Church World Service – Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) recently established a Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) center in Ranta Village, Bijora Union Council (UC), Thatta. This center aims to meet the needs of mothers and children within UC Bijora which would otherwise have little to no access to medical facilities due to travel distance and socio-economic conditions. With the support of the District Health Officer (DHO), CWS-P/A was able to expand a government dispensary into the center which now includes a consultation room and space for an additional dispensary. The required renovations were completed with the support of the community – making the center a building the community can be proud of. The MNCH center started functioning in mid-December after the completion of renovations and the hiring of female medical professionals.
On January 8 an official inauguration ceremony took place to commemorate the opening of the MNCH center in collaboration with the DHO. Over 80 attendees came to celebrate the opening of the center. Of these 80, 70 were women representing eight different villages from the union council. Women from each of these surrounding villages showed excitement and gratitude for having a health center that they can now access regularly without costly travel.
Since its opening, the female medical staff and dispenser see an average of 30-40 patients per day. Doctor Shazia, the center’s female doctor, stated, “It is very important for this clinic to be here.” It is strategically located in Ranta Village, a remote area where the health conditions are poor. During the inauguration ceremony the DHO continuously commemorated CWS-P/A on its willingness to work in an area that is in such great need of health care.
Community members already enjoy the services the clinic has to provide and are hopeful for the future. Antenatal care, delivery services, and postnatal care will be provided to mothers along with care of children up to age five and health information sessions. The doctor says the majority of patients thus far are complaining of respiratory problems and complications in pregnancy. Dr. Shazia mentioned the importance of referring those with serious complications in pregnancy to hospitals with the resources and capacity to care for them. The majority of women in the community had previously visited medical professionals only in the case of emergency; however, they now show much excitement to have the opportunity to maintain regular check-ups during and after pregnancy.