Ba Ikhtiyaar Sitara, Sehatmand Muashira

Project Lead’s message:

It is quite satisfying to lead a project in communities like Lyari that empowers women with self-care model. Women in Pakistan need quality healthcare that is accessible and affordable to them. Through social mobilization efforts, Greenstar reaches these women in their households for post-abortion care. What else could be a better gift to a woman to give her the charge of her health? Indeed, it is the best feeling as a professional and a woman myself!

Ba Ikhtiyaar Sitara
team members

Team Members

Dr. Sana Durvesh   Head of Social Franchise & DGM – Programs

Shumaila Naseer  Assistant Manager – Quality Assurance

Kulsum Khan  Program Manager

Creating a community-based self-sustaining ecosystem for improving access to self-care model, especially post-abortion care.

In 2002, Pakistani women experienced about 2.4 million unintended pregnancies; nearly 900,000 of these pregnancies were terminated by induced abortions. This amounts to 29 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Of every 100 pregnancies, 14 ended in induced abortion.

  • Around 34,500 women in Lyari will gain awareness about self-care, especially family planning and post-abortion care.
  • Around 5,000 women will get quality self-care services at Sitara Houses.
  • 8 out of 10 Sitara Houses will sustain beyond the project life (financial independency of Sitara Bajis through sales of products, screening services and referrals).
  • Women in communities will have improved knowledge about family planning, post-abortion care, nutritional deficiencies (calcium, vitamin, iron), menstrual hygiene and female-related cancers (breast, cervical and ovarian).

Success stories

A “Sitara Baji of this pilot project in Lyari feels plentifully delighted since she is employed in this project as a social mobilizer. She said that after her marriage and children, she was staying at home as a housewife. It has become much more difficult to survive and make ends meet in the country’s growing inflation and rising prices of commodities. When she got hired as a social mobilizer  in this project, it gave her recognition within her own neighbourhood and a substantial opportunity to stand as a “Woman Entrepreneur”. Employment in this project also gave her a learning prospect while attending comprehensive training on self-care, social mobilization, Values Clarification & Attitude Transformation (V-CAT), and social entrepreneurship. She can now adequately counsel the women and girls of her community on the self-care model and post-abortion care.

The project hired 10 sitara bajis and helped build Sitara Houses inside their own homes, where one room is dedicated as a Sabz Sitara House.

Sitara Bajis are given an advantage of financial sustainability by providing them products to sell, doing screening services at their Sitara Houses and referring clients to nearby healthcare providers.

The self-care model has encouraged sitara bajis to work zealously for women of Lyari community by providing a designated and confined home-based solution to seek information and care in privacy and confidentiality.

Furthermore, an ecosystem of telehealth is built by connecting community women with expert doctors through video-based consultation. The team of specialists include gynaecologists, paediatricians, psychologists, and dermatologists.

About the Donor

Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. Grand Challenges Canada supports integrating science and technology, social and business innovation – known as Integrated Innovation®. GCC is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact and has supported a pipeline of over 1,400 innovations in 96 countries. GCC estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1.78 million lives and improve up to 64 million lives by 2030.