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<h1>In the line of duty</h1>
<h2><em>Healthcare workers are Karachi’s unsung heroes.</em></h2>
<h4>Images and information courtesy ICRC</h4>

In the line of duty

Healthcare workers are Karachi’s unsung heroes.

Images and information courtesy ICRC

<h2>RISKING LIVES; SAVING LIVES</h2>
<p>International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s 'Healthcare in Danger' project seeks to spread awareness about the violence against healthcare and the impact it can have.
<p>Here, we look at some of Karachi’s dedicated healthcare workers who put their own lives on the line to save others.

RISKING LIVES; SAVING LIVES

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s 'Healthcare in Danger' project seeks to spread awareness about the violence against healthcare and the impact it can have.

Here, we look at some of Karachi’s dedicated healthcare workers who put their own lives on the line to save others.

<h2>Mujahid Rehman</h2>
<ul>
<li>Ambulance Operator, Edhi Emergency Services</li>
</ul>

Mujahid Rehman

  • Ambulance Operator, Edhi Emergency Services
<p>It was a routine day for Mujahid Rehman, an Edhi Emergency Services ambulance operator. He got to the scene of a shoot-out to help patients. Instead, he ended up becoming one of them.
<p>Rehman was walking towards the injured lying on the street when he, “felt something like a stone” hit him in the back. He would later learn that it was a bullet.

It was a routine day for Mujahid Rehman, an Edhi Emergency Services ambulance operator. He got to the scene of a shoot-out to help patients. Instead, he ended up becoming one of them.

Rehman was walking towards the injured lying on the street when he, “felt something like a stone” hit him in the back. He would later learn that it was a bullet.

<p>Rehman had been warned to stay cautious.
<p>But he remembers thinking that he has to step forward. “Edhi sahab had always told us that saving even one life helps save all of humanity,” he says. 
<p>Rehman lay in the street for over two hours. He says that until he reached the hospital he didn’t even realise that he had been shot.

Rehman had been warned to stay cautious.

But he remembers thinking that he has to step forward. “Edhi sahab had always told us that saving even one life helps save all of humanity,” he says.

Rehman lay in the street for over two hours. He says that until he reached the hospital he didn’t even realise that he had been shot.

<h2>Daisy Nasreen</h2>
<ul>
<li>Head Nurse, JPMC Hospital Emergency Ward</li>
</ul>

Daisy Nasreen

  • Head Nurse, JPMC Hospital Emergency Ward
<p>“I had never imagined that someone would bomb an emergency ward at a major urban public hospital,” says Daisy Nasreen, Head Nurse at JPMC’s emergency ward. Then on February 5, 2010 the unimaginable happened when a blast outside the hospital’s emergency gates killed 18.
<p>Coincidentally, the hospital had already been on high alert that day. “We were ready to receive a large number of patients,” Nasreen recalls.

“I had never imagined that someone would bomb an emergency ward at a major urban public hospital,” says Daisy Nasreen, Head Nurse at JPMC’s emergency ward. Then on February 5, 2010 the unimaginable happened when a blast outside the hospital’s emergency gates killed 18.

Coincidentally, the hospital had already been on high alert that day. “We were ready to receive a large number of patients,” Nasreen recalls.

<p>After the news of two blasts in the city reached the hospital staffers, they prepared for the intake. Little did they know that soon they’d also be in need of medical attention. At 5pm they suddenly felt “a huge blast rip through the ward”.
<p>“There was debris and dust everywhere and we were in complete shock,” Nasreen recounts. “We could not tell who was where, and how many of us had been injured,” she says.

After the news of two blasts in the city reached the hospital staffers, they prepared for the intake. Little did they know that soon they’d also be in need of medical attention. At 5pm they suddenly felt “a huge blast rip through the ward”.

“There was debris and dust everywhere and we were in complete shock,” Nasreen recounts. “We could not tell who was where, and how many of us had been injured,” she says.

<h2>Dr Seemi Jamali</h2>
<ul>
<li>Director, JPMC Emergency Ward</li>
</ul>

Dr Seemi Jamali

  • Director, JPMC Emergency Ward
<p>Dr Seemi Jamali runs one of the largest and busiest emergency wards in Karachi. Ensuring the safety of her staff and patients is thus one of her biggest concerns. “We have not forgotten the twin bomb attacks right here at the JPMC emergency room back in 2010,” she says. 
<p>The hospital has increased security “considerably” since the attacks. “But it still isn’t enough,” Jamali says.

Dr Seemi Jamali runs one of the largest and busiest emergency wards in Karachi. Ensuring the safety of her staff and patients is thus one of her biggest concerns. “We have not forgotten the twin bomb attacks right here at the JPMC emergency room back in 2010,” she says.

The hospital has increased security “considerably” since the attacks. “But it still isn’t enough,” Jamali says.

<p>"We face violence, assaults, verbal abuse and even death threats all the time," she says.
<p>Even in the face of threats Jamali and her staff try to be empathic. “We know they are dealing with terrible emotional trauma and despair, particularly here at the emergency room,” she says.

"We face violence, assaults, verbal abuse and even death threats all the time," she says.

Even in the face of threats Jamali and her staff try to be empathic. “We know they are dealing with terrible emotional trauma and despair, particularly here at the emergency room,” she says.

<h2>Dr Faisal Tehseen</h2>
<ul>
<li>Emergency Ward, Indus Hospital</li>
</ul>

Dr Faisal Tehseen

  • Emergency Ward, Indus Hospital
<p>Dr Faisal Tehseen says guns in the emergency room are “never a pleasant situation”. He remembers last year a couple who had been in a traffic accident were brought to the Indus Hospital emergency ward.
<p>“The man was not hurt, but his wife had sustained some minor injuries,” Tehseen says. “But her husband had clearly been troubled by the incident,” he adds.

Dr Faisal Tehseen says guns in the emergency room are “never a pleasant situation”. He remembers last year a couple who had been in a traffic accident were brought to the Indus Hospital emergency ward.

“The man was not hurt, but his wife had sustained some minor injuries,” Tehseen says. “But her husband had clearly been troubled by the incident,” he adds.

<p>When the man learnt that his wife was being discharged he started “screaming and abusing the nursing staff”.
<p>The doctors immediately intervened to keep the situation from escalating. A few minutes later the man rushed back into the ER with a Kalashnikov, accompanied by two other men “who were both heavily armed.”
<p>“Even after he was escorted out, we were afraid."

When the man learnt that his wife was being discharged he started “screaming and abusing the nursing staff”.

The doctors immediately intervened to keep the situation from escalating. A few minutes later the man rushed back into the ER with a Kalashnikov, accompanied by two other men “who were both heavily armed.”

“Even after he was escorted out, we were afraid."

<h2>Sabir Christopher</h2>
<ul>
<li>Emergency Vehicle Operator, Aman Ambulance Services</li>
</ul>

Sabir Christopher

  • Emergency Vehicle Operator, Aman Ambulance Services
<p>One morning at 3.30am, Sabir Christopher, an Aman Ambulance Services vehicle operator, picked up a critically ill patient and swiftly proceeding towards JPMC.
<p>Out of nowhere, an armed man walked towards the ambulance. “As we drove towards him, the ambulance lights now illuminating him clearly, he raised the weapons and began firing at us.”

One morning at 3.30am, Sabir Christopher, an Aman Ambulance Services vehicle operator, picked up a critically ill patient and swiftly proceeding towards JPMC.

Out of nowhere, an armed man walked towards the ambulance. “As we drove towards him, the ambulance lights now illuminating him clearly, he raised the weapons and began firing at us.”

<p>Christopher tried his best to avoid the bullets, but several bullets pierced through the windshield. Christopher managed to escape, with the patient staying unscathed. 
<p>“As we sped out of the area we noticed a police vehicle parked on a corner and approached them for help. After hearing what had happened, the police informed us that the situation in the area was very volatile and advised us to leave immediately,” he says.

Christopher tried his best to avoid the bullets, but several bullets pierced through the windshield. Christopher managed to escape, with the patient staying unscathed.

“As we sped out of the area we noticed a police vehicle parked on a corner and approached them for help. After hearing what had happened, the police informed us that the situation in the area was very volatile and advised us to leave immediately,” he says.

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</ul>
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