International Medical Corps Regional Coordinator for South Asia, Sonia Walia, interviews Sinam Rahim, International Medical Corps Clinical Psychologist at Nowshera Civil Hospital in Pakistan. The hospital sustained significant damage from the flooding which can be seen behind Rahim during the interview — the cracks were created by powerful floodwaters.
Rahim is providing psychosocial examinations and support services and has seen firsthand the severe emotional toll the floods have taken on the local community.
Walia: What is your name and title?
Rahim: Sinam Rahim, Clinical Psychologist
Walia: What kind of cases are you seeing after the flood?
Rahim: A lot of cases of anxiety, depression, stress and tension.
Walia: Can you tell us a story of a patient that you have seen?
Rahim: One patient today: Her family wants her to marry, but they have lost everything because of the floods, and she is depressed. She has come a second time because she is not receiving any relief.
Walia: This is her second visit?
Rahim: Yes, this is her second visit.
Walia: Will she come back (follow up?)
Rahim: Yes, I have told her to come again.
Walia: How do you do follow up? Do they come here or do you go to them?
Rahim: Both, I see them here if they come here and if they don’t come then I go into the community and find them for follow up.
Walia: How many patients do you see a day?
Rahim: In group psychosocial sessions there are about 11 or 12 patients. Patients that I see alone takes about 45 minutes, and usually that is about 3 to 4 patients a day.
Walia: What information do you give in a group session
Rahim: I give them orientation on what International Medical Corps does and ask them what are you experiencing after the floods. Then they tell me I cry a lot, or I have a lot of tension in my heart or head and then I can identify those that need counseling and bring them for separate counseling.
Walia: Are you seeing any GBV? (Gender-based Violence)
Rahim: Yes, I found one case, I have referred for medical treatment.
Walia: One case?
Rahim: Yes, one case, but its very hard because there are many cases but because of cultural issues no one comes forward and they hide it. We can identify but people don’t really like it. So its better when people come forward themselves.