The lack of access to social services, particularly education, health, water and sanitation, is one of the most pressing issues facing rural communities in Pakistan. The level of access for is even lower for women and children because of the lack of the public and private health and education systems. According to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) of 2006-07, the country has alarmingly high rates of maternal mortality (276 deaths per 100,000 live births), Even locally trained delivery attendants called “Dais’ are not present, infant mortality (78 deaths per 1,000 live births) and under-five child mortality (94 deaths per 1,000 live births). In 2001, Pakistan had a gross enrolment rate of 84.3% and an overall literacy rate of 53%, figures which are amongst the lowest in the world. Especially female education, is another problematic area. Public sector schools are not functioning to the desired level. Lot of the rural talent goes waste. Access to potable water is 93%, of which only 24% of the rural households receive piped water. Over 50% of Pakistan’s population has poor access to sanitation facilities. Leave alone total sanitation, the latrines are also not available. While these statistics represent national averages, the situation is considerably worse in the rural areas where weak social service delivery is profoundly visible.
Social Sector Services for the people in SRSO operational area are almost non existent. SRSO realizes its responsibility and commitment to serve the poor communities. Hence it has established a full fledged Social Services Sector to deliver the services like health, education, environmental sanitation including safe drinking water. Section has been assigned to:
- assist the communities in addressing their needs in the areas of primary education, basic health particularly mother and child healthcare, sanitation and drinking water.
- act as an intermediary between communities, government agencies and other NGOs in order to deliver services.
The sector is presently focusing on health and education services under the strategies developed by SRSO. Under this strategy series of Health & Education workshops have been organized which were attended by male & female CO members, followed by formation of implementation committees. Experts belonging to line departments/NGOs were engaged as resource persons. It has developed its strategy with the assistance of RSPN.
All Social Sector Services activities are based on Social Mobilisation: i.e. on the assumption that local people are best suited to work together to solve local problems. Depending on the projects and programmes being implemented, people are encouraged to form Community Organisations, Village Health or Education Committees, School Councils, Village Sanitation Committees and other bodies which are then strengthened to ensure effective interaction with Government Departments. As the Village Organisations and Local Support Organisations develop and become mature, they are being encouraged to take more responsibility for independent action relating to Education, Health and Sanitation and Sanitation.
The SSS activities include:
- To ensure community participation in various projects being designed
and implemented at various levels, especially focusing on children
- Education (Adult literacy programmes and female child Education)
- Training of Traditional Birth Attendants;
- Triggering for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) & Open Defecation Free Environment;
- Mobile Health Camps;
- Community Health Session;
- Introduce Water Filter Bags for Clean Drinking Water;
- Scaling up coverage of effective vector control measures in high risk areas;
- Strengthening and building management capacity of National Malaria Control Project to coordinate, plan, implement and monitor effective curative & preventive interventions nationwide.
- Social Sector Services has responded to disasters and crises when these have occurred, restoring physical, learning and healthcare environments for affected and traumatized people.