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‘My Father Died Because We Have No Hospital Here In Dasht’

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What’s worse than being born in a region like Dasht? Living here.

The region has become home to irksome problems due to poor health and educational facilities. There is dire need of a hospital(s), while the education sector is dilapidated too. The negligence of Government of Balochistan and other officials means the region continues to suffer.

But for how long?

Dasht, a tehsil in Balochistan is home to 77,291 people, according to the last census held in March 2017. It is populated with a large number of small towns. Despite thousands of people living in the region, there are zero hospitals to cater their health needs.

This means that they have to travel to other parts of Balochistan or Sindh to seek medical treatments and not everyone can afford it.

Problems have grown to such an extent in Dasht that people are forced to migrate to Turbat and Gwadar areas in search for a better life. But migration too does not ease their hardships since costs of living in Turbat and Gwadar are higher than what most people earn on a monthly basis.

My father recently died because we had no access to doctors. He suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke and we had to drive 8 hours to get him to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in Karachi, but by the time we reached the hospital, it was already too late.

Doctors at the Karachi hospital said that if my father was provided emergency and immediate medical attention, he could have been alive today.

Murad Jan, a diabetic, was rushed to Turbat and then to Karachi to seek emergency medical help. He has to travel to far flung areas to seek medical help and checkups, which takes a huge financial toll on his family.

“We were promised provision of a hospital years ago, but nothing has happened yet,” said Murad Jan.

But my family, or Murad Jan, are not the only ones who had to go through the pain of losing a loved one because our government failed us. The entire 77,291 people living in Dasht are pessimistic about their future because they have no access to their very fundamental rights.

What’s worse is that due to lack of certified doctors and medical centres in Dasht, scores of fake doctors have appeared and people have no choice but to visit them because it is more affordable.

Deficiency of hospitals has taken many lives in the region because of inadequate care and unsure maintenance of government. Promises made by previous regimes have never been fulfilled.

But the current leaders definitely have a chance to write their names in the history books for all the right reasons.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal, Health Minister Mir Naseebullah Khan and other concerned dignitaries must step up and resolve this issue. They must prioritize and fulfill the promise of giving Dasht a civil hospital, because that’s the least the people here deserve.

The writer teaches at School of Intensive Teaching in Dasht, Balochistan.

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