its clinics and at local high traffic areas, where wet towels were distributed during the day, and water bottles given out before iftar time. The heat prevention camps set up across its network of 27 clinics located throughout every district of Karachi, acts as a first response initiative to provide relief to deserving citizens to those with symptoms of heatstroke. SINA Health, Education & Welfare Trust – which has its primary healthcare clinics at 27 locations in Karachi, has undertaken these steps not just to provide care inside their clinics, but to those on the streets as well.
Commenting on this activity, Dr. Asif Imam, Chairman, and Founder of SINA Trust said:
“People should try and remain indoors as much as possible and to remain hydrated if they venture outdoors. I also advise the use of caps, sunglasses and wet towels to limit the effect of extreme temperatures. To cope up with dehydration, people should take oral rehydration salts (ORS) and extra care of their children and the elderly.”
He also thanked MET, PDMA, and NDMA for raising awareness and appreciated Rangers and other NGOs for establishing relief camps that are providing water, ORS, ice boxes and towels across the city and pursuing the awareness and prevention campaign. He especially thanked K-Electric for donating 20,000 water bottles, 1100 towels, 23 iceboxes and 3000 ORS for the said activity.
Speaking on the role of SINA in underprivileged areas of Karachi, Mr. Rafiq Rangoonwala, a trustee at SINA Trust said, “The communities where we are present have around 80-90% Zakat eligible population, which means they are the poorest of the poor. Every patient entering a SINA clinic receives a qualified doctor’s consultation, screening, free medicines ranging from Panadol to Insulin, Lab tests ranging from CBC to PCR (Hep C), Ultrasound and referral services to tertiary care hospitals.
Awareness has been noticeably better this summer as a result of increased awareness and a heightened sense of responsibility. The Sindh Health Department has also prepared a “Heat Wave Emergency Contingency Plan – 2019”. The city administration has also set up 185 cold water points in the city. 24 ambulances will be on standby at different locations and 18 mobile teams will to provide immediate treatment and relief to people.