KHAIRPUR, Nov 27: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that Iranian government has agreed to extend help in the establishment of healthcare facilities in the province.
Initially, such facilities were being built in Khairpur and Larkana districts with their help, said the chief minister while addressing a ground-breaking ceremony of the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital here on Wednesday.
The hospital is being built along the National Highway near Murad village at a cost of Rs150 million jointly by the Sindh and Iranian governments.
He said that the hospitals to be built with Iranian assistance would be equipped with state of the art machinery and provide special healthcare facilities to mothers and children. He said there was no separate hospital for women and children in the district where many women often died during childbirth merely because of lack of advanced health facilities.
After completion, this hospital would prove to be a blessing for the poor women who could not afford expensive treatment at private hospitals, he said.
He said that a scheme for civil hospital in Khairpur at an estimated cost of Rs600 million was approved during past PPP government but it fell victim to official apathy and only two or three blocks of the scheme had been completed till this day.
The budget for the scheme had to be raised from Rs600 to 1000 million because of rise in inflation in the intervening years, he said, adding the construction of the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital would be completed in two years.
He said that Iran is a brotherly Muslim country and a neighbour with which “we share common religious and cultural values”. Iran and Turkey had extended great help to Sindh during 2010 floods which had devastated almost half the province, he said.
Mehdi Subhani, consul general of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said that Pakistan and Iran are important brotherly states which share common values of religion, culture and geography.
He said that Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had issued special directives to extend whatever help Pakistan needed during floods and other natural disasters and so the Iranian government donated $60 million to the country’s relief efforts during floods. He said that it was the third project in Sindh which the Iran government had launched jointly with the provincial government. Earlier, a number of projects were launched in Garhi Khuda Bux, Naudero and Benazirabad, he said. He said the establishment of Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital would cater to the needs of people of this region which in turn would bring immense pleasure to the Iranian government.
Project Consultant Shafi Mohammad Lakho told the ceremony that Rs100 million would be spent on the construction of this hospital which would comprise 40 beds. Rs50 million would be utilised on purchase of the latest machinery and equipment for the hospital, he added.
Sukkur Commissioner Niaz Ali Abbasi and DC Khairpur Munawar Ali Mithiani presented traditional Sindhi caps and Ajraks to Iranian guests.
Earlier, when the chief minister arrived at Khairpur Circuit House, District Bar Association (DBA) President Shafqat Mahesar along with heads of his community announced joining the PPP.