Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre will have a 120-bed maternity ward soon as the construction of this new facility was inaugurated on Monday.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the project, funded by USAID, was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and the outgoing US consul-general, Michael J. Dodman, along with USAID acting provincial director Dr Randy L Hatfield and the upcoming US consul-general Brian Heath. The US aid agency is providing $6 million for the project.
"The foundation that we establish here today is only one part of a broad US commitment to expand access to good quality healthcare for all Pakistanis, especially the people of Sindh," said Dodman, adding that the United States has been a long and active partner in upgrading Pakistan's healthcare sector.
"In 1959, Jinnah hospital became the first institution in Pakistan to provide postgraduate medical education," recalled USAID's Dr Hatfield. USAID also funded the construction of a $3.4-million obstetrics and gynaecology ward at JPMC, which US Ambassador Richard G Olson inaugurated in December, 2012. Before the start of the ceremony on Monday, extraordinary security measures were taken. Shah lauded the valuable contribution of the US government.
He added that the US is spending an additional $387million to implement a four-year-old maternal and child health programme in Sindh that will be completed in 2018.
He also appreciated Dodman's help in initiating other projects in the health, education and sanitation sectors, such as the construction of Jacobabad hospital at a cost of $10 million, the construction of 120 schools at a total cost of $165million, the and implementation of municipal services delivery programme worth $66million. The CM also spoke about the performance of his government in dealing with street crime and busting criminal gangs and militants in Karachi.
The project is expected to be completed within a year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th,2014.