The small town of Rehri Goth in Karachi’s Korangi district is suffering due to the neglect of authorities. Its residents don’t have access to basic amenities and many are addicted to drugs.
Those with health issues because of drugs don’t have access to healthcare, said anchorperson Farah Yousaf on SAMAA TV’s show Awam Ki Awaz.
The only large public hospital in the neighbourhood, the Sindh Government Hospital, is not functional. When the Awam Ki Awaz team visited the hospital, there were no doctors on duty, the wards were empty and the medical dispensary was also closed.
The district authorities claim two government employees working there are drawing salaries but doing no work. The hospital’s medical superintendent also only comes to the hospital for half an hour, says the guard.
The area’s union council has opened up its office in the hospital. A caretaker told SAMAA TV that the 36-bed hospital was built in 2006. It remained functional only for a few years after its construction, he said, adding that there’s no medical equipment or staff posted at the hospital.
Most patients who visit the hospital told SAMAA TV that they find no relief and have to go to private clinics instead.
Rampant heroin use
Many residents are drug users, said Yousaf while visiting the neighbourhood on Sunday.
This includes women and children as well. Most of them inject heroin, which is brought in from the nearby Ghareebabad by the women. The men pay for the drugs through the money they earn working at sea.
Every year 44 tonnes (4,400 kg) of heroin are imported into Pakistan, according to a report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
Around 10 million people are addicted to drugs in Pakistan and 700 people die annually because of drug use.