Health
 Pakistan
Project #6331

Make Healthcare accesible to poor via Technology

by UM Healthcare Trust
Vetted

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.

Since Bilal’s mother was hardly able breastfed him excpet for first few months due repeated pregnancies in two years intervals, he was very weak and people thought of his as victim of serious spiritual problem called Aseeb/Sooray. To make the situation worst, due to extreme poverty and illitearcy,  Bilal was not taken to any private clinic and tertiary care hospital rather he was taken to shirnes and holy tombs for recovery and prayers. This played a critical role in detoriating his condition.

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 

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Unexpected Happiness

“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

Female patients and children waiting for their turn for medical checkup

Female patients and children waiting for their turn for medical checkup

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

Patients at UM Trust
Patients 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

Patient treatments

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.

Disease Trends

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.

Female Patients

  • URTI/LRTI (780)
  • Gastroenteritis (501)
  • Dyspepsia/Ulcer  (786)
  • Hypertension (724)

 Children

  • Gastroenteritis (1240)
  • URTI/LRTI (1154)
  • Skin Infections (303)

Male Patients

  • URTI/LRTI (410)
  • Dyspepsia/Ulcer (317)
  • Hypertension (297)
  • Gastroenteritis (217)

With generous support of our donors, we hope to carry out the healthcare services to needy and poor in an efficient way.

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Disease Trend
Disease Trend

 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.

Patient Treatments

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.

Disease Trends

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).

Patient Treatments
Patient Treatments

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Attachments:

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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UM Healthcare Trust continues its efforts to treat the under-privileges in the best possible ways. We not only treat patients at the facility but also refer them to the specialists in the cities when required.

                    

                            UM Trust treats patient diagnosis with Glucoma

A three years old, Zeeshan was presented at UM Healthcare Hospital with sensitivity to light cloudy look of eyes and eyes look larger than normal (enlarge eye ball).  Parents of patient were counseled and were immediately referred to qualified pediatric ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologist labeled the patient congenital hereditary dystrophy with Congenital glaucoma.It is characterized by improper development of eye drainage channels which leads to increase in intraoccular pressure. Due to increase introccular pressure the optic nerve damage. In 75% of patients the congenital glaucoma is bilateral and found most commonly in boys.
Common Symptoms are :

  • Excessive tearing (Epiphoria)
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Spasm are squeezing of eye lid

Pediatric Ophthalmologist advised beta blocker & carbonic anhydrase inhibitors among other medicines which are regularly provided free by UM Healthcare Hospital on monthly bases. With the coordination of UM Trust, an appointment for the patient surgery is setup with Lakson Medical Complex (Eye Hospital). We wish Zeeshan a quick recovery.

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Organization Information

UM Healthcare Trust

Location: Islamabad, Punjab - Pakistan
Website: http:/​/​umtrust.org
Project Leader:
Shamila Keyani
Islamabad, Pakistan

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