The Offroadpakistan team this week embarked on a medical relief mission to Moro and Dadu. The plans for a Medical camp had been taking place since the start of the flood effort, but our initial focus was on providing food and shelter as in the first phase of the disaster that was the basic need of the victims, by the last trip few trips it had become clear that the initial impact of the flood is now beyond us, water had started to stagnate and recede and it was now imperative to refocus our strategy and aim on providing medical relief in the same areas.
Our plan was to concentrate on organizing a medical camp, but felt the need to also cater to food and clothes so effort was made to prepare 1000 food hampers, 1100 clothes hampers [which contained one shalwar kameez for men, one three-piece suit for women, one pair of clothes for boys and one more pair of clothes for girls, two soap suds for clothes washing, two for personal hygiene soaps, a womens hygiene kit, a small hand fan and a few other items all packed by a brilliant team of women], we had also arranged for 120 cartons of medicines acquired for roughly for the cost of Rs. 3 lac, compared to the budget set out for our medical camp, we were able collect massive quantity of medicines as our pharmaceutical help cam from Ehsan Awan of Nawan Labs who personally saw the acquiring of generic low cost drugs for the same aliments, truly helping us target a larger number of people within the same allocated budget. Our guestimate was to have enough drugs to cater to at least 500 patients during the medical camp.
Saturday 25th September – Reaching Moro and Flood Relief Distribution
Early Saturday morning a team of six offroad jeeps headed off to Moro which roughly a 5-6 hour, starting early morning we reached Moro straight into the hospitality of Akib Jatoi in the afternoon, who had pulled full resources to that we were well taken care off, after a healthy lunch we started to inspect the site of the medical camp and then proceed to food and clothes distribution in the affected Moro and Dadu. We would have stuck to plan but unfortunately one truck which was heavily laden with food hampers truck was delayed till sunset and were left to with only clothes and medicines on hand. Ideally we would have preferred to distribute clothes and the food hampers together making it far more conviennt, but we simply restrategized deciding distribute clothes on Saturday leaving the food hamper distribution for the following day.
We headed to the Rural Health Center in New Jatoi which was to be the site of our medical camp site, a well built health center with ample room for an adequate hospital structure, but the dilapidated situation left us wondering as to why it was not being used for better health services in the area, studying the layout we outlined the strategy keeping in mind proper crowd control and effecint delivery mechanism as regard to pharmaceutical dispensing.
We then headed on towards the flood affected zones to distribute the clothes hampers, identifying villages that were hit, we noted 5-6 ft marks on the walls of the house showing how high the level of the flood had reached at its prime, practically enough to submerge everything worth saving, in most areas the water had receded but left a widespread level of devastation in it wake. The plan to distribute in various villagers was to identify a few responsible elders who in turn pin-point affected families and subsequentily a hamper was given to each. Our first experiment to distribute by hand went a little into confusion and had to retreat after chaos ensued, ended up handing only 100 hampers where we should have disbursed 250, but the unorderly chaos prevented further disbursement and we headed out of the village.
Subsequent distribution was limited to taking the elders of each village into confidence, who presented us a printed list of affected families and we handed out to the affected families. The exercise dragged us to nightfall and in between we hoped over the indus a few times even crossing the section of road where the Moro-Dadu highway had been breached, the water level had by now receded and the Pakistan Army was busy rebuilding the particular section of road that had flowed away while temporarily diverted traffic through a make-shift by-pass.
Sunday 26th September – Medical Camp
Early next day, our team of doctors [Dr. Meher Zaidi, Dr. Rehman Siddiqui, Dr. Fawad Umar, Dr. Sabeena Jalal, Dr. Qurat ul Ain and others] piled into a coaster from Karachi at 6am and started the tiresome journey to Moro, while we made arrangements in the medical center setting up a dispensary and converted many of their offices to make-shift consultation rooms for our doctors. A registration desk operated through a window where our volunteers noted down their names and directed the patients to their specific room three rooms were earmarked for men, three for women [GP, Pediatrics & Gyneacology] while one room was reserved for the team of ophtlamosligsts who were joining us. The coaster took a good 6-1/2 hours to reach Moro from Karachi at 12:30pm by then we had a crowd awaiting ready to be examined by the karachi-wala doctors. To ease the pressure a few doctors who had arrived with us in the offroad team [Dr. Rehman Baig & Dr. Omar Javaid] started two male consultation clinics had started easing the pressure on the number of male patients that needed to be seen, but the female doctors could only arrive on the coaster and pressure had built up on that section of the population.
Once the doctors kicked off seeing the load of patients most volunteers were deputed to crowd control while the pharmacy was expertly run by Ehsan Awan and a few volunteers he toughest aspect was communicating the dosages in Sindhi and we must give credit to many volunteers who handheld many patients to explain the effective use of the drugs given.
In the midst of all the action a bustle ensued as a 5-year old boy was brought into the center bleeding profusely, he had fallen off a tree and a branch gashed open his chest rupturing one lung, quite literally one lung was poking through the wound, Dr. Mansur Ahmed, a dentist and an Oral Maxilofacial Surgeon along with Dr. Fahad lept into action stabilizing the child and carefully bandaging his wound, bringing him to a situation where he was then whisked away to a medical facility some 50 minutes away. Our presence at the hospital, probably saved his life, though he may not have been a flood affected victim perse, but by just merely a twist of faith, we were there.
Once the medical camp was in full swing Faisal Kapadia, Nabil Jangda, Salim Khan, Rashid Maqbool and a few more volunteers took unto the massive task fo distributing the 1000 food hampers, proceeded to various Karachi Relief Trust campsites in the areas and various flood affected locations. On one of the sorties, Faisal Kapadia was ecstatic to see a few kids wearing our clothes that we had provided the day before, this brought an immediate uplifting smile on the team, to have made a difference, small but these pleasant surprises keep the spirits uplifting and pushing to do even more.
After seeing over 1000 patients [950 officially registered at the registration desk and quite many seen without registrations as well] we closed up the medical camp at 5:30pm headed for late-lunch/early dinner into the hospitality of Akib Jatoi, they rested for a while before boarding their vehicles to challenge the long drive back to Karachi and most reached well after midnight to their homes. One concerning issue near the end of the medical camp was the abundant medicines that we had left, we immediately had all the remaning medicines to the Civil Hospital at Shikarpur which we have adopted for the next three months
Credit must go to the entire team of offroadpakistan for having successfully pulled of their 8th Flood Relief mission, a standing ovation to the team of doctors and other volunteers who helped and assisted us in this noble cause out of sheer good will, their dedication was par excellence and we should not forget to mention the exceptional hospitality of Akib Jatoi, who went out of his way to ensure total assistance and his reflected a starking contrast to other fuedals who usually leverage these flood relief mission to their own political mileage
- Seen and treated mahsallah 1000+ patients
- Distributed 1100 hampers of clothes
- Distributed 1000 food hampers
- Diagnosed 15 potential cataract patients of which we have already discussed with LRBT to do cataract surgeries in Gambat this weekend
- Practically save the life of a 5 yrs old who had been rushed into the hospital with chest wounds
- Donated all the remaining medicines to Civil Hospital Shikarpur free medical dispensary run by OffroadPakistan Team
Pictures can be seen on Facebook