Preventable childhood diseases are a major national health concern throughout Pakistan, where just slightly more than half of all children are fully immunized. Nowhere is the occurrence of measles, pneumonia, and hepatitis B—to name just a few of the common illnesses—more glaring than in remote villages.
Developing countries often face the unexpected: disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and political unrest. To sustain advances in their health systems while safeguarding communities, health staff and organizations need strategies that promote system resilience—the capacity to anticipate and respond to crises; maintain core functions when shocks strike; and reorganize when extreme conditions or circumstances arise.
In Sindh Province, as in the rest of Pakistan, logistics data for the immunization supply chain was sporadically collected and seldom used for years. Stockouts of critical vaccines were commonplace, resulting in poor coverage rates and frequent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2013-2014, the federal and provincial governments, supported by JSI, USAID, UNICEF, and WHO, developed and launched a web-based vaccine logistics management information system (vLMIS) to address this problem, and started an ongoing effort to scale up use of the system across the nation.
Dr. Arshad Mahmood, Deputy Chief of Party of JSI’s Health System Strengthening Project in Pakistan, has spent the majority of his professional life monitoring and evaluating Pakistan’s health interventions, asking important questions about program impact: Is our program improving health? Is it saving lives? Could this intervention improve health more efficiently and sustainably?
Pakistan ranks fifth in terms of Tuberculosis (TB) burden, at an alarming figure of 620,000 TB patients out of a total population of 177 million people.
Perhaps one of the most challenging public health interventions in Pakistan is building awareness of healthy behaviors and its country-wide promotion, especially when it requires accessing women in rural areas of Pakistan.
Over the past three years, the United States government has made an unprecedented investment in supply chain management and logistics to improve access to family planning across Pakistan. The result has been a huge improvement in the lives of Pakistani women and children of Pakistan.
The Healthy Newborn Network interviewed Dr. Nabeela Ali, Chief of Party for the USAID-funded Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns – the PAIMAN project
“[She] went into labor in her eighth month and had to give birth without any medical aid, assisted just by myself and a few other women who could get there.” – Woman affected by the Pakistan flood This woman’s frightening experience amidst the floods in Pakistan illustrates that, even in emergencies, women will continue to … Continue reading “Under Water: Women’s Access to Reproductive Health Care in Pakistan”