Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A pediatrician awarded $1 million prize to work in Rohri Goth, Karachi

by Salman Hameed

The first Caplow Children's Prize, has been awarded to Dr. Anita Zaidi to work in Rohri Goth - one of the fishing villages near Karachi. This is fantastic and hope it can turnaround the village's high infant mortality rate. From NYT:
 Dr. Anita Zaidi, one of the first doctors trained by Pakistan’s Aga Khan University and who has additional degrees from Duke and Harvard, beat 550 other entries, including those from major charities like Doctors Without Borders. 
The neighborhood she plans to help, Rehri Goth, is a fishing village facing a mangrove swamp. Even though it is within the borders of Pakistan’s financial capital, one of the world’s largest cities, its residents are so poor and so cut off from medical care that 11 percent of local children die before age 5 — usually during birth or in the first month after it. 
“The population lives in scattered clusters and is very poorly linked to public transport,” Dr. Zaidi said. Most cannot afford any kind of private transportation, so mothers are forced to give birth at home. If a crisis like obstructed labor or hemorrhage develops, little can be done. 
“Many people don’t realize the huge role that good maternal care at the time of delivery has in saving children’s lives,” she added. 
With the prize money, she will train midwives and set up a transportation network to get mothers in birth crises to hospitals. She will also try to change prejudices that some families harbor against hospitals, and get food and vitamins for mothers and vaccines for children.

Read the full story here


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