Catalyzing change through partnerships

With the rapidly evolving global context, challenges facing public health such as accessibility, high cost of healthcare and delayed responsiveness of the healthcare systems are arguably systematic and governance related. This neither can be addressed by a single skill set, nor is it the responsibility of a single profession. Solutions would emerge from interdisciplinary collaboration […]

The boy with the bruised lip

Ali seemed very shy. He didn’t make eye contact with the Heartfile verifier—or perhaps it was his swollen and badly bruised lip, which made him conscious. Throughout the conversation between our verifier and his mother, his gaze remained lowered, as if knowing that something is terribly wrong, and that he is responsible for it. Perhaps […]

Zulikha – 16 year old Tuberculosis (TB) patient

The ill girl is almost inevitably and sympathetically a beautiful girl with a smooth tanned complexion, dark brown eyes, dark brown hair and wearing dozens of bangles.  The hope is that she stays alive to see another autumn.  She was only 16 years old– young with a life that seemed to be full of promise, but […]

International Women’s Day

Heartfile, true to the 2013 theme of International Women’s Day – ‘A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women’ has been instrumental in reaching out to victims of violence in Pakistan. The story of a Heartfile Financing-supported patient I am about to share, although tragic, appropriately depicts today’s theme.  Her […]

World Cancer Day—some personal reflections on NCDs

World Cancer Day is another occasion to recall the interconnectedness of risks, which provide an opportunity to tackle the world’s biggest killer—Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), a collective name given to ‘four diseases’ linked by ‘four lifestyle’ and ‘four biological’ risk factors. These diseases are a massive drain on health and the economy—evident in 36 million deaths […]

Visits: Heartfile Financing (Oct 22)

I saw four patients during my visit to the hospital today. Each one of them has a story which reflects blatant policy inattention, which undermines the core prerequisites of human security. First, there was a young woman who had attempted suicide by ingesting cheap corrosives because her sister-in-law beat her incessantly, now in the hospital with […]

Mukhtiaran Bibi’s story

Mukhtiaran Bibi is a sixty-year old diabetic patient suffering from high blood pressure. Her case is a prime example of how poverty and social inequality and exclusion can be detrimental for patients in Pakistan living in such circumstances.  Over the years, her condition has deteriorated, so much so that she requires a permanent pace-maker to […]

Akhtar’s Story

Akhtar is a middle aged man who works as a prisoners’ driver and only makes Rs. 8,000 a month. He is the only breadwinner for his family of eight which includes his elderly mother, his wife, three daughters (of marriageable ages) and two sons. His only asset is his ‘kachha’ two-room ancestral home where he […]

Zain Ullah’s Story

On Friday, September 21st, 2012, a nationwide protest, ‘Ishq-e-Rasool’ against the anti-Muhamad video-maker resulted in unrest across Pakistan with 20 casualties and over 200 injuries. That afternoon, Zain Ullah was leaving work to go home to avoid the raging crowd. He didn’t make it home as he was shot in the leg while another person died […]