Operation Ouch: Making a first aid kit

Operation Ouch: Making a first aid kit

When your little heroes need a little back up. 

Growing up my mom’s handbag was like a small version of Mary Poppins carpet bag. Everything was in there. If you fell, she had a first aid kit. If you had a stray thread that needed to be cut, she had scissors.

All needs and small emergencies could be resolved in the confines of her purse. I loved this about my mom! Now that I’m the mom, I value my bag for this same reason and strive to emulate her example.

I don’t think I will ever have the same size of bag nor the content, given our daily busy schedules as busy working mums.

But perhaps we can cover the basics, so for this first article in a series I will cover the most important part, a basic first aid kit, before you get started lets take a second to jot down the emergency numbers for where you live:

  • 1122 – This is the number for Rescue 1122 and you can dial this number for fire and medical rescue in all of Punjab, KPK, Islamabad, Murree and Kashmir.
  • 115 – Every Pakistani knows this number, this number will put you through to EDHI ambulance, not as well equipped or well trained as Rescue 1122 but still they will help you when you need them and for free.
  • 16 – Fire Brigade number can be dialled in any part of Pakistan
  • 15 – Police Rescue
  • 021-111-11-2626 – Aman Ambulance service, Karachi only. They only have a few ambulances but provide a high level of service

Consider using a medium plastic zip lock bag, these can be purchased at any local market:

A simple zip lock bag can keep all your first aid items secure. 

There are a few first aid necessities that belong in every kit. These should be included no matter where you plan to use the kit—be it in the home, in the car, for camping, or for another purpose.

These include:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • One or two finger splints, you can use ice lolly sticks for this
  • An elastic conforming bandage
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Eye bandages x1 minimum
  • Triangular bandage for wrapping injuries or creating a sling x 2 minimum
  • Latex or non-latex gloves for handling bodily fluids x 3 pairs
  • Antibiotic ointment ( this is a good to have item )
  • Cotton swabs ( at least 5)
  • Antiseptic towelettes for cleaning minor wounds ( You can also use prep swabs available from medical stores ).
  • Imodium tablets to relieve diarrhoea
  • Female Sanitary pad ( this one is a no brainer ).

This is the minimum you should have on your person in a handbag, laptop bag or purse. If you want to make another kit to keep in the house, why not recycle an old lunch box:

You can buy first aid boxes, but i prefer these Kawaii lunch boxes 😀

And in addition to the items above just add a few extras such as:

  • a baby bulb suction device ( Rs. 30 )
  • an hot/cold pack
  • hand sanitizer gel
  • sterile cotton swabs and balls
  • tweezers
  • a thermometer: digital & strip
  • a spare zip lock bag
  • Medicine syringe without needle or small plastic cup ( to wash eyes with )
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs
  • First aid booklet or you can install an app on your phone



The thankless thin blue line

The thankless thin blue line


As the wife of a police officer my heart aches when reading about the sacrifices these brave men and women make everyday to protect the public. The level of risk our constables and officers are exposed to is just crazy.

A police officer must be many things at once. The police officer is of all people at times the most needed, the most wanted and yet the most hated.

At times the police officer is addressed as Sir and at other times s/he is the focused target of violence, intimidation and every expletive in the Urdu and English dictionary combined. The trust deficit between the public and police is a growing gulf, exacerbated by the public image, personal interactions and lack of community outreach.

Historically be it Pakistan or elsewhere, we have witnessed underscored incidents of dishonesty and brutality, poor judgement and excessive force, because that is news. As if we are all living in some Orwellian nightmare police state.

Buried under the froth is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergymen! – Paul Harvey Aurandt.

But just beneath the surface, beyond all the “bad-press” and “bad -eggs” what do we fail to see?  We fail to see the father or mother, kiss their children before going on duty, we fail to see the constable standing in rain or shine sometimes for more than 8 to 10 hours with over 31 lbs of equipment strapped to their person, exposed to a threat level that would make most Hollywood super cops quake in their boots.

Crucified in public for both action and restraint, exposed to the best and the worst in our society. Whilst constables and officers are by the very nature of their profession and oath open to a high level of public scrutiny and accountability, we should not forget the human stories behind the badge.

Per a report published by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, 221 police officers paid the ultimate price whilst carrying out their duties in the year 2016.

Per a report published by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, 221 police officers paid the ultimate price whilst carrying out their duties in the year 2016. Regardless of the job description, no one should have to wake up exposed to the constant threat that they may or may not see their family again for a basic salary just shy of rupees 25,000.

I am not advocating that we as a country give the people who uphold the law carte blanche when it comes to use of force or enforcing the law and order, neither can one overlook our present malaise when it comes to endless roadblocks, check posts and spot checks.

The public the world over are at times not privy to the means and methods in which security agencies obtain information, we are immune to the many threats faced by our men and women in uniform because someone decided to wake up, put on a uniform and man that check post without any expectation of public appreciation for the brave sacrifice for being that thin blue line between order and chaos, law and lawlessness.

I don’t claim to know if check-posts and random searches are the best tactic to prevent crime and terrorism, but I do know that the next time I am stopped at a check post by a constable and asked for ID, I am going to shake their hands and thank them for their service.