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Designed to bring high quality healthcare services to the earthquake survivors, the rural health centers will be located in the North West Frontier Province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. More than 60% of the primary care facilities in these regions were damaged or destroyed during the October 8 quake; the AmeriCares initiative will replace key facilities in critical areas. Each rural health center—a small hospital—will serve a population between 50,000 to 100,000 people; in total, the 20 hospitals will reach at least 1,000,000 people. AmeriCares will purchase the structures, fully equip each center and supply each with essential medicines as well as an ambulance. In total, AmeriCares will be spending $3.4 million to fund this project. Work will begin this month.
“The construction of these rural community health centers will allow us to deliver comprehensive primary care services to many people in the affected areas,” says Dr. Khalif Bilé Mohamud, WHO representative in Pakistan.
“After having survived the earthquake and then a harsh winter, the people in these two regions still face many challenges in terms of access to healthcare,” says AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling.
More than 80,000 deaths occurred as a result of the 7.6-magnitude quake, another estimated 80,000 were injured and more than 3 million were left homeless. This latest initiative is just part of AmeriCares comprehensive relief effort to aid the survivors. In October, AmeriCares delivered two airlifts carrying more than $8 million of essential medicines, tents and blankets; in early December, AmeriCares delivered and constructed a field hospital that is currently providing medical care to an area of 150,000 residents in the isolated Allai Valley. In an earlier collaborative effort with the WHO, AmeriCares delivered one million doses of HibTiter® vaccine via airlift to Pakistan in late December.