Radio a key to health literacy in Pakistan

HCR Pakistan, in collaboration with other agencies has been hosting a health camp in a deprived region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  Working closely with a local radio station, the Director of HCR Pakistan, Hazeen Latif, said that many of the illnesses that presented themselves during the day could have been prevented with better knowledge.  "Radio is a key tool in promoting health literacy in the community and therefore should be the first line of defence against many diseases," he said.  

 A journalist interviews one of the doctors during the camp for broadcast on local radio

A journalist interviews one of the doctors during the camp for broadcast on local radio

During the one-day health camp, the team were able to treat more than 300 people, with many of those attending, presenting water-borne diseases, or health issues related to poor diet and anaemia.

Poverty and income inequality in Pakistan have been increasing during the last few years and the link between poverty and health is well established worldwide.  The link is both direct, due to lack of access to health services and indirect, due to lack of awareness about health-related issues.  Hazeen believes we tackle all these issues.

"Partnership will be a key if we really want to see people's lives improved and make a difference in this community," Hazeen says.  "To that end HCR is working with service providers, community based organisations, local government and most importantly the local community. By equipping people with knowledge and information and giving them a voice, they themselves become agents of change."

A local health worker consults community members in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province