Myths Proved False
“It was astonishing to find out that Wi-Fi was available free of cost at UM Trust. Furthermore, the hospital management is offering it free for students, rural health workers and communities so that they can stay connected with outside world while living in the remote area” – Mariam Mustafa
“At nursing counter patient’s vital are taken by nurse and entered into an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Here, I saw many female patients comfortably getting their vitals measured and recorded by a male nurse. Keeping in view the culture of KP, I never expected it. I feel proud that my myth proved wrong.”- Mariam Mustafa
Mariam interviewing female patients
I have recently joined UM Healthcare Trust as a Program Coordinator and it was my very first visit to Mardan district and to UM Healthcare Trust Hospital. Like every other common Pakistani citizen, I have some built-in assumptions about the rigid culture of rural areas of KP and a charity hospitals (mostly called ghost hospitals) running at remote locations. To be honest, I was quite scared of going into a rural location in KP due to the security situation in the country and the stories I had heard from people and media.
In order to witness the reality especially with respect to healthcare in the field, I joined my team members to visit UM Trust on 14th February, 2014. During the whole journey, I thought of UM Healthcare Trust as a small typical rural primary healthcare facility but on reaching the hospital it felt as if I have jumped into completely different and advance healthcare world. Close to entrance there is a built-in Amphitheater in hospital which serves multi-purpose. Mostly training are held at this theater and at the same time it serves as the waiting area for females while male patients usually wait for their turn in lawn or waiting room .
Female patients waiting at Amphitheater at UM Trust
“ Every single person working in the hospital is a true example of empathy. They are truly committed and available for the core cause of UM Healthcare Trust Hospital.”- Mariam Mustafa
First Myth – No queue culture in rural areas
Read full story at : http://www.umtrust.org/event/myths-proved-wrong/
Disease Trend of January 2014
District Mardan, KP, is known for its hospitality, despite of the fact that most people living in the rural areas are below poverty line. Most of them earn through agriculture and yet earn less than $1 a day.
UM Health Trust is providing them basic and sustainable healthcare by providing consultancy, basic examination and medication to more than 150-200 patients daily.
In the month of January 2014, a total of 1615 patients were treated.
Among those 363 (22.47%) were male patients, 679 (42.04%) were female patients and 573 (35.47%) were children.
Most of the patients showed symptoms of encountering infectious agents due to change in climate. Poor hygiene practices and low habitual standard of living resulted in many Gastroenteritis cases.
Patients suffering from Dyspepsia were also observed with elevated digestive enzymes.
“I always took my son as a normal child who suffered from severe weakness due to serious spiritual problems. Since I couldn’t afford to visit hospitals in city, the only choice I had was to take my son to holy shrines for prayers for his healthy life. ”—Bilal’s mother.
No one in the family had a clue that 3 years old Bilal among 4 children was suffering from Marasmus, a severe malnutrition disease which is most common in children below 2 years of age but may be found in advance age. It is manifested by severe wasting of subcutaneous muscles and fats leading to diminished tone of muscles, excessive weight loss, growth retardation and failure of vital organs such as kidney, liver etc. Marasmus is most commonly due to dietary deficiency or some time due to severely restricted food intake. It is directly linked to illiteracy of mothers, low family income and larger family size.
Bilal was brought to UM Healthcare Trust after his mother learned about our free and quality medical service from her family friends. For the first time, Bilal was accurately diagnosed in our hospital with Masarum. He is now being given best and free treatment for his health restoration and his mother is briefed on marasmus by our doctors. She is also strictly advised to make frequent visits to UM Trust so that the baby condition is observed regulalry by our doctors.
Marasmus is a serious worldwide problem that involves more than 50 million children younger than 5 years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 49% of the 10.4 million deaths occurring in children younger than 5 years in developing countries are associated with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). Reference – Medscape
“I was amazed to find out that in today’s era, a printed photograph of their child can be luxury for them as they can not afford to spend money on pictures. I could not say “No” to their request for the pictures, and allowed them to take all. “ – Dr. Qasim Ali
Happiness comes in different flavors. Some buy it, others struggle for it, and there live few who get it for free and unexpected. There are still people in this world who are living in dark ages; however, their measure of happiness is priceless, innocent and giving. Free “Give-take” concept is involved without causing any harm and therefore leaving both teams in a win-win situation e.g. making others happy makes one happy and content without paying any penny.
Quoting a live incident from UM Healthcare Trust
a) Recently UM Healthcare Team’s photographer took a few photographs of the children, patients of Zahidabad district. The team decided to develop these photo shoots and put them on the Notice Board of UM Healthcare Trust Hospital in order to bring colour to the place and catch attention of the patients waiting for their turn. However People of Zahidabad on seeing these pictures got so enthralled, elated and excited that they started taking off these pictures saying:
“This is my daughter’s picture hanging there on the wall. She is looking wonderful. Can I please take it off and show it to my wife and hang it on my wall? I have never seen a printed picture of my child before” - Patient at UM Trust
Encountering such innocent requests leaves a person numb, as to in today’s fast pace world, there still live a few who get to see their family’s footage for the first time and for them it counts no less than a miracle because they are so poor they can’t think of anything else except struggling for their life to keep their families alive. In short their pockets do not allow them to keep a camera and relive memories. Thus coming across such joy for UM Team serves as chance because not every day such awe-moments take place scoring a win-win. They were allowed to take off as many pictures as they desired.
b) Similarly once a female patient was having a very common disease i.e. Temperature. She came to the hospital for the very first time. She was treated well and was given the required medicines to heal up soon. The next day she came to the hospital again, this time feeling very energetic, excited and happy, demanding to see the doctor who checked her. On meeting the doctor she told him that she has brought a gift for him. The doctor of course got worried and told her that madam there is no concept of accepting bribes; it’s inappropriate and not appreciated. The woman demanded that she has to give it to him as he had saved her life. The women when opened her tightly curled hands, presented the doctor with an Egg, saying
“I am giving my one day breakfast to you as a token of appreciation for saving my life” - Patient at UM Trust
Stories like these leave a person in admiration and shock. One can think of so many things as to why an Egg but each thought reflects a smile.
Patient Treatment from Jan to June 2013
From the year 2013 (Jan-June) UM Healthcare Trust treated 10,197 patients, of which a gigantic 4,563 were Female patients. Children on second number were 3,760 and the rest were male patients reaching a figure of 1,874. The number of Female patients and Children is more in comparison with male patients. Therefore UM Healthcare Trust carries continues to provide necessary health facilities in order to better facilitate and educate both mother and child about keeping healthy.
For the year 2013 (Jan-June), UM Healthcare tracked over 47 distinct diseases for its patients. Following are the top most diseases faced by male, female and children patients for the past 6 months i.e. January to June 2013.
With generous support of our donors, we hope to carry out the healthcare services to needy and poor in an efficient way.
This report is an update on the activities of UM Healthcare Trust for the year 2012 in rural Mardan. The organization continued to provide quality rural healthcare services to poor and needy. We touched the lives of nearly 20,000 people, majority of which were mother and children (80%).
UM Healthcare Trust currently treats on average 100 patients a day. We charge a small fee PKR 50 Rupees (US$ .50 cents) per patient as transaction fee. We also charge PKR 100 Rupees (US$1.0) for medical laboratory tests. These transactions do not cover the total expense incurred against the treatment of the patient but it does provide a deterrent to not abuse the system and also generates vital revenues for us.
UM Healthcare Trust was successful in raising PKR 4Million rupees as donations from individual donors form around the world. The donations raised were not enough to cover the expenses PKR 7Million rupees but it did play a vital role in helping us procure and give quality care to the poor.
Without the help of the donors, we would not have been able to achieve our noble goals. We do hope to reach out to our donors and try to raise more funds in the current fiscal year.
UM Healthcare treated 18,221 patients in rural Mardan. Off which a whopping 43% were female patients totaling 7,877. And another 38% were children below the age of 12 with total treatments of 6,849. The rest, i.e. 3,495 patients were male (19%) who were treated by our medical staff. UM Healthcare has been successful in getting 80% of the patients to be either women and children. Thus ensuring better health for both mother and child.
For the year 2012, UM Healthcare tracked over 47 distinct diseases for its patients. Here we share some of the top diseases that were encountered by our medical staff.
The disease trend (graph attachecd for your reference) for 2012 indicates that the top diseases ailing females included URTI/LRTI (1,004), Dyspepsia/Ulcer (1,145), and Hypertension (1043).The top diseases ailing children included URTI/LRTI (1,823),Gastroenteritis (1,674) and Skin Infections (584).The men were found to be most affected by URTI/LRTI (631), Dyspepsia/Ulcer (580) and Hypertension (471).
“The treatment of the patients and the clean atmosphere prevailing there touched me deep within.” – Muhammad Zaheer Khan (Volunteer UM Trust)
Interviewing Patient at UM Healthcare Trust
A visit to a hospital is a whole lot of experience in itself. A friend of mine when asked me to visit a hospital run by UM Trust invoked a great deal of curiosity. She then asked me for the volunteering opportunity at the hospital which I readily accepted. Reason being, the hospital was in a rural area of Mardan and the way my friend introduced the trust was worth volunteering for.The journey was long and on way we were talking about the country politics, religion and whole lot of other issues however; my host friend kept talking about UM trust and different aspects of its programmes and the hospital. This made us more inquisitive.
On reaching there, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and were duly introduced to the team and different facilities. I found that patients were documented in a unique way, something that is not usually practiced in Pakistan. They use Electronic Medical Records (EMR), which have a special module called SOAP. This is an acronym for Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan. The software development took place at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, with collaboration of students and faculty members there. Through this, a patient is first seen by nursing staff who takes notes of patient present condition, including symptoms in narrative form. The patients are then asked to give vital signs and measurements including blood pressure, weight, height etc. This is termed as Objective analysis. A physician then sees the patient and does medical diagnosis called Analysis. He then gives medication, referrals, or further labs. This is referred to as Plan. All this data is saved through the software. The patients’ record can be shared online with volunteer physicians in other cities of Pakistan and abroad. As a whole, the entire hospital presented a very bright look. The treatment of the patients and the clean atmosphere prevailing there touched me deep within. The behavior of doctor and nurses was worthy of commendations. They acted most wisely and ably in handling problems of the patients. When I came out of hospital, I realized that there is a whole lot of difference in the atmosphere that prevails inside and outside the hospital.
Group of volunteers having discussion with Chairman, Mumtaz Ali – UM Trust
I am glad for using this volunteering opportunity and wish such practices are emulated throughout Pakistan.
Article by Muhammad Zaheer Khan- Volunteer UM Healthcare Trust
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