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Proud…. working for Desert Communities

posted Apr 25, 2018, 5:21 AM by GAVI CSO   [ updated Apr 25, 2018, 5:36 AM ]

Gothseengar Foundation (GSF) has been working in Taluka Nara, a desert area of the Khairpur Sindh district, since 2010 to date. In the North Sindh districts, lies KhaipurMirs’ - an area of nearly 16,000 kilomertes containing 8 sub-districts (more locally known as Talukas. GSF is working in one of these, Taluka Nara, where the majority of the land is desert known as “Achrro Thar”; the rest of area is hilly and cultivable lands area.

GSF is currently running two Community Health Centers (CHCs) in two of the most remote areas in Nara - Ihsanabad and Kadanwari.. With support from GSF, the CHCs are now equipped with beds, medicine, a pathological lab and an ambulance.

Khenwari (one of the fice Union Councils areas in Nara) is predominantly in the desert area. It has been extremely difficult in this area to reach all communities with immunisation, and frequently polio campaigns have been classed as failing as they did not reach every family. Because of this, GSF has been voluntarily working with the District Government to facilitate increased immunisation coverage and assigned a dispenser, Mr Shamshad Ali, to help facilitate the work of the District Health Department.

Since Mr Shamshad Ali started working with the District Government, there has been a noticeable increase in immunisation rates and the district has not been classed as ‘failing’ their polio campaigns. He has been working to motivate and inform communities about the value of immunisation and the importance for children's futures. Through his community outreach service, Mr Shamsahd Ali is also able to collect the names of unvaccinated children. This information is then passed to the local health officers who can work ensure these children are vaccinated and to understand the reasons why they might have been missed in the past from vaccination services.

Most recently, there has been a resurgence of measles in the Sindh province in this area and Mr Shamshad Ali has been undertaking a number of activities to help control the outbreak. He has been working to continually educate parents about the importance of vaccines to prevent outbreaks, as well as the symptoms and treatment of the disease. He is also a key contact in the community referring children to health centres for treatment.

GSF believes proactively working with communities is one of the best ways to gain trust and address concerns and challenges which the population has about immunisation and health services. Mr Shamshad Ali and GSF have been involved in building the trust within the community and also facilitated better relationships between the community, Union Council and District Government.