Karachi: Consul General of the United States of America in Karachi Michael J Dodman and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah jointly performed the ground breaking ceremony of construction of a new 120-bed maternity ward at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) on Monday.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing $6 million to fund the project. USAID Acting Provincial Director Dr Randy L Hatfield, incoming US Consul General Karachi Brian Heath, Chief Secretary Sindh Saleem Sajjad Hotiana, Executive Director JPMC Dr Tasnim Ehsan, Prof Shireen Bhutta, Prof Tariq Mehmood and other senior official attended the ceremony.
Consul General Michael Dodman said foundation that we establish here today is only one part of a broad US commitment to expanding access to quality health care for all Pakistanis, especially the people of Sindh.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah said improving health delivery system is the top priority of provincial government. He said maternity ward would be completed in one year with support of USAID. He said provincial government allocated more funds for health and education sectors in current budget to bring further improvement in these sectors.
United States has been a long and active partner in upgrading Pakistan’s health care sector. In 1959, Jinnah Hospital and Indiana University launched a Basic Medical Services Institute. “This became the first institution in Pakistan to provide postgraduate medical education,” said USAID Acting Provincial Director Dr Randy L Hatfield.
USAID also funded construction of a $3.4 million obstetrics/gynaecology (Ob/Gyn) ward at JPMC, which US Ambassador Mr Richard G Olson inaugurated in December 2012. Dr Hatfield also had words of praise for USAID’s partner: Izhar Construction.
USAID’s $387 million Maternal and Child Health Program based mostly in Sindh is saving women’s and children’s lives. It improves and enhances the quality and availability of key family planning and reproductive health as well as maternal, neonatal, and child health services.
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