My Journey at Saaya
I joined Saaya in October 2019 during the two months long preparatory and exams leave. By the time my journey actually started, it was already January 2020. At that time COVID’19 was making headlines, but it was still confined to Wuhan. We started the year with a Diabetes Awareness Campaign at Civil Hospital, where I supervised the organizing department and volunteers. It was the first time I spent a significant amount of time observing the attendants and the appalling condition of the largest Public Hospital of Sindh. This was my first experience with Saaya, I was really impressed, as the campaign targeted the right audience. Most of the awareness campaigns are conducted on social media or in educational institutes that target the educated privileged class of people. Whereas Saaya along with social media campaigns, specifically targeted the uneducated underprivileged population, who do not have access to internet or financial resources to visit paramedic staff for general queries.
Soon after the Diabetes Awareness Campaign, COVID’19 started spreading like wildfire. All educational institutes were closed, and the country was in a state of lockdown. In such circumstances, people usually prefer to stay inside their safe zone, but Saaya went beyond. On 26th February, first case of Coronavirus was reported in Pakistan. The very next day, Saaya initiated an awareness campaign, Mission Corona, to combat the spread of misinformation. Little did we know, what a massive project this would turn to. As the number of cases escalated, a shortage of PPE became apparent. To help the frontline heroes, Saaya undertook the responsibility of PPEs provision. Although, the PPEs distribution started from Civil Hospital Karachi, soon we were supplying PPEs to other hospitals in Karachi and other cities like Larkana, Sukkur, Hyderabad and Jamshoro.
Mission Corona started as an awareness campaign but it expanded due to the needs of time and people during which Saaya distributed ration bags, pulse oximeters and oxygen cylinders; set up a screening point in Mardan; set up COVID’19 Emergency units at Dow Ojha; established COVID helpline; and donated a ventilator. Everything Saaya achieved during the pandemic is itself an indicative of what’s to come in the nearby future.