Tara Orakzai

PARACHINAR: Over 200 posts of lady health workers (LHWs) and supervisors are vacant in Kurram tribal district for the last several years.

Basmina, a girl from Lower Kurram, said she had applied for the post of LHW in 2020 and her name was also short-listed for interview, but it could not be arranged despite passage of one year.

“My husband recently died after which I am looking after my children since there is no one else to help our family. I applied for the LHW post in a hope of earning livelihood, but interview was cancelled,” she said while talking to TNN.

District Health Officer (DHO) Inayatur Rehman said LHWs and supervisors were appointed last time in Kurram in 2003. He said currently 200 posts of LHWs and 10 supervisors are vacant in Lower and Central Kurram, while there is no vacancy in Upper Kurram. He said when the vacancies were advertised, Upper Kurram also demanded half of these posts, after which the recruitment process was stalled. He said he has written a letter to concerned authorities in this regard, and a decision is expected in favour of Lower Kurram, and appointed is also expected soon.

National Program Coordinator Dr Javed said a lot of efforts were made for approval of these posts after 2003. He said Kurram needs LHWs badly as the existing strength is very low.

Salma, a local resident, had also attached her hopes with these vacancies, as she wanted to earn livelihood and also serve the area, but now her hopes are fading. She told TNN that LHW is a good job for women as it doesn’t need high qualification and the duty is also performed in own area. She said LHWs serve the humanity by taking part in vaccination and creating awareness about cleanliness and other important health-related matters.

Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from Kurram Muhammad Riaz Shaheen said he is in contact with concerned authorities and efforts are being made for arranging interviews for the posts soon. Several educated girls like Salma and Basmina have called upon the government to complete the recruitment process on vacant seats of LHWs without further delay.

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