28 Oct
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Should healthcare in Pakistan be a matter of opportunity?

A resident of Shah Faisal Colony in Karachi, 40 year old Sabra has been a regular visitor to MediHealth-1 for over a year. Sabra is a mother of five and her husband is a day laborer who is currently unemployed. Of Sabra’s four sons, one is disabled and unable to walk; another in school and two working as mechanics at a local workshop. Rising prices and security threats have caused high unemployment rates and a large number of Karachi’s slum dwellers are out of work. Still, lucky to have jobs and a household income, in the past Sabra’s family had to choose between food to eat and a visit to the doctor.

The Latif Kapadia Memorial Welfare Trust’s MediHealth clinics are seeking to fill this gap in Karachi’s social fabric by providing low cost healthcare facilities in those areas of the city where it is negligible.

“I come to the clinic because I can afford it,” says Sabra. “This clinic is at walking distance from my home and charges Rs. 30 per visit so I can afford to get treatment. Other clinics in the area are very expensive, charging Rs. 200 or more per visit. They are at a distance also, so I have to pay an additional amount for bus fare. With a family of seven and such rising prices, it’s hard enough to get by let alone afford to be healthy. I am grateful for this facility.”

Sabra is not alone. The city of Karachi has an estimated population of more than 23.7 million people, more than 50% of whom live in slum areas with little to no access to safe drinking water and sanitary living conditions.

The Latif Kapadia Memorial Welfare Trust’s MediHealth clinics cater to people of the lowest income bracket by providing OPD, ultrasound and sugar testing facilities. With nominal OPD costs are Rs. 30, including medicine, our clinics provide facilities that are usually unavailable to Karachi’s poorest residents. Subsidized medical testing is also available through the nearby Essa Laboratory. The clinic caters to an average of 1200 – 1400 patients per month.