It is well said, “When you do something good for the life of some people, you improve not just their life but the lives of those around them and their future generations”.
Those patients who are living in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and other big cities of Pakistan are really in a better situation as compared to the ill, near to death people in rural areas. Health facilities for marginalized communities in our country in the present state are in total disarray. Quality healthcare services are scarce in remote regions of Pakistan, especially in the far-flung areas of the provinces. These places often do not have a clinic or doctors to give medical advice and treatment. Almost all poor communities do not know what help they can get from visiting a doctor. In these remote locations, the lack of basic health information causes poor health and lower life expectancy/quality of life. Underprivileged people are not just exposed to a large number of health risks; they do not know about these risks and hence are unable to avert them. Health screening is vital to detect diseases, many of which do not produce early warning signs. These common risks include diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol etc.
On the other side, primary, secondary and tertiary health care facilities are missed somewhere, or are badly disturbed if available in the districts of the provinces of the country. The Basic Health Units and Rural Dispensaries set up by the provincial and district governments in some villages mostly have no doctors and the patients are left to the mercy of dispenses or quacks. Professional medical staff does not want to work in these locations because of lack of proper residential and other infrastructure including financial benefits. Buildings of many of these facilities are in a dilapidated state. Communities are usually not aware about the nearest health facilities where they can go for treatment. Even they do not have ambulance facilities for those requiring emergency treatment to a hospital. Non-availability of proper and active health facilities, medical equipment, human resource, transport, medicines and medical advice to the poor from these institutions has led to rise in mortality rates as well as increase in incidence of diseases. In Pakistani remote areas there is little knowledge of basic health information. It seems that the present system of government managed medical system in the rural areas cannot deliver.
In the current health scenario of the country, there is a need for campaigns to be started and other essential measures taken. Many initiatives can be implemented. Setting up Mobile Service Unit (MSU) camp is one of them. These types of camps will be a very important tool for bridging the gaps between rural communities and health facilities, discovery and delivery of quality health services. Main goal of the MSU camp will be to provide health education and basic screening services especially for common diseases related risk factors to the under-served communities of Pakistan. This will go to unique initiative in primary healthcare of Pakistan by those humanitarian based entities who are working under the mission of “save lives”.
MSU camps can be established at very initial level by civil society, private sector, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and even by rich individuals, to bring awareness to the poor communities. This type of outreach health facilitation effort will surely be helpful to bring health awareness and positive change in the lives of needy and poor people living in the rural areas of Pakistan
It will be a combination of community sensitisation campaign about health risks, simple health tests, and early treatment. Similarly free medical camps can provide basic medical information, health
screening, physical check-ups, free personal hygiene kits, medical kits and medicines for common diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension and renal stones and referral and transfers to the nearest health facilities for families. In this way, marginalized people can be able to improve their quality of life; pertains to health.
Performing on the far-flung remote locations, such camps can be arranged at the Dispensaries, Basic Health Units and Rural Health Centres for smooth community mobilization towards the facilities, and to provide primary health support.
Well-equipped Mobile Health Units with the availability of competent health professionals and paramedics in the camps will make sure to the provisioning of quality and smooth services. Professional medical staff can confidently operate this type of operation.