Renowned poet and columnist Kashif Shamim Siddiqui recently visited The Indus Hospital, Shaikh Saeed Memorial Campus, Korangi, Karachi and met Dr Farah Bari Khan who is serving the facility as the Head of the Campus.
Indus Hospital’s campus is playing a pivotal role in changing the maternal health indicators within the lower income area that it operates in.
Talking to Kashif, Dr Farah said that in order to cater to more women in dire need of maternal health services, campus has been expanded to 100 beds and it has also been equipped with a state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) which has the capacity of handling 20 neonates at one time. Every month, up to 400 safe deliveries are conducted at the hospital and approx 350 women come in for consultation visits every day.
“Normal deliveries, and caesarean sections are the highlighted services of our campus whereas treatment of infertility, laparoscopy and different gynae surgeries are also conducted here at the facility,” Farah confidently added.
In response to a question by Kashif Siddiqui regarding the health of mothers and children, Dr Farah said that pregnant women, especially in the deprived communities, donot prefer to go to the hospitals for their properly required checkups. It leaves negative impacts on their and babies’ health. Antenatal checkups are most essential for the women.
“Anemia is a major issue being faced by women. It is also a prominent cause of maternal and child mortality across the world. Most of Pakistani women belonging to deprived communities are facing many financial challenges. These women belong to poor households and face a higher risk of being malnourished and underweight,” she added. “The Global Nutrition Index suggests that about 52% mothers of reproductive age in Pakistan are anemic.”
Talking about Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services under the umbrella of Indus Hospital, Dr Farah said: “Through the Public-Private Partnership, we have 5 MCH Centres in Lahore and one in Badin, Sindh.”
Talking about the health of mothers and children, their centres, future strategies and the work to be done, Dr Farah Bari Khan said Indus hospital is on its way to liaison the government and the role of Lady Health Workers (LHWs) has utmost importance regarding to improve the health of mothers and children in their home. “The visit of these workers to the homes of the people and providing them services regarding their health is exemplary. In this regard, complete and quality training of LHWs will bring further improvement. So we are fully prepared to be a part of this process,” she maintained.
Briefing about the training, Dr Farah said that the establishment of an excellent training institute is also part of the plan. “All staffers in the Maternal and Child Health Centre involved in the expansion of Indus Hospital will be females. Women are also advised to take the technician courses. There is an acute shortage of female technicians in operation theaters.”
Dr Farah Bari Khan has served as Administrator Gynae Emergency Department at Civil Hospital, Karachi from 2004 to 2015. Dr Farah performed her duties under Safe Motherhood Project (DOW 77 Badge). Project was working at Civil hospital as a result of Public-Private Partnership. Dr Farah, in her tenure, faced several challenges; however, she tried her best to set aright the relevant departments and matters related to it.
It is result of sincere hard work, passion and curiosity of Dr Farah and her team that Female Emergency Department was established, availability of doctors round-the-clock was ensured, provision of free medicines started, cleanliness arrangements improved and professional dispensation of matters was carried out through a concerted strategy
Kashif Shamim Siddiqui visited various departments of the campus and met the staff. He expressed his best wishes for the children admitted to the intensive care ward. About Shaikh Saeed Memorial Campus, the renowned poet said that the services of Indus Hospital are not only commendable regarding the health of maternal and child but also provision of free and quality services to the needy in other departments increasing hospital’s prestige.