LAHORE - In the 21st century we have advanced medication, medical technologies and qualified health professionals but still, many people continue to suffer needlessly from preventable and easily treatable diseases.

Like many comprise, in Pakistan access to health care is limited and people living in rural areas often have the hardest time accessing the most basic health services. This is where health workers working on the frontlines make a difference.  Frontline health workers can be midwives, community health workers, health extension workers, physicians, assistants, pharmacists, peer counselors, clinical officers, nurses and doctors who work at the community level. They are usually the first point of care as they provide healthcare in the most remote areas. Often traveling on foot with just a backpack of supplies, they provide prevention treatment and educate communities on health issues. They are our frontline to care, education and protection, we together can save more lives and move towards the MDG4 and 5, by supporting, appreciating them and by raising awareness about the important role of health workers across the country. Although Pakistan have initialed LHWs and CMWs programs but still there is a need to mobilise communities, partners and policy makers in support of health workers and increase their number to reach out to the masses for the reduction in infant and maternal mortality in Pakistan.

Additionally, we need to knock at the door of policymakers and those who are in power, to familiarise them on their issues and the challenges they face every day and most importantly to ensure health worker trainings, supplies and support.

The primary function of the LHW is to immunise and treat common infections. They also teach their communities simple ways to prevent the biggest threats to their community’s health; diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. As the first point of contact, health workers are also able to recognise conditions that require levels of care and can refer their patients to another medical professional.

On the basis of all points above mention which easily narrate the importance of health workers. We urge the community members to respect, facilitate and support the health workers at the community level as they are the saviors and caretakers. We urge to the Government to support them, protect them, pay them, train them, equip them and increase the member to deal with the grave issues in a cost effective manner to achieve the MDG4 and 5. Together we can keep Pakistan happy and prosperous. 

The writer is a student of Garrison University