Pakistan tops the list in child mortality rate among other South Asian countries. The reasons for this are complications due to premature birth, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. Maternal mortality rate in Pakistan is 170 per 100,000 live births. Pakistan is the seventh country in the world where 90,000 children die at 5 years to pneumonia annually. According to UNICEF and WHO, out of 10, less than two mothers are engaged in early breast-feeding in Pakistan and this is one of the lowest rates of breast-feeding in the world. The level of progress to reduce the child mortality and improve maternal health is worst in the remotest areas of Pakistan.
BRAC’s health programme in Pakistan was established to support the Government of Pakistan to achieve the SDGs. We are fostering awareness and sensitising rural communities to improve access to essential health care facilities, particularly for women and children, to reduce infant and maternal mortality. We are delivering culturally sensitive health education lessons, along with basic curative services while linking patients to nearest government facilities through a network of trained community health promoters. These health promoters are trained to treat common diseases and referring patients with serious complications to the nearest government facility. They provide family planning services, as well as health and nutrition based education to families. They keep immunisation records of under-five children and their vitamin A intake in a family card. They also provide antenatal and postnatal care, promote breastfeeding, and refer mothers to hospitals when complications arise.