TAXILA: A health unit established during the British era to cater to the medical need of patients from over 20 villages in Makhad Sharif in Pindigheb, Attock, is in dire need of maintenance.

The Government Rural Dispensary, which spreads over 17 kanals and 11 marlas with a covered area of 1.14 kanals, is providing medical facilities to inhabitants of the area despite its depilated condition as one doctor and a dispenser are performing duties with a sufficient stock of medicines.

As the building is in the ruins, patients are treated in the residence of the medical officer under arrangements made by the staff.

Male and female patients form Nilhad, Dhoke Bhangi Khel, Sukhwan, Dhoke Rehmat, Lunda, Bandiwan, Dhoke Haji Ramzan, Bhatha, Chhoi, Naka Khurd, Naka Afghan and Dhoke Sherin came here for medical treatment. Besides, people from KP who live in areas near Makhad Sharif which include Shakardara, Rehmanabad, Chishmi and Jamal Mela also visit the dispensary to avail of the healthcare facilities.

The health unit is also facing paucity of medical equipment, examination beds, chairs, tables and benches for patients as well as staff.

Iqbal Khattak, a historian of the area, said as per the Attock district gazetteer, this dispensary was established in 1926. During the last 95 years it has been providing health facilities but for the last some years it has been ignored by the authorities and no funds are released for its maintenance.

The dilipidated Government Rural Dispensary in Makhad Sharif in Pindigheb. — Dawn
The dilipidated Government Rural Dispensary in Makhad Sharif in Pindigheb. — Dawn

Israr Khattak, another resident of the area, said the dispensary has a doctor and medicines are also available but the building and furniture give a look of old relics as its maintenance has not been done for the last two decades. He said that deputy commissioner Attock Imran Hamid Sheikh, who held an open court in Makhad Sharif, was also apprised of the pathetic condition of the health unit but no step has been taken so far to address the issue.

Khalid Lodhi, a notable of the area, said the rooms built for the dispensary are now in poor shape. He said that a lady health visitor should also be posted to the dispensary. He said maintenance work had not been carried out on the building for over two decades.

According to the medical officer appointed at the unit, sufficient medicines are available and one dispenser is posted to assist him.

When contacted, Chief Executive Officer District Health Authority Dr Jawwad Elahi confirmed the poor condition of the health unit. He said issues related to the health unit were under the notice of the district health department and repair as well as rehabilitation work would be carried out when adequate funds are made available.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2021

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