The doctHERS model and vision is gaining momentum in the community with community buy in. In Pakistan, doctHERS has managed to overcome several challenges to change the face of health service delivery. In the Learn and Launch Exchange Program, doctHERs prototyped with the Hub and Spoke Model. The aim is to reach out to patients who have been unable to visit the clinic due to mobility issues and social constraints. As time has progressed, each individual is beginning to understand the role they play in changing health-seeking behaviors such as visiting the clinic during all health camps, utilizing medication when needed, visiting the doctor regularly during pregnancy, ultimately promoting healthier standards of living.
When given the opportunity to expand our reach, we chose to assess multiple colonies located in slums. One such instance is highlighted in the following blog
One fine morning, Zohaib Hassan and Adil Fazal set out to evaluate six potential locations for a new clinic. With their extensive field experience and community work through doctHERS, Hassan and Fazal were well-versed in the indicators of a successful clinic. Upon arriving at each site, they considered the demographics, nurses’ qualifications, location relative to nearby medical facilities, and the colony’s needs and reception of a new clinic. After such thorough review, one colony was chosen to start the journey of launching and operating a new clinic in an underprivileged area. New Lyari, a colony of two communities, Biharis and Bengalis, and nearly 10,000 households became the home of the newest doctHERS clinic. The community not only lacked a qualified female physician but rather was in dire need of referrals such as labs and ultrasound.
In New Lyari, we met Rabia, a very active nurse. She is always willing to learn about new service delivery innovations. We knew that Rabia would be key to the successful start of this clinic. She was trained by our project manager, Mahek Pethani, an Aga Khan University Nurse. While Rabia was being trained, mobilizers raised community awareness of the doctHERS clinic through dorr to door mobilization, muhalla meetings, reaching out to local vendors and conducting sessions in schools. Through their efforts, nearly 1,200 households were reached within two days. With Rabia trained, households mobilized, and the overall assessment complete, Rabia was given ownership of the clinic and readied for its launch. The official opening day finally came. At 10AM, project directHER Makkiya Jawed and her team opened the doors to the New Lyari clinic. Volunteers registered patients by providing them token numbers. The idea was to provide patients with calcium tests that are quite expensive in the market. Once tested, consultation was provided to counsel them and to provide medication when needed. doctHERS co-founders Dr. Iffat Zahar and Dr. Sara Khurram were among the team serving as doctors.
The execution of the New Lyari clinic is just one example of doctHERs team’s collaboration for progress. Together, we have learned and grown as individuals and a team to ensure that doctHERS is fulfilling its mission of breaking barriers. By working constructively and respectfully, we are achieving our organization’s mission.