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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Medical camps bring healthcare to the doorsteps of isolated communities in Pakistan

For the people of Rajputan, a small Pakistani village near the Indian border, twenty kilometers of muddy road is all that stands between them and a doctor. But, without transportation, twenty kilometers might as well be a thousand. Most have never visited the nearest hospital. For the very sick, the travel itself could be a death sentence.

Basic primary healthcare is a right similarly denied to over 35 million other rural villagers. Healthcare systems do not always extend to remote areas. Doctors, medical equipment, supplies, and medicines are not always available. Even where functioning facilities exist – as they do close to Rajputan – lack of transportation, money, and awareness prevent villagers from taking advantage of them.

In this context, organizations all over Pakistan have learned that it is vital to bring healthcare to the doorsteps of the people.

Free medical camps held in remote rural areas are an effective way to treat vulnerable populations. More importantly, the camps provide an opportunity to teach villagers how to avoid common illnesses through simple preventative measures and diagnose health problems before they become fatal. Prevention is more important than the cure.

HOPE International Development Agency’s local partners in Pakistan organize hundreds of free medical camps in remote rural areas every year. At a recent medical camp this month in Rajputan, over 650 men, women, and children came to wait in long, hot lines for a chance to see a doctor without having to first walk for hours.

Each medical camp requires substantial commitment and hard work not only from our partners but from a variety of local volunteers including doctors, nurses, and administrators. HOPE International Development Agency supports their efforts by sending medicines and medical supplies for use in the camps. Several shipping containers have been sent, but many more are needed. In Pakistan, bringing healthcare to the people will require our ongoing commitment and compassion as well.

Learn more about the work of HOPE International Development Agency.

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