The inauguration of a dispensary in Biyar village on Friday was like a dream come true for the people.
“The dispensary is a blessing for us as it has been established after a long wait,” said Shamshi Khan, a local villager.
“Many patients would die on their way to the hospital, located at a distance of eight kilometres (kms) which had to be covered on foot,” he added.
Located at a distance of 55 kms from Khaas Dir market in Upper Dir, the village, with a population of over 20,000, was deprived of any health facility.
However, with the generous support of KfW and Raha, the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) fulfilled the long awaited demand of villagers.
Even though going to the hospital in Patrak village was not much of a problem, those requiring urgent medical care had to suffer a great deal on the way.
“The establishment of the dispensary will facilitate the whole union council,” said Zahirullah, another resident.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Executive District Officer Hidayatullah Khan said, “The biggest issue is the shortage of doctors, as they are reluctant to work in this remote area.”
We need a team of doctors to serve the people and offer comprehensive medical facilities, he added.
He gave the assurance that patients would receive an uninterrupted supply of medicines.
“If this project had been executed by the government, it would have cost over Rs5 million. However, using a participatory approach, SRSP has completed it in only Rs2.5 million, which is a great achievement,” he remarked.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.