There is nothing more painful and heartbreaking than seeing your little baby dying and you can’t do anything about it. There are thousands of parents who have to go through this distress when their child suffers from a critical heart disease. Lack of trained doctors, quality medical facilities, poor infrastructure and funds deficiency; are the reasons leading to lifetime agony for parents.
The increasing number of children born with a heart defect in Pakistan is alarming. Each year around 50,000 children are born with heart defects in Pakistan. The main factor behind this is the absence of quality treatment, especially in rural areas. Baby’s health is closely related to the mother’s nutrition intake during pregnancy. Women in rural areas cannot afford to eat clean and healthy food that impact the child’s health. Also, the delivery procedure in most of the cases is not satisfactory. Women deliver baby through the conventional method received by unskilled workers available in their areas.
In Pakistan, only 3% is allocated for health care out of which 0.9% is spent on the public health sector. There are a few public funded hospitals who are conducting cardiac surgeries of children. But efforts are still not enough. Around 25,000 cardiac surgeries are needed every year out of which only about 4,000 children get it because of huge backlog. Due to the wait, the child either gets expired or his/her condition becomes critical.
It is very disappointing when you know that kid needs an urgent surgery but it cannot be provided due to less number of doctors, funds and poor infrastructure. On the other hand, treatment in private hospitals is out of reach for the families who are relying on income less than $2 a day. Most of the infants need to undergo urgent surgery without which they may not grow properly or not survive for long.
The situation of health problems among children in Pakistan is disappointing. Effective measures are needed by the individuals and government to save precious lives of thousands of children dying every year because of heart diseases. Inequality in accessing good healthcare and nutrition also need to be addressed. Not just public sector, private institutes should also step forward and implement strategies through which not only upper and middle class but the lower class can also avail the pediatric treatment.
‘We took our newborn to many doctors who gave us medicine for temporary relief until one day a doctor did tests and told us our one-month-old baby is dying’, said mother of Marwa who needed to undergo an urgent cardiac surgery to survive. Marwa’s parents had no hope as they were too poor to afford the treatment. During their time of distress, Rameeza Moin; CEO of Transparent Hands supported them in getting surgery on an urgent basis from one of best hospitals in Lahore. Rameeza Moin runs an organization which conducts free surgeries of poor people through the best panel hospitals.
If Rameeza can make a difference, then you too can do it. There is an old saying that ‘one man can make a difference and every man should try’ holds true for this great cause as well. Come forward and support thousands of children like Marwa in getting best healthcare. Your little effort can save an innocent’s life.