29 July 2015, Mardan Press Club, Mardan
A collective demand of more provision of funds for health sector and across the board accountability of responsible for failure of health department.
The 4th in the series of District Based Consultations was held at the Mardan Press Club on July 29th, 2015. Moderated by Senior Journalist Syed Talat Hussain with Dr Wahab District Health Information System Coordinator Mardan, Dr Habib Khatak District Health Officer Mardan, Dr Tahir Extended Programme Immunization Coordinator Mardan, Ajmal Khan from People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative.
Addressing an audience of 125 participants comprising of journalists, civil society members, lady health workers, representatives of trade unions, teachers, doctors, government officials and community members of Mardan district, Khalid Mahmood Provincial Manager EVA BHM began the session by sharing details of RMNCH data in Mardan and its surrounding areas.
This lead to an extremely constructive discussion between the audience and the government’s health officials. Women began the discussion and spoke of their RMNCH experiences such as an access to relevant information, provision of health services; where access to emergency care emerged as the number one problem. Cultural issues such as their role or influence in decision making were also discussed. They were also vocal on mismanagement and lack of accountability and oversight at the hands of unskilled birth attendants .The LHWs present in the session spoke of their challenges and said their involvement with the polio campaigns led to their inability to educate women in their homes.
Other prominent issues which were discussed were the lack of qualified doctors at health facilities, incompetency of health providers, indifferent behaviour of the service providers, poor infrastructure, A shortage of medicines, equipment and services related to mother and child health. Some of them also talked about issues of accountability of inefficient bureaucracy and political representatives.
Responding to the these questions the government representatives were pleasantly open to the grievances of the audience, welcomed their feedback and informed them of means of redressal.
These District Based Consultation are a part of Empowerment Voice and Accountability (EVA-BHN’s) Communication Strategy to gauge citizen understanding of and experiences with maternal, child health and nutrition. The issues discussed will lead to a Charter of Demands which will be presented to the provincial governments.