Promoting Community Participation- Medical Camp in Kharan
Maternal (MMR) 785 per 100,000 live births and Infant mortality rate (IMR) 111 per 1000 is highest in Pakistan among other developing countries as shown by various surveys and reports. The condition in rural areas of Balochistan is rather worst.
Kharan being one of the poorest and among the most underdeveloped district is no exception when it comes to high maternal and child mortality. Widespread poverty, poor literacy rates, weak health systems, poor law and order situation combined with other socio economic issues have been among the major fundamental factors behind the ever-deteriorating health and nutrition status of the natives particularly the women and children.
With such conditions prevailing every large and small scale health and nutrition initiative counts and can help in saving lives of hundreds. This was well demonstrated in the medical camp established by the Frontier Corps in district Kharan in the month of April 2017.
Through the camp 72 children of aged from six months to five years were screened. The screening process identified eight Severely Malnourished Children (SAM) whereas 17 Moderately Malnourished Children (MAM) were also identified by the SCAP team in coordination of the district nutrition teams of Balochistan Nutrition Program for Mothers and Children. The SAM children were enrolled and provided Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and were referred to the Out Patient Therapeutic Program Centers (OTP). Whereas, the normal and MAM children from the age of six months to five years were provided Multi Micronutrient Supplementation Sachets in addition to the provision of nutrition supplies the malnourished children with medical complications were referred to the District Headquarter Hospital for inpatient care services.
During the medical camp the social mobilization team of SCAP ( an NGO working as implementing partner with Balochistan Nutrition Program for Mothers and Children)under supervision of their provincial manager Mr. Shah Mohammad Kakar has conducted health education / awareness raising session with the mothers of normal, SAM and MAM children regarding Infant & Young Child Feeding Practices.
The provision of nutrition and medical supplies through the medical camp was appreciated by the local communities and would in the long run support the community participation in various health and nutrition program. The success of the camp should be celebrated and encouraged at all levels however the findings of the nutrition screening should not be overlooked as it unveiled a situation (GAM > 38%) that if not addressed will lead to the loss of thousands of innocent lives.