What Does It Take to Achieve Universal Health Coverage?

In a health clinic outside Nairobi, Kenya, Janet* waits to see a doctor. Janet is a 32-year-old widow and mother of four from Kibera, a neighborhood of Nairobi. Her 11-year-old daughter, Jane*, isn’t feeling well. Both mother and daughter are HIV-positive. Janet and Jane are lucky to live walking distance to the Langata Health Center, […]


Parmin Gul – A widow from Mohmand Agency

Parmin’s life did not turn out the way she had wished. She was married off at the tender age of 15 years, bore two children, and was a widow at age 22. Her entire world had been torn apart. She was brought up to believe in the ideals of motherhood and the sanctity of marriage. Widowhood, hence, has had […]


Story of Sakina Bibi

Sakina Bibi, an elderly woman aged 78, lived in extreme poverty. She had no source of income and lived an impoverished life with her two disabled adult children – a son and a daughter-in-law, both deaf and dumb – and two grandchildren. She was destitute and lived off the charity of her neighbours and the […]


Faiza – Victim of violence

Faiza, a recent divorcée aged 28 years, was born to a poor family. Face down, she lay motionless on the hospital bed, with both her legs fractured. One leg was plastered while the other, which had sustained multiple fractures, awaited surgery. The surgery was possible only if the financial costs were met. She had no […]


Grandmother’s eggs

Last month, a high powered technical Symposium on maternal and child health concluded at the flooded Oxford University Egrove Park with a message that can be captured in just one Cartoon. Projected as the last slide of Stephen Kennedy, the opening speaker’s presentation, the cartoon was framed in the setting of a racing track with a […]


Equality for women is progress for all

Gender equality remains the biggest global challenge of the 21st century. Despite a global discourse on gender equality and a number of international conventions on women’s rights, there is hardly any country in the world that can truly claim to have achieved gender egalitarianism. Gender gaps in social, economic and political status persist the world over. […]


Heartfile Health Financing story of Anayat

According to the UNFPA, every day 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth in developing countries.  There are in effect 20,000 dire untold stories of gender inequity, malnutrition, survival and even abuse. Anayat’s is one such story of survival, selflessness and cultural pressure. It is the story of needless suffering of a woman, […]


Undernutrition: An unfinished agenda

“Nutrition is crucial to both individual and national development. The evidence in the Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Nutrition furthers the evidence base that good nutrition is a fundamental driver of a wide range of developmental goals. “The post 2015 sustainable development agenda must put addressing all forms of malnutrition at the top of […]


Butchers galore

Lying in a surgical unit of the Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar is an elderly woman with half her abdominal wall practically eaten away by infection – the outcome of a surgery carried out in a district hospital, which was mismanaged in the first place and became infected later. She has several gaping openings, through […]