Balochistan (Pakistan) regularises services of 7,000 lady health workers

The government of Balochistan, a province of southwestern Pakistan, has regularised services of 7,265 lady health workers (LHWs), who had been waiting for the confirmation of their jobs for the past 21 years.

The announcement was made by the Health Minister Rehmat Saleh Baloch at a ceremony organized by Alliance partner Save the Children and the Lady Health Worker Program. The event was held to celebrate local LHWs and community midwives (CMWs). Thirty-four LHWs and eleven CMWs received awards for their contributions to the improvement of maternal, newborn, and child health across the province.

“It is very encouraging that services of the workers have been acknowledged”

Rahat Noor, an award recipient

“It is very encouraging that services of the workers have been acknowledged”, said Rahat Noor, an award recipient. Ms. Noor is now among the final five nominees for the 2014 International Midwife Award, which will be presented in Prague, Czech Republic (June 1-5, 2014).

According to Dr. Irshad Danish, who is Advocacy and Campaigns Specialist for Save the Children, recognizing the services of these unsung heroes gives “fresh motivation to LHWs and CMWs and enables them to look at the challenges with renewed vigour”. As part of the “Every One” campaign, Save the Children is calling upon the federal and provincial governments to increase the number of frontline health workers in the country and provide mothers with skilled support to improve maternal and newborn care during the critical first 28 days of a child’s life.

During the ceremony, Mr. Saleh Baloch acknowledged the challenges that LHWs and CMWs face on a daily basis in their efforts to help mothers and children in need of urgent medical care. Also, he renewed the government’s commitment to improving the standard of public health facilities within the province by confirming plans to establish three nursing institutions and a Dental college.