Pakistan is located in Southern Asia and lies between Afghanistan and India. It has an area that is about twice the size of California. Much of the country is hot desert, but the northwest has temperate zones and the north has some cold desert areas, including some regions of the Himalayas. The land is prone to earthquakes and flooding along the Indus river.
With a population of almost 205 million, Pakistan is the 6th most populous country in the world. This large population lends itself to a diverse distribution of ethnic groups. Punjabi people make up about 45% of the population, with the rest being made up of Pashtun, Sindhi, Saraiki, Muhajirs, Balochis, and other groups. Over 70 different languages are spoken in Pakistan, but Punjabi is by far the most widely spoken, with 48% of Pakistanis understanding the language. The country is predominantly Muslim, and 96% of Pakistanis practice this faith. Christianity, Hinduism, and other religions combine for the other 4% of practices.
Pakistan has seen a gradual increase in their economy since 2012, and their 2017 Gross Domestic Product per capita is $5,400 with an unemployment rate of about 6%. Nonetheless, 29.5% of Pakistanis sit below the poverty line and this is partially the cause of underemployment. The largest industry in Pakistan is textile and apparel export, and they have recently agreed to the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, which aims to increase exports of Pakistani goods and increase their GDP by up to 6%.
Pakistan has struggled to field an effective education system, and according to UNESCO, they rank 113 out of 120 countries on the Educational Development Index. With nearly 50 million illiterate adults, Pakistan exhibits very noticeable inequalities in education. The richest Pakistani men completed secondary school at a 70% rate whereas the poorest men completed the same level of schooling at only 16%.
Pakistan has established universal healthcare but depending on location, the quality of this care can be vastly different. Urban areas typically have adequate hospitals, but in the rural areas of Pakistan, facilities are often poor. Unfortunately, many Pakistani doctors choose to leave their country to pursue practices in other places, resulting in a shortage of readily available medical professionals. Malnutrition has been a public health dilemma for Pakistanis, as almost 40% of children are underweight.
HEMOPHILIA IN PAKISTAN
According to the World Hemophilia Federation, there are 1,400 reported Pakistanis with Hemophilia, and 500 with von Willebrand and other bleeding disorders. The Pakistan Hemophilia Patients Welfare Society (PHPWS) estimates that there are actually 18,000 people with Hemophilia in Pakistan, meaning that over 90% of Pakistani Hemophiliacs are living undiagnosed. High cost of treatment means that some families cannot afford to get the medicine that they so desperately need for their children, resulting in poor joint health and lower life expectancy for their loved ones.