November 25, 2022
Universal Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women
This is especially true for women and children. 1 in every 11 children dies before their 5th birthday, and maternal mortality is very high due to complications during labour such as hemorrhages and eclampsia. An estimated 14,000 women die every year during childbirth in Pakistan, which means 1 woman dies in childbirth every 37 minutes.
Doctors of the World has been working in Pakistan since 1996 in order to strengthen the country’s health infrastructure, especially in the provision of sexual and reproductive care for young women and girls.
In the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa access to healthcare is often disrupted by instability caused by terrorism and natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, and floods. As a result, many communities in the province have become displaced and there are also a high number of refugees from Afghanistan residing in the region.
Since 2009, Doctors of the World has supported 7 healthcare facilities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through mobile medical teams and the organization of informational workshops. Our teams provide primary healthcare and sexual and reproductive healthcare, and raise awareness on the importance of immunizing children.
An important part of our work in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also consists of training local healthcare staff. We’ve successfully trained 325 staff members, which means that some of these centers can now be managed directly by Pakistan’s Ministry of Health. Our teams have also taken part in organizing health education workshops that deal specifically with vaccinating children and emergency planning for natural disasters. Doctors of the World aims to increase emergency preparedness so that communities can be better equipped for future disasters in order to reduce casualties and the spread of disease.
In 2016, we were able to provide 188,105 people with primary healthcare, immunize 25,512 children, and screen 38,705 children for malnutrition.
17% of women are married before the age of 17, and cultural and religious practices prevent young women and girls from gaining access to or learning about family planning. In the city of Lahore, Doctors of the World works with Pakistan’s Ministry of Health to strengthen the implementation and accessibility of sexual and reproductive healthcare for young people. Our teams support 17 centers for adolescents where we work on improving the available services and training national staff such as psychologists.