Dr. A. Rehman Alvi
The community of Gojal valley was shocked to know about the tragic road incident and we are very sorry for the great losses of precious lives. Mr. Amin Baig has conducted a detailed analysis of the disastrous situation to understand the strength, weaknesses, threat and potentials of the community. We are all proud of the social support, cohesiveness and sharing culture of Gojal valley.
At the same time we are faced with major challenges, especially in the health care system, which gets exposed more during the major disaster situation. At present the government of Gilgit Baltistan failed to develop any strategic plan for the disconnected community and was unable to appoint a trained medical officer to provide basic care.
At the time of the Attaabad incident I had a chance to discuss with the WHO team in Sost about the health care needs of the disaster hit region and my suggestion was to develop a comprehensive emergency care to resuscitate and stabilize the acute medical conditions, including trauma before shifting to nearby secondary health facilities and this could be done effectively through air ambulance services. At the same time Malik Riaz of Beharia town adopted the Civil Hospital Gulmit and promised to continue secondary Heath care services on a long term basis. Riaz contractor proved to be a cheater and only wanted to grab the media’s attention for his fake social services.
To my understanding the Government and AKHSP should develop a partnership program and focus on human resource development on a long term basis to overcome the future challenges. The GB government has the capacity to develop the infrastructure and provide the required equipment, at the same time AKHSP should concentrate on human resource development and long term maintenance of the facilities. Developing a major health facility will not be sustainable; therefore the concentration should be focused on emergency care, referral and safe evacuation of acute medical condition to advanced health care facilities.
I was personally in contact with the medical team and according to my information many deaths were avoidable and could lives could have been saved if proper resuscitation facilities were available, including hemorrhage and air ways control, in Civil Hospital, Gulmit.
The contributor is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Aga Khan University, Karachi.