Asia / Pacific
Thatta District, Pakistan
Pakistan Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Care Center
Village Ranta in the Thatta District of Sindh is the site of some of CWS’s most important work in Pakistan – a program that provides preventative and curative health care services to communities hit by a series of recent floods in Sindh. In targeting mothers and children, the program is improving maternal and child health through its outpatient department, dispensary and community health awareness work. A key component of the work – and to keep it tied to the community and its needs – is that all program activities are run through a health management committee of both women and men. The committee is made up of elected community leaders, ensuring community participation in project activities.
Nearly 7,400 people have been direct beneficiaries of the program; another 20,504 have been helped indirectly.
Understanding the “back story” to the region is necessary to grasp why CWS’s work is so important here. Sindh’s Thatta District was completely devastated by the floods of 2010 and 2011, destroying virtually all health care facilities within the rural areas. Women often cannot travel between villages and to urban centers given security threats and the overall cultural context. With no rural health centers, women and children have often been left with little to no access to health care – as many as a third of households surveyed indicated that they had to travel at least four hours.
CWS’s establishment of the maternal, neonatal and child health center allows women to not just seek medical care during emergency situations, but to receive regular check-ups for both themselves and their children. In doing so, they are doing what is often elusive for women in Pakistan – exercising a basic human right.