The emergence of COVID -19 pandemeic has thrown into sharp focus the plight of the already vulnerable population living in underdeveloped countries. Pakistan has been no exception. The suffering endured by poor communities due to loss of livlihood has been compunded by the fact that access to free/affordable healthcare has become even more difficult.
After the Government imposed a month long lockdown, all the Out Patient Departments of Government and Private Hospitals including rural clinics were closed to the public. Though this was a necessary step to slow down community spread, it also resulted in causing hardship for a very large section of the population.
Although pharmacies were open, however, only those with means could procure medicines. For the millions who depended on charitable clinics,the stark reality was that they had no where to go if they were to fall sick.
SHINE Humanity, in compliance with Government rules also closed the clinic for 10 days, however, the management decided that our patients needed our support now more than ever, we opened the clinic with skelatal staff and started telemedicine. Village elders were informed of the new sitauation and slowly calls started pouring in. Our doctor listened to the complaints and noted down the prescription. realizing that the patients would not be able to afford purchasing medicine, we started free delivery service using a rider on a motorbike. He was provided complete protection,with masks and gloves and was told to deliver following strict safety guidelines.
All chronic patients ( mainly those suffering from hypertension and diabetes ) who were registered with the clinic were contacted and told that their medications would be delivered to them at their doorsteps.
We were able to do this only because we have the support of donors such as yourselves. We hope you will continue to contribute to our organization so that patients can receive treatment even in these most challenging of times,
This is the story of Salma Bibi who came to our clinic last month in great discomfort. She had a highly infected and exposed wound on her arm. She told the doctor that she had fallen into a thorny bush sometime back, she had neglected the initial wound and had continued with her daily activities without cleaning it or applying any medications. As was to be expected the wound had festered and over time had become so infected that she was in continuous pain.
The doctor immediately cleaned and dressed the wound after applying an anti-bacterial cream. She also prescribed strong doses of antibiotics to bring the infection under control.
Salma Bibi was advised to visit the clinic every other day to have the dressing changed and the cream applied. The patient finally, after repeated visits to the clinic, showed steady and marked improvement. Within a week her wound had started to heal satisfactorily.
This is but one example of how primary healthcare can have such an impact on rural and underserved communities. If Salma Bibi had neglected the wound further, her infection might have deteriorated to such an extent that her arm might have become gangrenous leading to amputation.
We are so thankful to our donors who allow us to provide care to patients like Salma Bibi, We hope you will continue your support in 2020 and beyond, thank you
SHINE Humanity recognizes the difficulty patients have in accessing healthcare in rural areas and in order to address that problem we have collaborated with Sehat Kahani ( a leader in this technology) in Pakistan to expand services to this underserved population, launching our first remote telemedicine clinic in Tando Hyder, Hyderabad Sindh.
Patients are screened by qualified nurses and have access to a physician remotely through the internet. Using specialized software specifically developed by Sehat Kahani, these physicians provide the necessary expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of these patients.
Since the opening of this clinic, we see an average of 300 patients per month around 85% of whom are women and children.
This clinic operates in an area where having access to a qualified physician is a rarity. It is serving the needs of a population that had until now been left at the mercy of undertrained physicians or even quacks.
SHINE Humanity in collaboration with Sehat Kahani is using technology to positively impact the lives of patients. This is the way of the future, especially in underdeveloped countries where there are not enough doctors willing to serve in rural communities.
We are very grateful to our donors whose support allows us to treat patients at our telemedicine clinic.
Perveen* visited SHINE Humanity's Gharo clinic accompanied by her 2-year-old daughter Nefeesa*
Nafeesa was running a fever and was highly irritable and uncomfortable. Her mother told the doctor that she had blister-like symptoms on her torso and they were causing so much of an irritation that Nafeesa could neither sleep nor eat properly.
Not having much disposable income, Perveen had initially tried home remedies, when those only made matters worse she had taken her to some quacks close to her village in interior Sindh. When the blisters showed no signs of subsiding she ultimately brought her daughter to our clinic in Gharo.
At the clinic, The doctor diagnosed her with a skin condition caused by bacteria. An all too common ailment afflicting children living in close, cramped and squalid conditions. The child was prescribed free medications to treat the blisters and antibiotic creams to bring the infection under control. At the followup visit, Nafeesa was responding well to treatment and already seemed more comfortable.
If Perveen had been living in a large city like Karachi and had the means to access quality healthcare, her daughter would not have suffered for so many days, instead, her condition was exacerbated because of lack of access to a qualified doctor
That is why we are so grateful to our donors who provide us with the opportunity to serve patients like Nafeesa and her mother. These underserved people deserve access to quality healthcare as much as their brothers and sisters living in big cities.
In April of 2019, SHINE Humanity took a 40 member Medical Mission to Skurdu in Northern Pakistan. During the 4-day camp, the team saw over 4,000 patients and performed over 100 surgeries. Many of these surgeries literally transformed the lives of the patients.
This is the story of Asad Ali, a 6-year-old boy who lives in a small village nestled in the Skardu valley surrounded by majestic snowcapped mountains.
One day, Asad Ali was playing with his small siblings in his modest home. His mother was busy making food for the family on the rudimentary stove in the corner of the room. The log burning stove was blazing hot when Asad Ali accidentally fell and his hand crashed into the burning flames. The family was poor and though they tried to get treatment at the local clinic, there were never enough funds to take him to a plastic surgeon in a big city.
Upon hearing that a medical team of surgeons had arrived in Skardu, Asad Ali's father brought him to the hospital He was operated upon and finally after two and a half years of living with pain and disability, Asad Ali regained the use of his hand. This transformative surgery was just one of the many that our doctors performed during the camp.
Though SHINE Humanity's core mission continues to be providing primary healthcare to the underserved, a mission like this has enabled us to touch the lives of a vast number of people who would otherwise not have had access to specialized quality care.
We look to you, our donor to keep supporting our cause so we can continue to help patients like Asad Ali.
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