You are on page 1of 2

Child Health in Pakistan Pakistan was came into being in 1947 by partitioning of British India and has since

fought three wars with next-door India over the disputed Kashmir region. While tensions have recently alleviated, Kashmir is the world's most militarized territorial dispute. To the west, years of unrest and hardship in Afghanistan have led to an incursion of refugees to Pakistan. A disaster prone area, Pakistan was most recently hit by the massive October 2005 earthquake, the worst in its modern history. Access to child healthcare and education is a challenge primarily in rural areas and many families simply cannot afford basic health care or education. It is likely that today's economic catastrophe, especially the increase in food prices, will have a widespread negative impact on children's education and health. The situation of child health in Pakistan is abysmal and serious efforts are needed by the government and civil society to save lives of thousands of children who die every year from preventable diseases. This grim and deteriorating child health situation could be imagine by a medical report which says one child dies every minute from EPI (expanded program on immunization diseases), diarrhea and acute respiratory infection (ARTI).The report also reveals that every year about 400,000 infants die in the first year of their life. Child health in Pakistan is among the most important national issues that need serious attention. Child mortality in Pakistan is a major cause of concern, with every one among 10 children dying before reaching the age of five and one among 30, just after they are born. The main reason at the back of mounting child mortality in Pakistan is lack of child healthcare facilities in rural areas, where majority of population lives. Low state spending on healthcare, abject poverty, low literacy, lack of skilled birth attendants, widespread communicable diseases, insufficient emergency child health services in government run district and rural hospitals are amongst other major reasons behind growing diseases in children. Maternal, newborn and child health care statistics in Pakistan are some of the poorest in South Asia. A holistic approach is needed to improve maternal and newborn health, mainly by improving and upgrading facilities at the district hospitals. Most common and lethal diseases in Pakistan include (ARTI) acute respiratory tract infection, viral hepatitis, malaria, diarrhea, dysentery, scabies, goiter, hepatitis and tuberculosis. Among the victims of acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI) most vulnerable are children whose immune systems have been weakened by malnutrition. In order to save lives of children, pediatric institutes should be opened in all district of Pakistan, where emergency services along with trained child disease experts should be made available all the time. Dr Hassan Anjum shahid President Young Physiotherapist association Punjab M. Phil Scholar, KEMU Lahore