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Over one million brick kiln women workers suffer from multiple diseases

ISLAMABAD -UNS : One million brick kiln workers – especially women workers – are outside the net of Punjab government’s health and maternity services and these workers suffer from multiple diseases and ill-treatment at the hands of quakes. But a small innovative Public-Private experiment in Lahore and Rawalpindi for the first time in Pakistan’s history bringing government’s health services at the door step of brick kiln clusters, claimed Shoeb Khan Niazi, President of Brick Kiln Owners Association of Pakistan (BKOAP). He was speaking at the Media Dialogue jointly organized by Islamabad Press Club and Development Impact Solutions (DIS).

Niazi said that Development Impact Solution has established an innovative model and set up four pilots “Health Houses” at four different brick kiln clusters – two each in Lahore and Rawalpindi – where hundreds of brick kiln women & men workers and their children are getting free health services. He said BKOAP provided free land and buildings so DIS could establish these four “Health Houses”. He strongly urged the Punjab Health Department to adopt this innovative model as part of its development scheme for FY 2018-19 and allocate at least Rs 500 million and replicate this model to all brick kiln workers in Punjab.
Monaza Iqbal, Project Director DIS, shared that so for a total of 1652 adults patients (52% women), and 889 Child patients (52% girls) have directly benefited and received health services for the “Health Houses”, and 150 patients (58% females) have been referred to the nearby by BHU/RHC till Dec 2017. She said that this DIS small innovative project ““Linking Brick Kiln Women Workers with Formal Health Services” is funded by the Palladium/DfiD. She further shared that the Punjab Strategic Policy Unit of the Punjab Health Department, quarterly reviews the progress through a Steering Committee.
DIS through its collaboration with Punjab Health Department has got about 20 health professional notified who visit these four “Health Houses” after government office hours. She said these four “Health Houses” were established with the support of BKOAP members where they provided free land and building for its establishment.
Mahar Abdul Haq, gernal Sectery of BKAOP Lahore – where the DIS established first Pilot Health House – shared the benefit of the Health House for Brick kiln women workers in this cluster. He said the brick kiln owners give free land and constructed a dedicated building for DIS to set up the Health House. He also shared that how on the advice of the DIS, the all 16 brick kiln owners at Batapur cluster established a Revolving Fund for any emergency expenditure where women or men brick kiln worker may need health support. A video was also shown to describe the working of Health House.

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