​Fifth field site opens in Korangi 

​Ali Akbar Shah Goth Extension clinic sits in Korangi Sector 50D

The fifth field site and clinic of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health was inaugurated at Korangi Sector 50D in Karachi on Monday. It is an extension to the Ali Akbar Shah Goth site and is being run in collaboration with Vital Pakistan Trust.  

The clinic will offer pregnant women free primary healthcare, check-ups, ultrasounds and medication. They will be referred to Koohi Goth hospital for deliveries and transport will be provided. The clinic will treat adolescents (up to the age of 16 years). A referral system will connect any patient who needs to be seen at the main AKU hospital.

The AKU Paediatrics and Vital Pakistan Trust teams with Dr Umair Hamid, Dr Imran Nisar, Akbar Rajani, Dr Fyezah Jehan, Dr Zahra Hoodbhoy, Dr Benazir Baloch and their teams on the roof of the new clinic in Korangi Sector 50D on April 15, 2024. 

The site was inaugurated by Dr Fyezah Jehan, the Chair of Paediatrics & Child Health, and Dr Imran Nisar, the Vice Chair for Research. He also serves as the chairman of the Vital Pakistan Trust Board. “It feels like Rehri Goth exactly ten years ago," he quipped just before cutting the ribbon with her. He was referring to a similar event at one of the first few research field sites set up by the department where free primary healthcare is provided to the community as well.

AKU's Department of Paediatrics & Child Health started working in communities around Karachi nearly 25 years ago with Bilal Colony. Its four other sites are Ibrahim Hyderi, Ali Akbar Shah Goth, Rehri Goth and Bhains Colony.

“The dream would be to see the children of this area one hundred percent vaccinated," said Dr Fyezah Jehan. We would want that no child is lost to infection or miscarriage.

This new Sector 50D field site is located in a simple building. On the ground floor the team will offer triage, antenatal care rooms, a pharmacy, ultrasound room and family planning.

The closest hospital is run by the Sindh government at Korangi No 5. “We have to solve problems together and tackle the burden together," said Dr Imran Nisar.   

At one of the antenatal check-up rooms, midwife Salma Khan explained that a patient could take on average 25 minutes for a check-up in which they get the scans and blood tests done. “There is a fair amount of counselling involved," she said, referring to the pregnant women. They have to explain why they want the woman to follow-up on routine checks and follow instructions on supplements or medicines.

The clinic will serve a population of roughly 150,000 people, mostly Urdu-speaking and Bengali-speaking families who work in construction or fisheries as the neighbourhood is located close to the coastal Ibrahim Hyderi fishing village. According to AKU's Dr Zahra Hoodhboy, research teams have already been going house-to-house doing surveys for four months.

This site was chosen out of 21 sites after a painstaking vetting process as it had to meet certain AKU standards. Funding for the site was in part provided by a grant for research by principal investigator Dr Momin Kazi of the Department of Paediatrics & Child Health. He is representing Pakistan on Champs, which seeks to ascertain the cause of death for children under five years.

Vital Pakistan's CEO Akbar Rajani said that they next hoped to branch out in an Ibrahim Hyderi extension to serve an even wider community.