“I have a three-year-old and want to wait a few years before I have another child"

women at clinic receives contraception - Pakistan

At the Family Health Model Clinic (FHMC) set up by Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP), mothers and daughters-in-laws wait for a consultation for affordable treatment and medication.

At the FHMC, patients are charged only 50 Rupees (0.22 GBP) for a consultation. This is a fraction of what they would pay at a private clinic and less than the cost of travelling to the nearest government hospital. The clinic also has a ‘no-refusal policy’ to ensure those who cannot afford to pay the fee can still receive the care they need. Around 50 patients visit the clinic every day. 

For 26-year-old Sehrish Hamid, the clinic is providing essential healthcare services, she is unable to afford elsewhere. “My husband sells scrap metal off a cart and we often struggle to make ends meet,” she says. 

In the past, Sehrish frequently got urinary tract infections but could rarely afford to visit a doctor. A few weeks back, a social organizer from the WISH project visited her house and told her about the FHMC, where she was able to get affordable treatment and medication. “The staff here are friendly, and the doctor gives time and attention to each patient. In the past, no doctor took out the time to talk to me about hygiene and explain how recurring infections can be prevented,” she says. 

The FHMC operates as a ‘one stop clinic’ offering a range of health services including family planning and screening for cervical cancer and counselling for Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV). Many, such as Sehrish come to clinic for one reason but also end up choosing to take up of family planning services. 

“I have a three-year-old and want to wait a few years before I have another child. When I came to the clinic, I also found out about family planning methods. I had a lot of questions and concerns that were addressed and allowed me to make a decision about which contraceptives to use,” Sehrish says.