Sultanabad, a low-income neighborhood in Kiamari Town Karachi, has an estimated population of 25,000, populated primarily with Pushtuns and Baluchis. The area hosts one of the most vulnerable and low-income communities in Karachi, restricting the prospects of availing quality health services offered mainly at private health outlets on somewhat expensive rates. The OPD medicine fees take away a huge chunk of their in-come, forcing them to make a choice between purchasing daily food items and paying a visit to the doctor’s Clinic. Even if they do go see a doctor they sacrifice on their health by not buying medicines. This is also where the discrimination between a boy and girl is made, where money is spent on the boy’s health and the girl has to suffer because the parents don’t have enough money to treat both and they choose on the boy’s health. Furthermore, the area lacks a 24/7 hour emergency service, putting the residents at a high risk of suf-fering their health.
“My 11 year old daughter was suffering from high temperature for 4 days,’ briefed Mehtaab bibi. “I don’t even know how high the temperature was but I was putting cold cloth on her forehead for 4 nights so as to lower the temperature. We are very poor and cannot afford the high fees of doctors and highly priced medicines,” she further explained while tears dripped down her wet eyes.
To ease the pain and plight of these people, and as a means of providing a protective system to these mar-ginalized communities, Naya Jeevan ventured upon introducing a 18-month Integrated Health Plan in Sultana-bad. With support from the American people through funding of $250,190 under the USAID’s Small Grants Programs, Naya Jeevan will be making available Health Insurance to 1,000 households (5,000 people), Tele health services to 25,000 people, OPD to 25,000 people and health awareness workshops for 5,000 people. With health insurance plans being purchased from the lowest offering insurance company, Naya Jeevan aims to uplift the healthy conditions of the people of Sulatnabad, turning the settlement into a health conscious community.
After the implementation of the Integrated Health Plan in Sultanabad, the concerned Insurance Company will issue an Insurance Card in the name of each household’s head. By using this card each member of the con-cerned family will be able to avail inpatient health care at 150 hospitals across the country, while remaining under the limit of Rs.150, 000. A premium rate of PKR 3,000 per person (outpatient PKR 1,200 and inpatient PKR 1,800) will be set up for the residents of Sultanabad.
“Since this new health plan has been introduced in our area, we are relieved from the high fees and costs of doctors and hospitals. My 9-year-old daughter (Tabasum) has been asthmatic since she was 4 and now that the cold weather has approached, it really aggravates her condition. We have 3 more children to feed and dress, and her medicine and doctor’s fee alone costs us a fortune. I am grate-ful to USAID and Naya Jeevan for this blessing,” exclaimed Naseema a happy mother from Sultanabad.