By: Shaista Malik and Zahra Amrish
ISLAMABAD, July 09, 2010: “We are staying at Golra Shrine,” said Sakina, a depressed mother of Sidra and Nimra -- both suffering from skin allergy -- admitted in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Islamabad (PIMS) for treatment. Sakina came from a far flung village near Karor, District Layyah. She told that most of the people in her area are suffering from the same disease due to unhygienic living standards. They come to PIMS for treatment but have to suffer a lot as there is no place for the attendants at the hospital.
Manzoor Hussain came from Kashmir to get treatment of her niece, Rubab Kiani – a patient of Leukemia. Innocent Rubab has been diagnosed with this fatal disease when bleeding started from her mouth and nose at the age of two. He has to stay outside the hospital with his wife and a five-year-old daughter as they have no other place to reside in. Last night, he brought white blood cells for his niece on prescription of the doctor but due to absence of the staff in the hospital, the blood was wasted.
“We are here from Kabul; my bother’s son who is 3 was also diagnosed with leukemia. So we have brought him here for his treatment as there is no proper place over there for it,” said Yousaf Khan. He has been staying in a hotel for 2 days.
“He has been suffering from temperature for the last 2 years but still doctors are unable to diagnose his illness,” said the sad father of 4-year-old, Fawad Ahmad. They have come all the way from Taxila for better treatment of their son.
“Siara Akhtar has a distorted leg by birth,” said Azeem Aktar, father of 5-year- old girl. “Doctors have operated her once and now they are going to operate her again,” he added.
Cute little Usman, two and half years old is the only son of his parents came to hospital for treatment of Brain Tumor. He was sleeping in the lap of his father in an un-conscious state. The family came from Azad Kashmir to get better treatment.
“I wish I could relieve my daughter from this injury as I can’t see her in pain” said Shumaila Anwar while caressing her 5-year-old daughter, Saira Anwar, a beautiful girl lying on the bench in emergency ward of PIMS. Her daughter met an accident while crossing road near Faisal Mosque as they went there for recreation.
“PIMS was established for serious diseases. Out of approximately 700 patients per day, we are curing 5 to 7 % serious patients” said Dr. Waseem Khawaja, official spokesperson of PIMS. “In emergency five CMO’s and more than 100 doctors are available on call. He suggested that this city should have more hospitals. Only 5000 Basic Health Units (BHUs) are available in Pakistan for nearly 17 million people. Moreover, a majority of these BHUs are working in rural areas.
Lack of clean water, sanitation and literacy are the major causes of health related issues. Government, NGOs and international organizations can play a role in improving the health standard of people. Moreover, Health Counselors can also contribute in providing assistance to the patient’s attendants.
It is a fact that accidents, diseases and mishaps are part of human life and people prefer to take their patients to the best resourced hospitals, yet they have to face immense hardships once they come to big hospitals like PIMS. There must be some effort made to minimize the panic of the attendants who accompany their patients and who suffer twice: due to the pain of their patients and also due to non-availability of any living or resting place for them if their stay exceeds than a day.