Health care in Pakistan


Health care in Pakistan

Pakistan’s health indicators, health funding, and health and sanitation infrastructure are generally poor, particularly in rural areas. About 19 percent of the population is malnourished—a higher rate than the 17 percent average for developing countries—and 30 percent of children under age five are malnourished. Leading causes of sickness and death include gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, congenital abnormalities, tuberculosis, malaria, and typhoid fever. The United Nations estimates that in 2003 Pakistan’s human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence rate was 0.1 percent among those 15–49, with an estimated 4,900 deaths from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a major health concern, and both the government and religious community are engaging in efforts to reduce its spread.

In 2003 there were 68 physicians for every 100,000 persons in Pakistan. According to 2002 government statistics, there were 12,501 health institutions nationwide, including 4,590 dispensaries, 906 hospitals with a total of 80,665 hospital beds, and 550 rural health centers with a total of 8,840 beds. According to the World Health Organization, Pakistan’s total health expenditures amounted to 3.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2001, and per capita health expenditures were US$16. The government provided 24.4 percent of total health expenditures, with the remainder being entirely private, out-of-pocket expenses.

Nevertheless, Pakistan is committed to the goal of making its population healthier, as evidenced by the continuing strong support for the Social Action Program (SAP) and by the new vision for health, nutrition, and population outlined in the government's National Health Policy Guidelines up to 2010. An example of a promising recent initiative is the lady health worker (LHW) community-based program, which is bringing health information, some basic health care, and family planning services to women's doorsteps. Presently, 3,000 women are serving as LHWs in their home villages.

Infectious disease

Communicable diseases such as diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, and immunizable childhood disease still account for the majority of sicknesses and deaths in Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the few countries in which Polio has not been erradicated.

Dengue fever

An outbreak of dengue fever occurred in October 2006 in Pakistan. Many cases were reported in major city hospitals. Several deaths occurred due to misdiagnosis, late treatment and lack of awareness in the local population. But overall, steps were taken to kill mosquitos (vector for dengue fever) and the disease was controlled later, with minimum mortality.

Malaria

Malaria is a problem faced by the lower class and some of the upper class people in Pakistan. The unsanitary conditions and stagnant water bodies in the rural areas and city slums provide excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes (Vector for Malaria). Whereas some people are now using nets and mosquito repellents, still a large population is at risk and large number of people die especially in the villages every year due to malaria.

Cancer

Breast cancer is the most dominant cancer in Pakistan, with its number higher than any in the Asain countries. Approximately 1 in 9 of Pakistani women will suffer from breast cancer at some point in their lives.

HIV/AIDS

HIV is not a dominant epidemic in the adult population of Pakistan. Nevertheless, coupled with an extremely low awareness of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan Fact|date=June 2007, as well as a growing number of casesFact|date=June 2007, the AIDS epidemic is poised to take a hold in PakistanFact|date=June 2007. The presence of additional risk factors, such as unscreened bloodFact|date=June 2007, and low condom use ratesFact|date=June 2007, makes the situation fertile for AIDS to become a major public health issue. The National AIDS Programme's latest figures show that around 3,000 HIV cases have so far been reported since 1986, but UN and government estimates put the number of HIV/AIDS cases between 70,000 and 80,000 with the vast majority going unreported due to social taboos about sex Fact|date=June 2007, and victims' fears of discrimination Fact|date=June 2007.

Family planning

Immunization

Women's health

Maternal care

Maternal health problems are also widespread, complicated in part by frequent births. In fact, Pakistan lags far behind most developing countries in women's health and gender equality: of every 38 women who give birth, one dies. The infant mortality rate (101 per 1,000) and the mortality rate for children under age five (140 per 1,000 births) exceed the averages for low-income countries by 60 and 36 percent, respectively. Although use of contraceptives has increased, fertility remains high, at 5.3 births per woman, and population growth rates are much higher than elsewhere in South Asia. The underlying problems that affect health—poverty, illiteracy, women's low status, inadequate water supplies and sanitation—persist.

References

* D'Souza RM. Role of health-seeking behaviour in child mortality in the slums of Karachi, Pakistan. J Biosoc Sci. 2003 Jan;35(1):131-44.

* D'souza RM, Bryant JH. Determinants of childhood mortality in slums of Karachi, Pakistan. J Health Popul Dev Ctries. 1999 Fall;2(1):33-44.

* D'Souza RM. Housing and environmental factors and their effects on the health of children in the slums of Karachi, Pakistan. J Biosoc Sci. 1997 Jul;29(3):271-81.

External links

* [http://www.pakistan.gov.pk/ministries/index.jsp?MinID=22&cPath=251 Ministry of Health]
* [http://lnweb18.worldbank.org/sar/sa.nsf/a22044d0c4877a3e852567de0052e0fa/56a762ede38def578525687b0062433d?OpenDocument Raising a Healthier Population in Pakistan]
* [http://www.doctor.pk Forum of Pakistani Doctors]
* [http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/CIDAWEB/acdicida.nsf/En/STE-320162236-T7U Women's Health in Pakistan]
*Pakistan Pharmacists Society (PPS)


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Health care (disambiguation) — Health care is the prevention, treatment, and management of illness.Regional health care* Health care in Argentina * Health care in Australia * Health care in Canada ** Health care in Calgary * Health care in Europe * Health care in Iran * Health …   Wikipedia

  • Health care system — A health care system is the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations. There is a wide variety of health care systems around the world, with as many… …   Wikipedia

  • Health care systems — This article describes policy related systems. For the article on hospital networks, which are sometimes referred to as health care systems, see hospital network. A health care system is an arrangement in which health care is delivered. There are …   Wikipedia

  • Comparison of the health care systems in Canada and the United States — Health spending per capita, in U.S. dollars PPP adjusted, with the U.S. and Canada compared amongst other first world nations. Comparison of the health care systems in Canada and the United States are often made by government, public health and… …   Wikipedia

  • Public health-care in China — This article is about public health in Mainland China only. China is undertaking reform of its health care system. The New Rural Co operative Medical Care System (NRCMCS) is a 2005 initiative to overhaul the healthcare system, particularly… …   Wikipedia

  • Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences — is located in Islamabad, Pakistan. Objectives of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences are to provide a tertiary level patient care and serve as referral hospital also to conduct teaching and training of doctors and other health workers at… …   Wikipedia

  • Health Level 7 — Health Level Seven (HL7), is an all volunteer, non profit organization involved in development of international healthcare informatics interoperability standards.[1] HL7 is also used to refer to some of the specific standards created by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Health and Disease — ▪ 2009 Introduction Food and Drug Safety.       In 2008 the contamination of infant formula and related dairy products with melamine in China led to widespread health problems in children, including urinary problems and possible renal tube… …   Universalium

  • Pakistan — /pak euh stan , pah keuh stahn /, n. 1. Islamic Republic of, a republic in S Asia, between India and Afghanistan: formerly part of British India; known as West Pakistan from 1947 71 to distinguish it from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).… …   Universalium

  • Health effects of tobacco — Part of a series on Tobacco …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.