“There is a vegetable shop in our neighbourhood. Today, when I went there to buy vegetables, a middle-aged woman was standing. There was a little quarrel between the shopkeeper and the woman. I asked the shopkeeper what was the matter, he said this lady has been coming for many days but today she is asking for vegetables again on loan without clearing the previous arrears. I asked the lady what to take, she said in a low voice, if you can find some spinach, I told the shopkeeper to give it. She left. The shopkeeper later told me that she was a widow and mother of several children, and whenever she comes to the vegetable stall, she always asks for the cheapest vegetable. Something broke in my heart. I found out her address and sent one of our staff to her house to inform her of the canteen we are building as part of the hospital outreach services and nutritional programme. We informed her that we will provide not only curry but also bread for her children daily. The DWW staff said that when she told her the good news, she started crying and raised her hands and started praying.” - Eye witness account from DWW Hospital Manager, PakistanHelp mothers in difficult circumstances access healthcare without barriers >
Approximately 91,000 children in Pakistan die from pneumonia and 53,300 from diarrhoea a year - both preventable with access to simple and cheap healthcare interventions. Unicef also reports that 75% of newborn baby deaths are caused by three specific & treatable conditions
As a result, thousands of mothers in Pakistan are also dying every year from connected and preventable causes. These deaths are a result of poor access to, and quality of, maternal and newborn healthcare services. Lack of adequate nutrition also contributes to these devastating deaths, with many underweight and hungry mothers unable to afford basic meals due to poverty. Other vulnerabilities include: becoming widowed, loss of breadwinners, lack of employment opportunities, adolescent pregnancies etc.
“It is unbelievable how God led us to this place, where the lives of poor people and their children are saved. We are so thankful to the Doctors Worldwide for this; for talking to our community, and for giving us healthcare without any charges” - Rehana, a recipient of DWW maternal care in Pakistan
“At Doctors Worldwide, we have made a long term commitment to save as many children and mothers as possible so that one day, the tragic statistic of 54 children dying every hour from preventable causes is no longer a reality. Every parent has the right to see their child live a healthy, happy and full life, without it being tragically cut short due to lack of access to basic healthcare.” - DWW CEO, Monowara Gani
DWW is working to provide access to better quality maternity and newborn care by investing in capacity building, improving existing healthcare systems and providing healthcare access for the poorest within the far flung regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan provinces in Pakistan. In addition, we are working to increase access to family planning & immunisation services, as well as essential nutrition through our food programme, whilst working towards the prevention and treatment of two of the biggest killers for vulnerable communities - pneumonia and diarrhoea.
Built during the aftermath of the catastrophic Pakistan earthquake of 2005, we have been investing in long term healthcare strengthening and development in KPK, building a state of the art, earthquake-resistant, 50-bed community hospital between Mansehra and Kashmir, where currently no healthcare facility is available. Due to its services and location, the hospital is able to serve the poorest populations of Muzaffarabad, Naran, Kagan, Balakot, Batgram and Mansehra in Pakistan.
The first phase of the project was completed in 2017, with services set up and ready on the ground floor of the hospital, and 1,000+ patients being seen per month. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, progress on phase 2 was delayed until January 2022. Now, we are currently working to equip and add services to the currently empty lower floor and upper floor of the hospital to provide in-patient care and expansion of maternal, neonatal, children and adolescent healthcare services.
We provide meals for up to 100 people per day at the DWW Hospital for the most vulnerable patients, as well as widows, children and families living in dire poverty who are unable to access adequate nutrition and experience health issues as a result. Lack of adequate nutrition also contributes to the biggest killer of children globally and in Pakistan - pneumonia.
The project is sustainably funded by donations from the public, as well as through funds raised by the canteen, which offers subsidised meals for hospital staff and visiting patients and their families. With a massive 1+ million Afghan refugee population in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Hospital being close to the borders of Afghanistan and Kashmir, the canteen is a lifeline for local Pakistanis and refugees. The environmental and sustainable approach of the canteen also means that there is zero waste, zero plastic bags and reusable utensils and cutlery, thus contributing to the overall climate impact and the environment they live in.
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