Health care saving lives in rural Pakistan
I am writing to tell you how your support has changed my life after years of poor health. I want to share with you how much women’s health has improved in my community thanks to the wonderful education we are receiving.
My name is Marmari* and I have been married for fourteen years. I have three children aged 11, 10 and 5. We live in the Shangla district in rural Pakistan. My family is very important to me.
Janet Cousens / Act for Peace
After the birth of my third child I didn’t recover as I had from my earlier pregnancies. I suffered from bleeding. We are not wealthy and couldn’t afford to travel to visit a hospital so I saw local doctors. I was self-conscious about my condition and it was difficult for me to share details with doctors. I was prescribed various medicines but because my disease was not confirmed the drugs I took complicated my case.
A year ago I sought help from Act for Peace’s partner, Community World Service – Asia (CWS-A) for my condition which had still not improved. At their clinic I met with a female health worker and shared the details of my illness openly. The health worker performed tests and the results showed I had an internal infection. I was provided with the right medicine and was treated successfully and now I no longer bleed. My life is much better and I am no longer ashamed.
As well as providing health care and medicine, your support is helping CWS-A run health courses for women that I have been attending. We learn about the importance of vaccines, which vitamins are needed in pregnancy and hygiene practices to prevent disease. 22 women are trained in each course but I think that we’re not educating only 22 women, rather, each woman will return home and educate other women in their community and 22 more villages will benefit. What a blessing!
Before the training, there were general misconceptions held amongst us. We believed vaccines would kill mother and baby during pregnancy, so no one would get vaccinated. We now know better and schedule vaccines at the clinic. We also know that taking folic acid during pregnancy promotes the baby’s wellbeing. Previously, we used to ask weak pregnant women to rest at home but now we tell them to visit the clinic for treatment. And we understand the importance of hygiene to prevent the spread of germs that put pregnancies and babies at risk.
I am very thankful to you for your support because I am no longer sick. The training we have is transforming our village. We are poor people but the guidance we have will help us take care of ourselves. Thank you for making our lives and the lives of our families better.
*Marmari’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
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Your kind, ongoing gifts support Community World Service - Asia’s (CWS-A) work to provide health facilities that women need (while respecting the social norms of the communities where they work). Health centres provide vaccinations, pre and postnatal care, and education on reproductive health. And in some cases, delivery services through qualified female staff.
The employment of female doctors and health staff is critical because it encourages women to attend the clinics and receive health services at the village level. The female health workers increase awareness in the community about why health care and hygiene are important. Program update: the CWS-A health program in the Shangla District of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province has now successfully moved to the Umerkot District of the Sindh Province in Pakistan.
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More ways to take action
You can help prevent children like Maala being born with chronic illnesses by helping pregnant women stay healthy and nourished in the first place.
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