Eight camps providing free medical checkups and health care advice were set up by Aga Khan University alumni in different areas of Karachi as part of the University's 25th anniversary celebrations.
The camps were organised at Rehmani Garden in Filmistan, Naseerabad in Rahimabad, Karimabad in Federal B Area, Saudabad in Malir, Bilal Colony in Korangi, Ibrahim Haidery, Sultanabad, and Jamot Complex in Rehri Goth – areas where the University has conducted community service activities over the last quarter of a century through Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan. The camps provided visitors with basic health screening facilities and education to promote general awareness of good health and disease prevention practices. Town Nazims Sharafat Ali of Malir Town and Jan-e-Alam Jamot of Bin Qasim Town, as well as Nazim, Mirajuddin Khatak and Naib Nazim, Shahnawaz Jadoom of Sultanabad Union Council visited the camp sites in their own areas.
“To promote good health for the poor, we need to improve their access to healthcare as well as assist in health education campaigns that can make a difference. It is not only our responsibility as health care professionals, but also our gift to our alma mater on its 25th anniversary. Serving in these camps reminds us of the University's emphasis on community service and on working to make a difference in the lives of people,” said Rubina Barolia, alumnus of the University's School of Nursing, and Chair, Alumni Standing Committee.
Over 300 alumni from the University's School of Nursing and Institute for Educational Development, along with100 nursing students participated in the camps that were attended by over 4,000 people from various communities. Over half of the people were women, one third children, and 10 per cent men. Nurses conducted free screenings for blood pressure, height and weight, and blood sugar, and referred patients to the University's Medical College alumni for free consultations.
Nursing alumni also provided health education to all the age groups. Women appreciated the sessions on reproductive health issues and stress management. “I got some very useful tips on how to take care of myself and my baby's health. I also learned about how to manage stress and it empowered me to improve the quality of my life,” said a young woman. Awareness about general hygiene and disease prevention was also shared with the participants. “I was not aware of the hazards of smoking and eating pan. It was only today that I came to realise what effects this has on me and through me, on my family,” said a college student. A mother commented that, “It is good to know that something as simple as washing my hands before preparing food can reduce the chances of my children getting sick.” Children especially enjoyed the personal hygiene stall, which included face painting, games about healthy diet and a puppet show. Teachers shared material on career counselling for college students.