PIMA Thar Relief
Karachi, 20 February 2016: Demanding an immediate food emergency in Thar, the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has offered the Sindh government to help it saving lives of newly-born children in the arid region.
An official of the association said their specialists, paediatricians and neonatologists could help train Thari youth to work at the government hospitals and the Rural Health Centres (RHCs) and save lives of malnourished children.
“We have provided equipment and trained manpower to upgrade a nursery at the Civil Hospital Mithi and our doctors and paramedics have trained local youth to save hundreds of precious lives. We can do the same for other hospitals in Thar and rest of Sindh, but the government would have to hire the trained youth so that they could work at those health facilities on a permanent basis”, PIMA Central President Dr Sohail Akhtar told a news conference at the Karachi Press Club.
Accompanied by neonatologist and paediatrician Dr Azhar Chughtai, Dr Fayyaz Alam, Dr Ahmar Rehman and Dr Rao Naeem, he demanded the provincial government to launch a nutrition programme for the people of Thar.
“Majority of women in Tharparkar are malnourished and they are anaemic. When such women get pregnant, they give birth to underweight and weak children, who are more prone to diseases and ultimately die due to lack of health facilities in the area” Dr Akhtar said, adding that malnourishment due to poverty, lack of resources, unavailability of health facilities and untrained staff at hospitals were some of the biggest reasons behind high infant mortality in Thar.
Dr Azhar Chugtai claimed trained paramedics working in children units were sometimes more important than doctors as their training and experience help them in saving lives of infants.
“Trained paramedics can judge the problems of neonatal in nurseries by looking at them and sometimes they even guide doctors in saving their lives. We are ready to provide training to paramedics of Thar and establishment of child units at local hospitals so that high infant mortality rate could be brought down.”
Dr Syed Ahmar Rehman said over 70 percent women and majority of children in Thar were malnourished.
He demanded of the government to introduce a comprehensive nutrition project to overcome the nutritional deficiencies among women and children.