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Rural Health Centers Open in Pakistan

  • December 6, 2006
 Before: The health center demolished by the earthquake

The first AmeriCares-supported rural health center was inaugurated in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.  This was the first in a network of 20 health care facilities being completed under a joint agreement between AmeriCares and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Located in Garhi Duphatta in the Muzzafarabad District of Kashmir, the opening of this clinic restored health care services to a community that has been without local medical care since a 7.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Pakistan in October 2005.  The quake, which killed more than 80,000 people, destroyed more than 60% of the primary care facilities in Kashmir and the adjacent North West Frontier Province. Earlier this year, AmeriCares committed to rebuilding 20 rural health centers in key areas, to support the ongoing post-earthquake recovery effort.  Five of the clinics are now operational, and the remaining 15 will be completed in March.

AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling traveled to Garhi Duphatta for the inaugural ceremony, which had been organized by the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority and WHO Pakistan.

Each rural health center – a small hospital — serves a population of between 50,000 to 100,000 people; in total, the 20 hospitals will reach at least 1,000,000 people.  AmeriCares purchased and equipped the structures, and is supplying them with essential medicines. 

 After: One of 20 rural health centers funded by AmeriCares in Pakistan

This latest initiative for AmeriCares in Pakistan, representing a commitment of $3.4 million, is just part of a comprehensive relief effort to aid the earthquake survivors.  Three airlifts last year delivered more than $9 million in medicines, medical supplies, vaccines, tents and other relief to Pakistan; AmeriCares also constructed and equipped a rural field hospital in the isolated village of Bana last December.  Today, under the management of AmeriCares partner Save the Children, this facility continues to provide health care services to thousands of local residents every month.