Field Report from Oct 16th, 2010 - Shikarpur District Hospital
Pediatric Ward Receives new Lease on Life
Seeing is Believing - please take a moment to view the attachment below which captures the before and after of our Shikarpur project. The focus of our efforts has been the Pediatric Ward that has been supported by SHINE Humanity and CDRS. There is an obvious change in the ward and there is a general excitement among the senior hospital officials and staff because the changes have given them a lot of hope and pride in regards to the place they work in. Since the improvements on the wards have been completed, there has been a notable change in the patients who come to the hospital for medical services - they now include residents from local villages and Internally Displaced People(IDP) communities. Today, for example 50 per cent of the beds were children from flood-affected areas and the other 50 per cent from children living in the city. Several months ago, this would not have been the case as the facility was not considered by local residents as a place to send their children.
A “First Class” Facility
The new Pediatric Ward has successfully completed its transformation into a “first class” facility (quoted by senior physicians and health officials). In addition, the existing ward has undergone major physical upgrading, raising the quality of the hospital facilities.
We would like to note that Government officials have shown great satisfaction from the work of the local SHINE Humanity/CDRS team on the ground and are very supportive of the team that has been able to make this transformation happen in roughly two weeks. Several officials have made a tour of the ward a periodic event keen to show off the significant changes, including the Provincial Director General of Health having compared the facility to the standards of the Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi.
The support to the organization at the moment is very strong and hospital are very keen for us to continue to work with them, to the extent that we are seen as stronger partners in comparison to other international NGOs present such as Save the Children.
Troubling Disease Trends
On the medical front, when speaking with the doctors of the ward, it has been noted that there has been a change in the trend of diseases since the beginning of October, and many of the new cases coming in include malaria, acute respiratory infections, enteric fever, measles and meningitis. Many of the diseases are directly related to personal hygiene and there have been some reported cases where a child will come in more than once for a hygiene-related disease. The longer IDPs are staying in the camps, it is projected that more and more diseases will be related to personal hygiene and in the near future there will be a need to focus on some preventive/awareness program.
Gap in Maternal Healthcare
After our initial tour of the ward, Umair (a CDRS staffer) and myself visited and met with different senior and district health/hospital officials to discuss gaps and areas where possible interventions are required at the District Hospital. Unanimously, the gap identified by the officials is in response to mother, maternity health care. We are still in the process of collecting some more information, but what we learned today is that there is one ward for women that cover’s everything from maternity, gynecology and other women’s health issues. Due to the lack of space, all this women are lumped together in one space which can hold 50 women.
Discussions with health officials have identified that the number of premature births at roughly between 10-20 per cent due to the current nutritional health of women. It is estimated that from the 70,000 women in IDP camps, about 10 per cent are pregnant and can be subject to premature births due to their present conditions. This brings us to the second gap, which is a growing need for a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit(NICU). The location for this facility is in place and it is a matter of equipment.
Taking this all into consideration, we think the immediate step will be that the two remaining rooms in the building where the new pediatric ward is are upgraded and refurbished to hold a total 20 additional beds, which will allow for Pediatrics to be located in one building. We spoke with DCO (District Coordinating Officer) who immediately spoke with the Civic Works Department to start the work. This would also mean that the dispensary would move into the building as the current location we have is only temporary as its part of the NICU facility.
On a closing note we have begun to identify an interim strategy that would take SHINE Humanity and CDRS from this phase of the emergency to the next phase. The strategy roughly would build on what work has already been done at the hospital but would focus on the return and basic health needs of villagers (children and mother) from the most heavily affected flood areas.”
Report prepared by Sherine Zaghow. Ms. Zaghow is a volunteer from Egypt serving with SHINE Humanity. As a development consultant, she is works in the designing and developing of programs, running emergency operations and the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems. We would like to thank Ms. Zaghow for giving of her time to us.