Medical Negligence and the Quest for Healthcare Awareness: A Tale of Hope and Challenges in AJK

By Dr. Muhammad Ali

What could be more miserable than losing a life just because of a Medical Negligence?

This incident occurred during a routine checkup of a pregnant woman in a Free Medical Camp arranged by YDWA at HOPE Welfare Foundation Hospital, Prahi Ambani Kotli AJK, when a woman was told by some ‘Quack’ that she has a fetal demise & she should undergo an D&C (abortion) & when our Gynaecologist Dr. Laraib Babar did her ultrasound, there was a living fetus (baby) with normal Fetal Cardiac Activity in her womb. She was properly educated & was advised to take proper ante-natal care from a Lady Doctor/Gynaecologist.

Its Dr. Muhammad Ali, founder & chairman of Young Doctors Welfare Association. Its been a while i, along with my team has started a chain of ‘Free Medical Camps’ across the underprivileged areas of the country. We started it in remote areas of Azad Kashmir in the first intsance, with the vision of providing free healthcare facilities, free medicine, specialised healthcare, patient education, disease screening & spreading healthcare awareness across the uneducated people. In our Medical Camps we emphasise enough to focus on patient education about his disease rather diagnosing and providing him bunch of medicines.
In our third free medical camp at HOPE Welfare Foundation Hospital, Prahi Kotli, AJK, our team witnessed a lot of patients who were diagnosed bt some ‘Quacks’ & were being managed so poorly for years & no one ever had a thought to go to any specialist for treatment. They were either self mdeicating themselves or were been treated by some Quacks. Its been said that,” During first fourteen years & during the last fourteen years of your life, its better to take medicines from a specialist rather anyone else”.
Our team witnessed a patient, who had been taking drugs for last seven years for obesity, and multiple other issues, no one ever made a diagnosis because she never visited any specialist. When our doctors took routine labortary test, we came to know that she was suffering from Nephrotic Syndrome & she was referred to a concerned speciality for treatment.
Another patient, who had been suffering from Rheumotoid arthritis & had been put on steroids & now she was suffering from hyperglycemia.
This was the sole cause behind founding this organization to educate the patients regarding their disease & screen for prevalance any rare/threatening disease.
A 1.2 year old patient was encountered to have a fever and he had been using all kind of antibiotics and tablets all the time & now he was suffering from ‘Antibiotic Fever’ a fever which is caused because of medicines itself. This is, how much self medication is harmful.
Self Medication, Medications prescribed by Quacks, Surgical procedures like Minor OT case done by Quacks are sole source of increased prevalance of multiple diseases & this mismanagement is causing a great healthcare burden as well as resistance to multiple drugs.
Lack of disease education, self medication, medicines taken by Quacks & inappropriate disease management is an alarming thing going on in the remote areas.
I would request everyone to kindly consult a specialist or at least a general physician for your disease. Multiple organisations have opened up free hospitals and they are providing healthcare facilities 24/7 without any fee & this HOPE Welfare Foundation Hospital in Kotli AJK is a living example of this great feat.
In sha Allah we will continue spreading awareness, via TV shows, via Medical Camps & via multiple awareness programs held in different primary healthcare setups. I am thankful to all my team, Dr. Gohar Ali Zafar (Vice Chairman YDWA), Amjad Hussain Alvi (Sect. General YDWA), Dr Shahid Ikram, Dr Laraib Babar, Dr Muhammad Usman, Dr Mohsin Hassan, Dr Sami Ullah, Dr Haseeb Ullah (Pharmacy incharge YDWA), Dr Alyan Ali Zafar (Chief Organiser YDWA), Dr Sadia Ashraf , Mazhar Ali (Media Incharge) for this incredible feat & especially Amjad Mahmood Khan & whole team of HOPE Welfare Foundation Hospital for the hospitality & management.

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