14 July, 2011

Health awareness project launched in rural Islamabad

Sana Jamal

Islamabad - Participants at a workshop urged the government to ensure that people living in slums of Islamabad have equal access to water, sanitation, and health care facilities. The health awareness workshop was arranged by Society for the Advancement of Community, Health, Education and Training (SACHET) on Wednesday to sensitize the media about adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) issues, which has long been a taboo in the country.
To raise health awareness among the youth (9-19 years) of rural areas, “SACHET in collaboration with Plan-Pakistan has launched a Reproductive Health Initiative with Adolescents (RHIA) in Muslim Colony of Bari Imam (in rural Islamabad)” informed Maroof, RHIA Coordinator. The project becomes vital because “there are around 7000 people living in Nurpur, a town near Bari Imam and the only available health facility in the area is SACHET’s health care.”

Speaking to the journalists, Dr. Aurangzeib, Project Director of RHIA said that “the objective of the workshop is to bring a social change which is only possible when media and civil society work together for the greater cause - service to humanity.”


Afzal Butt, President of National Press Club was the chief guest of the workshop. He vowed to extend his support in highlighting ASRH issues mediain and said that “collective and sincere efforts can bring a positive social change in the society.”

Dr. Tahira Ali, representatives from Plan stressed that “the people living in slums of Islamabad have equal human rights and they deserve equal access to health and hygiene facilities as the people living in posh areas.”

During the session, Maroof highlighted that the major problems faced by people of Bari Imam included “poor water and sanitation system, no health and hygiene facility, prevalence of communicable diseases and lack of awareness.” He further said that the communities especially adolescents must be sensitized on their age-specific health issues and must develop their life skills, character and personality through self confidence and by participation in awareness workshops.