Infectious diseases and preventable conditions claim the lives of hundreds of children in low-income countries. Approximately, 5.9 million children under the age of five died in 2015 – an appalling 16,000 children every day. The leading causes of death among children under age five are preterm birth complications, pneumonia, diarrhea, birth asphyxia and malaria. About half of these deaths occurred in only five countries – China, India, Nigeria, Congo, and Pakistan – and most of these deaths can be prevented by simple, low-cost interventions.
In Pakistan there were 245,000 neonatal deaths in 2015. The country has the third-highest infant mortality rate in the world, with pneumonia alone killing 92,000 children every year, according to Pakistan Pediatric Association.
Taking a sick child to a hospital or a clinic is a task in itself. Logistics, finances and lack of awareness work against the patient and most children end up being ‘treated’, if they ever do, by quacks or unqualified doctors in their area. Good medical facilities with competent staff are few, distant, and financially unaffordable. Little wonder then that one in ten children in Pakistan does not survive their fifth birthday, dying due to causes as mundane as diarrhea, pneumonia or some vaccine-preventable disease.
It’s under these circumstances that the ChildLife Foundation comes in with the mission to provide every child with quality and affordable healthcare facilities.
With cutting-edge systems and the newest healthcare innovations adapted for use in low-income settings, ChildLife has quietly been bringing about a revolution in the communities it has touched. Seeking out communities which have been untouched by healthcare services, overlooked by the public sector and unable to access private care, ChildLife is providing the full spectrum of medical care, from emergency rooms, to primary clinics, down to preventive practices. The Foundation has 3 state-of-the-art model emergency rooms in Karachi’s biggest and busiest hospitals – Civil Hospital, National Institute of Child Health (NICH), and Sindh Government Hospital Korangi-5; 25 primary care clinics in the city’s slums; and Preventive Health Programs. All of these parallel the best private medical facilities that the country has to offer, with the technology used in many cases, far superior.