Helping IDPs at Bhains Colony

Helping IDPs at Bhains Colony   

August 26, 2010

Bhains (Buffalo) Colony, located in Bin Qasim Town on the outskirts of Karachi, has been receiving flood affectees from Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Sukkur and Khairpur. The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health maintains a presence here through a field office and a primary health care clinic. Several research projects designed to improve newborn and child health are ongoing in the area. Children of flood-affected families are being seen at these clinics in increasing numbers and receiving care free of charge under supervision of an AKU-trained pediatrician along with medical officers. Skin infections, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory infections are the common medical problems being seen.Four camps have been set up by the Sindh government since last week. The largest camp is at Razzakabad followed by three more camps at various government colleges; the three camps are referred to as Camps 5, 7 and 8. At Razzakabad there are about 8,000-10,000 refugees and the three other camps have approx 1,000-1,500 refugees each. There are around 6, 000 children at these camps. In the last three days, 51 IDP children have been treated at the clinic. Several others have been treated in the camps on the camp doctor's request. 

The following things are being done to help with IDPs in Bhains Colony in liaison with the Bin Qasim Town EDO Health: 

All children under 5 that are being referred to our centre are being managed according to their need, free of charge. 
If a child is too sick to come to our centre, our team is going to the camps to assess the children and provide appropriate care at the relevant camp. 
Hospital referral and transport to the National Institute of Child Health is being arranged and provided free of cost to those in need of emergency care. Transport back to the camp is also provided. 
Pregnant mothers visiting our centre are being provided antenatal care. 
We are providing diagnostic testing to the children, if required. 
Community health workers (CHW) in the designated areas are visiting their assigned camps daily to monitor and coordinate with the camp doctor. 
Area CHWs are recording the number of pregnant women, newborns, and under 5-years-old children living in these camps to do a medical needs assessment. 
We are maintaining a separate record of the IDPs visiting our health centre.

Dr Farheen Quadri 
Dr Momin Kazi 
Research Supervisors, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health