SINA Welfare Trust aims to facilitate and provide primary healthcare services to people keeping in mind the basic financial hurdles, economic challenges, unemployment crisis and mobility issues. The services provided at the NGO include primary healthcare, authentic and quality medication, laboratory tests at par with international standards, ultrasounds, immunization, mental health counseling, hepatitis screening, and referrals to secondary health care. The NGO also provides awareness sessions at their facilities for breast cancer, HIV, Covid-19 safety protocols and more.
Understanding the urban slum populations’ struggle to make ends meet and medical care becoming a non-priority, SINA has developed an effective and efficient primary healthcare system, at a token charge of Rs. 20 to underprivileged communities and Zakat eligible patients, in order to delay the need for secondary care and restore the quality of life. SINA Welfare Trust works as an effective filtration system for overburdened public facilities by resolving a large volume of cases at primary stage. This also helps in better allocation of resources for secondary and tertiary care cases.
On its dedicated journey since 1998, the NGO today has grown with 30 operational clinics in urban slums providing services to more than 800,000 patients annually, majority of which are women and children. The financially challenged communities are scanned through a Shariah compliant Zakat evaluation system and it is deduced that 80% of the patients are Zakat eligible.
At SINA, PMDC-registered doctors undergo specialized training before being deployed and are required to adhere to a strict set of protocols for consultation and prescription. These medical practitioners are monitored and audited to ensure standard of care and consultation is maintained.
The healthcare infrastructure in the country grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic has become highly overwhelmed and saturated, and the accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare has become a matter of great concern. As of data collected in July 2020, 78% of the population continues to pay for healthcare in expensive private hospitals. Public hospitals cater to approximately 300,000 patients on a monthly basis, with long waiting hours to receive treatment and medication. To counter the volume at public hospitals and mobility issues, SINA’s clinics are situated in low-income neighbourhoods removing hurdles like travel costs and long queues. The NGO has also tapped into the doorstep healthcare services model with mobile clinics, a customized vehicle that is fully equipped to provide health services by reaching vulnerable communities.
As per the World Health Organization directive and government regulations, Pakistan’s core focus should be on primary healthcare to diagnose ailments at early stages and reduce complications of chronic diseases. For example, an early detection of diabetes that is properly managed on a daily basis reduces the risk of renal failure.
Similarly, primary healthcare plays a crucial role in reducing maternal mortality as well as child mortality. Pakistan’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) stands at 186 deaths per 100,000 live births, one of the highest in Asia. SINA Welfare Trust has set a new objective of prioritizing maternal health and providing accessibility to expectant mothers with adequate care, medication and timely ultrasounds to monitor gestational health and development. The NGO also tackles the stigmatized issues of postpartum depression to provide deserving mothers with holistic care.