Fieldset
Pakistan: “I am happy that I am somehow helping my people”

Tariq is a project coordinator assistant at a Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Chaman, a town on the Pakistani border with Afghanistan. In this blog, he shares how he is proud to help the people of his hometown.

Tariq Khan and an MSF colleague

I’m writing this blog to express my satisfaction in my job. However, before that, let me tell you some details about the Chaman project.

Chaman is the capital of Qilla Abdullah District, in southwest Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. It is situated right on the border with Afghanistan, with the Afghan city of Kandahar as its neighbour.

After Quetta, Chaman is the second-largest city in the northern part of the province, however, the people of Chaman have limited access to healthcare.

Chaman District Headquarters Hospital

The Chaman District Headquarters Hospital, where MSF supports the health authorities, is the biggest healthcare facility in the area. Some patients even come from Afghanistan to seek medical care.

When I see local people, who I know, seeking healthcare from MSF, I feel good for them. I know that most of them are so poor that they would not have good care if MSF were not here. I feel happy for my people.

MSF supports medical services for women and children, including reproductive, neonatal and paediatric healthcare.

Our facilities include a 24-hour delivery room for births that require surgery, a paediatric inpatient ward with neonatal care and an emergency room for trauma cases. We also look after malnourished children under the age of five through an inpatient therapeutic feeding programme.

MSF also provides health education and manages blood transfusions and a laboratory.

Born and raised

I was born and raised in Chaman and received my basic education in the area.

It is not a big locality and the people are very close to each other. I would be surprised if a native resident does not know more than half of the population. Similarly, I know most of the people in the area and understand the needs here.

The population is very poor, plus health facilities are very limited. This means many of the local residents can’t afford medical care from private clinics.

When I see local people, who I know, seeking healthcare from MSF, I feel good for them. I know that most of them are so poor that they would not have good care if MSF were not here. I feel happy for my people.

Despite the fact that it is a complex environment, MSF is a well-accepted organisation in the area amongst all partners and the local population.

It is acknowledged and appreciated by everyone in the area.  It is true that we listen to the local people and authorities. Our work is our acceptance.