The post-devolution family planning crisis

Pakistan is a country of 180+ million people, with a wavering economy of merely 3% GDP growth as compared to many Asian countries which are consistent at 7%. The political instability, war on terrorism, tense relations with the neighbors and dearth of macro and micro economic reforms have led the country into depths of poverty: economic […]

Maternal Death – a Silent Emergency

The distinct roles and behaviors of men and women in a given culture, dictated by that culture’s gender norms and values, give rise to gender differences. Not all such differences between men and women imply inequity but they do give rise to gender inequalities – that is, difference between men and women which systemically empower […]

Book launch of Capturing the Demographic Dividend in Pakistan

Pakistan is one of the fastest growing nations in the world. It risks being the fifth most populous country in the world, given the current status of the rapid population growth according to a report by UNFPA. Rapid population growth poses an economic challenge to a country as it requires more resources for sustainable development. […]

Cervical Cancer Crisis Card launched

New Government must tackle cervical cancer that Crisis Card shows kills 7,000 women Pakistan every year from cervical cancer. Australia provides a global model to tackle the disease. More women die of cervical cancer in India than anywhere in the world. India along with China, Brazil, Bangladesh and Nigeria represent over 50% of the global […]

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 […]

Sexual Rights in the Marital Relationship: A Community based KAP survey in District Hyderabad, Sindh

In Pakistan, marriage is recognized as a legal, social and religious relationship. It is also the only relation in which sexual contact and reproduction is considered permissible and appropriate, especially for women. Most marriages in Pakistan are immediately followed by pregnancy and child birth, while various studies have highlighted the burden of adverse health outcomes […]

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 […]

Superfood for Babies: How overcoming barriers to breastfeeding will save children’s lives

Maternal, newborn and child health statistics in Pakistan have been historically appalling with little improvement seen in newborn health over the last decade. The rate of neonatal mortality reduction is estimated to be less than 1% per year during 2000-2010[1].Evidence shows that 40% of newborn deaths could be prevented through simple community based interventions. One […]

The Power of the first hour

In 2011, 6.9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday. Perhaps not surprising in itself, until one considers the fact that 22% of newborn deaths could be prevented if breastfeeding started in the first hour after birth. Moreover, 92 million children under six months of age – two out of three babies – […]

The Global Campaign for the Health MDGs: A revived effort to save the lives of women and children

Achieving the Health Millennium Development Goals is an increasingly daunting task, as the 2015 deadline creeps ever closer at a time of an overwhelming strain on the global economy. Whilst significant progress has been made, numerous developing countries continue to lag behind with regard to safeguarding the health of women and children. This is the […]