Islamabad - Brick Kiln Owners’ Association of Pakistan and Development Impact Solution, a not-for-profit organisation, are jointly endeavouring to bring government health services at the doorstep of brick kiln workers, the association president, Shoeb Khan Niazi, revealed during a media dialogue held on Wednesday at the National Press Club.

Niazi said that presently, around one million kiln workers, especially women, were outside the net of government’s health and maternity services.  A public-private experiment in Lahore and Rawalpindi is bringing government’s health services at the door step of the brick kiln clusters, he said, adding that the Development Impact Solution (DIS) had set up pilot ‘health houses’ at four different brick kiln clusters, two each in Lahore and Rawalpindi, where hundreds of brick kiln workers and their children were getting free health services. He said that the kiln owners’ association provided free land and buildings so that the DIS could establish the health houses.

He also urged Punjab Health Department to replicate the model to all brick kiln workers in Punjab.

Monaza Iqbal, project director DIS, shared that so far, a total of 1,652 adults and 889 child patients had received health services from the health houses, and 150 patients had been referred to nearby BHUs or RHCs till Dec 2017. She added that the DIS had hired 20 health professionals from Punjab Health Department who visit these health houses after office hours.