Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that concerns infants and children. Health care is provided to children by pediatricians, pediatric nurses, and pediatric pharmacists. Many charitable organizations and NGOs like Transparent Hands are working to provide quality surgical and medical care to underprivileged children. Here’s everything you need to know about pediatric care in Pakistan.
State of Pediatric Care in Pakistan
Pakistan is a developing country and its pediatric care infrastructure is not fully developed. According to UNICEF Pakistan, there’s a high infant mortality rate in the country. Most of these deaths are due to poor access to immunization and subpar maternal and newborn medical care services. Other common causes include premature birth, complications during labor, and infections such as pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis, and sepsis.
A lot of these are curable conditions and timely intervention from specialists can save the lives of these children. However, there’s a lack of health care facilities in the country. Reluctance in immunizing children, lack of awareness, and ill-informed medical advice also lead to the loss of precious lives.
Mothers’ health is linked to children’s health. Healthy mothers are more likely to deliver healthy babies, which is exactly why UNICEF highlights the importance of maternal care.
Importance of Routine Immunization
Immunization protects children against a number of diseases, including smallpox, polio, and diphtheria. The Government of Pakistan is working to spread awareness about the importance of immunization and has been rolling out many vaccination programs. However, in many parts of Pakistan, people show reluctance in receiving vaccinations, which makes children vulnerable to these diseases.
Common Pediatric Health Problems
Pediatric care deals with a number of health problems in infants and children, including:
- Congenital conditions
- Organ dysfunctions
- Behavioral problems
- Functional disabilities
- Developmental disorders
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Some children are born with hearing loss, while others develop it later in life. In Pakistan, at least two in every 1000 children have profound deafness. There is only one feasible solution to this health problem and that is cochlear implant surgery. A cochlear implant receives sound from the outside environment, processes it, and sends small electric currents near the auditory nerve. These electric currents activate the nerve, which then sends a signal to the brain. The brain learns to understand this signal and the person experiences this as “hearing”.
However, cochlear implants are very expensive and a large number of parents cannot afford this treatment. Transparent Hands is one of the few organizations that provide cochlear implant surgeries to deserving patients free of charge.
This branch deals with cardiovascular issues in children and includes congenital heart disease (CHD), coronary artery fistulas, and aortic stenosis amongst others. In Pakistan, over 60,000 babies are born with CHD each year. TOF and a hole in the heart are common congenital heart diseases. Both of these conditions require open-heart surgery.
Health issues pertaining to kidneys are dealt with in this branch of medicine. The common issues include congenital nephrotic syndrome and systemic diseases.
Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition
This branch deals with issues related to the digestive system, which includes the stomach, intestines, liver, and pancreas. Undernutrition is also prevalent across Pakistan. Transparent Hands hold awareness sessions about nutrition and distributes supplements to tackle this issue.
Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases are the most common cause of death among children. Diarrhea, pneumonia, and sepsis are prevalent in the country.
Many charitable organizations and NGOs like Transparent Hands are working to provide quality surgical and medical care to underprivileged children. We provide a range of surgeries, including cardiac surgeries and cochlear implant surgeries free of charge in Pakistan. Join hands with us and give your donations to continue this noble mission.