KARACHI: Jhipego (the lead organization for the Maternal, New Born and Child Health (MNCH) Services funded by USAID) Country Director Dr Farid Midha said in a press conference on Sunday that the achievements made under the five year program to provide high-quality MNCH services could be made possible through efficient support extended by the provincial government.
“The training provided to the staffers and healthcare personnel associated with healthcare facilities right from Basic Health Units to full-fledged hospitals could not be possible without meaningful coordination between public and private sector,” he said.
It was claimed that under the program, special attention would be given to empower the communities who are in need of immunization coverage for their children offered under the expanded program on immunization.
Districts covered under MCHIP include Dadu, Khairpur,Thatta, Tando Allahyar, Tharparkar, Jacobabad, Sukkur,Shikarpur, Ghotki, Larkana, Naushero Feroze, Sanhghar, Matiari, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot.
It was agreed that special consideration must be given to the skill development among community health workers (along with lady health workers and midwives) to keep a vigil on the needs of expecting mothers and babies born to them.
The purpose of such initiatives is to provide quality delivery services to the pregnant women on their very doorsteps and to facilitate timely referral of complications to the nearest hospitals equipped with needed interventions.
“This was crucial as postpartum hemorrhage leading to excessive bleeding is the cause behind 27% of the maternal deaths in Pakistan,” said the country director adding that the second most common cause (in about 13.7% cases) was the infection due to the disregard for hygiene during the delivery.
MNCH services also include anti-tetanus coverage of women falling under the reproductive age group.
To a query about transportation of women in need of emergency obstetric, he said it had always remained a major challenge, particularly in remote areas.
“To address this problem, a network of volunteers was developed under the program that were provided with needed capacity building to transport the women in need of emergency obstetric care,” said Dr Midhat.
The contact numbers of these volunteer drivers belonging to the concerned communities were not only available with the local health workers and community health workers but also prominently displayed at the healthcare facilities.
A toll-free number of Aman Ambulance Service has also been made available to the people, who on basis of a single call, could get immediately linked to the volunteer committed to providing transportation facility.
To a volley of questions raised by the media personnel about statistics generated during the five programme initiated in 2013, Dr Midhat said this could be shared after completion of the program in March this year.
“I can always assure you that a significant difference has been made in the life quality of women and children and holds every room for replication across the province,” he said.
He also thanked Save the Children PATH for their support in related interventions including provision for efficient family planning services.
Jhpiego Adviser on Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Dr Wajiha Javed said that training of healthcare providers during the five year program has helped meet the shortage of trained personnel in government facilities.
“Personnel trained during the period were inducted by the provincial health department and could be witnessed serving at the facilities that previously were largely devoid of trained staff,” she said.
It was further informed on the occasion said that over 2000 drivers from several of the districts had volunteered their services for the cause of transporting women and children in need of emergency medical care.