Karachi — A new clinic providing essential primary medical care as well as emergency and obstetric services has been opened in Machar Colony by the international medical humanitarian association Doctors Without Borders (MSF) together with Sina Health, Education and Welfare Trust (SINA).
The densely populated Machar Colony is situated on the periphery of the Karachi Fish Harbour and has witnessed a rapid increase in its population over the past 30 years.
Pollution, population density, a lack of proper sanitation and a shortage of affordable healthcare all increase the vulnerability of Machar Colony residents to preventable diseases like diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.
The clinic first opened its doors in mid-October 2012, and in its first month more than 100 consultations took place daily. All medicine and medical services are free, including primary healthcare, 24-hour emergency services and a delivery unit.
“There are many communities and diverse ethnicities present in Machar Colony, and the clinic is open to anyone needing medical attention,” said Dr Declan Barry, MSF medical representative in Karachi.
From 2010 to 2011, MSF responded to the needs of internally displaced people who fled to Karachi after the devastating floods in the interior of Sindh province.
MSF has been working in Pakistan since 1986, with Pakistani communities and Afghan refugees affected by armed conflict, natural disasters or who lack access to medical care. MSF teams are currently providing free emergency medical care in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kurram Agency (FATA) and Sindh provinces.
MSF relies solely on private financial contributions from individuals around the world for its work in Pakistan, and does not accept funding from any government, donor agency or military or politically-affiliated group.