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T&A appeal-funded hospital in Pakistan to open next month
A hospital in Pakistan being built with the help of cash from a Telegraph & Argus appeal is due to open the doors to its first outpatient next month.
The T&A teamed up with the Lord Mayor of Bradford’s Kashmir Earthquake Appeal Trust to build a hospital after more than 87,000 people lost their lives and hospitals were wiped out when a devastating earthquake struck close to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-governed Azad Kashmir, in 2005.
Meanwhile a group of doctors in the Midlands, who helped the victims after the disaster, set up the Midland Doctors Association UK (MDAUK), also to build a hospital.
The appeals were combined with T&A readers donating £81,707.52 – and a ward at the hospital is due to be named after the T&A.
Dr Asrar Rashid, executive secretary of MDAUK, said the hospital was due to open for outpatients this month, but it had been moved back to the middle of November, with the rest of the hospital open by March 2013.
He said: “Planning is afoot, in the first phase, to open the outpatient clinic.
“Such a task involves Human Resources, health and safety, pharmacy planning, a working lab and X-ray facility, to name just a few areas of need.
“Given the scope of a project that has not been seen in this area of north Pakistan, every step is challenging.
“However, with the grace of God, the help of good people and amazing donors, we have every faith in making this a momentous achievement, for which the people of Bradford will be proud of.”
The construction is built to withstand earthquakes reaching a magnitude of nine, with hundreds of tonnes of steel and concrete foundations going 8ft deep.
Dr Rashid said MDAUK chairman Syed Iftikhar had been working hard to keep a tight grip on finances.
He said: “To date, we have spent 50 per cent less than if we had used contractors. The disadvantage is the extra time involved, but at least the construction is matching charitable donations from the likes of Bradford via the T&A.”