Dr. Farid Midhet's Profile
Dr. Farid Midhet is a medical doctor (MBBS), having advanced training in public
health (Master of Public Health from Columbia and Doctor of Public Health from Johns Hopkins). At the start of his career, he worked as a rural medical officer in remote parts of Balochistan. He joined Aga Khan University in 1985 to teach public health and research to medical students. He left Aga Khan in 1998 to join the NGO sector to design and implement research and intervention projects in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), mostly in rural areas of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab. In 2000, he founded the Safe Motherhood Alliance Pakistan, which was instrumental in developing Pakistan’s first MNCH strategic framework and the National MNCH Program. He also served as Principal Investigator for Pakistan’s first household survey to estimate maternal mortality as part of the Demographic and Health Survey (2006).
Farid is currently Country Director of Jhpiego – an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. He is based in Karachi.
Improving Quality of Healthcare for Mothers and Children in Sindh – patiently!
At the twilight of my professional career, I had the opportunity to serve on an exciting project for improving maternal, newborn and child health services in rural Sindh. This is a USAID funded large-scale project designed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. I am leading a team of over 250 highly skilled professionals who work directly with doctors, nurses, Lady Health Visitors and Community Midwives in public and private health facilities. We also work with Lady Health Workers (LHWs), who are the real agents of change in rural areas.
We are trying to achieve our goal by supporting LHWs to provide basic services and counseling at the mother’s doorstep; setting up referral and transport systems to facilitate mothers who need to visit a hospital, particularly for medical emergencies; improving quality of care at Basic Health Units and private clinics – by training of providers, repairs and renovations, providing equipment where needed, and quality monitoring; and, improving quality of care at District Hospitals and large private hospitals that provide surgery and blood transfusion, through trainings, provision of equipment and supplies, and introducing quality improvement systems.
We are proud to say that we work for ‘nobody’. Her name is Jameela – a woman who is a wife and a mother, who lives in remote villages of Sindh, and for whom getting healthcare is like crossing the Gobi Desert. So far we have been successful in reactivating over 5,000 LHWs and improving services at over 900 BHUs/ private clinics and 40 hospitals in 15 districts of Sindh. We have also set up a referral and transportation system using existing ambulance services as well as private transporters. We are in the fourth year of operation and are confident that our efforts are having a significant impact on maternal and newborn mortality in Sindh.
Dr. Farid Midhet
Jhpiego (Johns Hopkins University affiliate)
University of California at Berkeley