SWAT - The people of floods and war affected areas of Swat and Lower Dir are still deprived of health care and education facilities despite a great deal of work done by nongovernmental organisations due to the governments meagre allocations for the social sector. A visit of media persons to Swat and Lower Dir organised by Save the Children, an NGO, revealed that most of the far flung areas of Swat and Lower Dir still awaited basic health and education facilities and the work done by the government and nongovernmental organisations was not well-coordinated and enough to cater to the needs of the population. It was learnt that Save the Children had been running different programmes of primary health care and mother and child health care services, basic education and awareness programmes for war and flood affectees in Swat and Lower Dir. The two-day media visit was organised to the areas with an aim to assess the performance of the organisation and highlight the problems of the affectees still lying unmet. In collaboration with the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), Save the Children has established 20 basic health units (BHUs) and 16 psychosocial learning centres (PLCs) in Swat and Lower Dir. In the learning centres, children of different age group are given training to protect themselves from abuse and they are provided with various recreational facilities to play and learn under the guidance of supervisors. Lower Dir is rated at number 89 among all the districts of the country in terms of literacy rate and such centres have been creating awareness among the children of this district about their rights and personal hygiene, and providing facilities playing facilities to those who otherwise do not have any access to such opportunities due to poverty and other reasons, said Muhammad Saleem of Save the Children. Riaz Muhammad, coordinator of the centres, said the children are also made aware about corporal punishment and there are cases where the children refused to go to schools due to fear of punishment. He said the community mobilizers of Save the Children go to schools and hold sessions with the teachers to end the trend of punishing the child. Even the community mobilizers go to homes and persuade the parents to deal with their children with care and love, he added. The organisation has also been providing basic health facilities to the people of the area by arranging the services of doctors, Lady Health Visitors (LHVs) and providing free medicines in 10 government hospitals of Swat and Lower. It has arranged a male doctor, LHV and attendants for each government hospital along with free medicine and hygiene and delivery kits for the patients. Two civil dispensaries, two civil hospitals and two rural health care centres in Swat and four hospitals in Lower Dir have been providing such facilities. However, during a visit to Barikot Civil Hospital and Manglore Civil Hospital, a number of women and children outside the offices of the organisation was witnessed sitting on the floor, as there was no sitting arrangements for them. Discussions with the government doctors working in the same hospitals and patients revealed that the patients were gathered there only to get free medicine and kits otherwise government doctors were also on duty and the patients could visit them. A female government doctor working Barikot hospital requesting anonymity said this NGO has destroyed all the system of the hospital and patients just have been visiting the doctors and LHVs appointed by the NGO just to get hygiene and delivery kits. She was of the view that the efforts of the organisation were not well coordinated as government doctors and LHVs have already been working in hospitals but facilities are missing due to financial constraints thus it would have been a lot better if the facilities or grants were provided to the hospitals so that already set up health care system could have been improved instead of establishing a parallel system. Its important to be stated that the aftermath of July 2010 catastrophic floods in Pakistan affected nearly 20 million people of which 8.8 million are estimated to be children. And the health teams of the organisation, according to them, have treated fourteen thousand cases of diarrhoea, which is amongst the prevalent life threatening disease for children under five years of age in Pakistan. Furthermore, the project has provided free medical consultations along with essential medicines to hundred and forty thousand people in Swat, Lower Dir and DI Khan. At the national level, Save the Children responded to the emergency needs as the disaster unfolded and has successfully reached out to more than four million children and adults in all the four provinces with immediate assistance, including medical care, shelter and non-food items, food, livelihoods support, and child protection and education interventions.