The lady health workers (LHW) and the community midwives (CMW), the unsung heroes, were appreciated on Friday for their unprecedented services in Sindh.
LHWs and CMWs - one from each district of the province - were selected and awarded during the Health Workers Awards 2014, at Regent Plaza by Save the Children organisation in collaboration with the LHW programme and the MNCH programme of the provincial health department.
“My life is dedicated to my parents and the community,” said Josephen, the LHW award-winner from Sanghar. She visits areas around her village, Padri, some three kilometers from Sanghar city and has already won three awards, including a gold medal on district level.
The CMWs often complain that they need medicine and equipment in order to serve the community better but despite the lack of equipment and other difficulties, there are many who deal with complicated pregnancies with the equipment available on hand.
“We are called ‘doctors’ in our villages,” said Hakim Zaidi from Mitiari who urged that the CMWs be provided with more trainings and provision of medicines.
The salaries of the LHWs are always late and the CMWs receive a mere Rs2,000 a month and that too, not on time. The CMWs said that they receive their salaries after six months.
“The issue of regularisation of LHWs will be completed soon,” promised Sindh health secretary Iqbal Hussain Durrani. “We’ll also enhance the area of coverage of the LHWs from 46 per cent to almost 80 per cent.”
Durrani said that the health coverage in Sindh was dependent on these hard workers. “They are the real heroines in the remote areas of Sindh,” said Sharmila Faruqi.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2014.
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