By Nausheen Dadabhoy - Communications Officer SHINE Humanity
Shikarpur DHQ Updates Date: November 14, 2010 Prepared by: Umair Jaffar, Senior Program Volunteer, SHINE Humanity-CDRS
Intensive Care Pediatric Ward
Firstly, I would like to congratulate the entire SHINE Humanity-CDRS team especially the staff in Shikarpur. Due to the good quality of service, a well-stocked dispensary, and 24 hour availability of a doctor and medical staff, we have developed a very good reputation in the Shikarpur region. The most serious cases are being referred to our ward and it is being used effectively as an intensive care pediatric ward. We have received cases where children came to us with no blood pressure and no pulse. They are now completely recovered and have been discharged.
One such child in particular had serious meningitis. Before coming to us the parents had been informed that there was no hope of survival. Due to the efforts of our staff, the child recovered and his father was so happy that he brought rose garlands for the staff on the day the child was discharged.
When we visited Shikarpur two weeks ago, there were an alarming number of malnourished children. It was like a scene from sub-Saharan Africa (see attached photos). Before leaving, we had made an arrangement with Save the Children and the Executive District Officer (EDO) for health to help us establish a nutrition ward.
A nutrition ward is now operational inside the SHINE Humanity-CDRS ward. Save the Children has provided highly specialized feeds/formulas and training for the SHINE Humanity-CDRS staff and the EDO has provided two nurses per shift. With this additional help our staff can now provide the dedicated attention required for the nutrition ward.
Nutrition for Mothers
Dr. Zahra Shah, a fellow volunteer in Karachi will be sending specialized formula for lactating and pregnant mothers to Shikarpur. We will provide the formula to malnourished mothers in our ward. In addition, we are in the process of working with the EDO’s department to provide a regular supply of BP-5 biscuits (high-calorie, vitamin fortified biscuits) for the Nutrition Ward. We hope to get our first consignment this week.
With the rise in the number of malaria cases (currently 25% cases in our ward are suffering from malaria) making our ward insect free was very important. We had major repair work done to the insect screens on the windows and put insectocutors (insect control devices) at the entrance of the ward. We also met with the Regional Officer of the malaria program who will spray our ward tomorrow and will provide all support to our staff in the future.
We had a suspected case of dengue fever in our ward. We immediately isolated the patient on the isolation bed which is covered with mosquito nets provided by the EDO. The EDO’s department will supply more mosquito nets and our staff has been instructed to cover all beds of suspected malaria/dengue cases in order to prevent the disease from spreading. Therefore, we will also have a small malaria isolation ward within the SHINE Humanity-CDRS ward as well. We are hopeful that with these changes will help prevent a major Malaria outbreak.
Acute Respiratory Infection
The majority of our cases are Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) patients and we are getting the worst of these cases. Children are coming to us gasping for breath. Unfortunately we are not well equipped to handle such a large number of serious ARI patients. CDRS’s field officer Afzal Makhdoom is working on acquiring the necessary equipment to help these patients. The main items are a suction machine, nebulizer, and oxygen tanks. The equipment will cost us a maximum Rs. 75,000 ($875 USD).
Medical Testing Fund
We have established a small fund to aid patients from extremely poor backgrounds. Although we provide free medical aid to patients they still require blood tests and other services that we cannot provide. This money allows them to cover those costs as well.
We established this fund after my last visit. A mother whose child had severe meningitis left the ward after she was unable to buy blood for her child. When she returned her child’s condition had worsened. Miraculously we were able to help the child and the child survived. In this case the mother and child were both lucky, but we did not want to see this situation repeat itself, so we established this fund.
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