Karachi - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that he has special affiliation with Malir district because it was created by his leader Benazir Bhutto. “Our government will provide you all the facilities, including roads, good educational institutions, health facilities, water and you have to promise to look after all the institutions that are meant for your health and wellbeing,” he added.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of a hospital built at Memon Goth Malir in partnership with HANDS.

He was accompanied by provincial ministers, Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Jam Khan Shoro, Imdad Pitafi, MNA Hakeem Baloch, MPA Sajid Jokhio, former adviser to CM Haji Muzaffar Shujrah and others.

He said that the Sindh government had launched Public Private Partnership (PPP) unit to start different projects with the help of private sector. “This partnership is not meant for making money or earning profits, but for best delivery of services to the people of the province and enhancing the working capacity and performance of the government,” the CM said.

Murad said that access to quality health care was a challenge for his government, particularly for the marginalised and disadvantaged population where 20 percent lived more than 10 kilometers from a basic health facility and 46 percent lived more than 10 kilometers from a rural health center.

“One in 10 children do not survive to their fifth birthday and roughly one in 89 women die of maternal causes,” he said, and added ,“Around 45 percent of children under the age of five have a stunted growth.”

He said that his government was striving hard to improve health facilities by outsourcing management of primary health care facilities. “The Sindh government and HANDS have joined hands under the public private partnership to run 38 health facilities, including two Sindh government hospitals, 100-beded and 50-beded respectively, two rural centers and fourteen dispensaries,” the CM said, and added that orders for handing over of administration of hospitals to HANDS had been issued on November 1, 2016.

The chief minister said that the HANDS, just after taking over 38 health facilities in Malir, had conducted a survey and found that the overall attendance of the doctors and other staff was 36.6 percent against the 568 filled positions.

“It was found out that these facilities did not include any neonatal or an operation theater,” Murad said, and added, “Only eight health facilities had power connections, six had piped water supply, two had gas connections, one had telephone line, one had a generator, while nearly half of facilities did not have boundary walls.”

He said that the government hospital in Memon Goth, built under public private partnership, had become a success story in Malir district.

 “This hospital started off as a rural health centre 22 years ago when Syed Abdullah Shah was the chief minister, and its SNE was also approved about 12 years ago as Sindh government 50-beded hospital, but it never functioned as a hospital and only its OPD remained functional during the period,” he lamented.

He added that HANDS, under the leadership of Dr Ghafar Bullo, a dedicated social worker, had taken up the hospital and now it looked like a good hospital. “I would extend you full support, including financial, but you have to serve the poor people of Malir with your heart and soul,” he emphasised.

HANDS chief Dr Ghaffar Billo also spoke on the occasion and briefed the chief minister about the efforts he and his organisation were making for the provision of best health facilities to the people of Malir.

Health Minister Dr Sinkadar mendhro also addressed the gathering and promised to support HANDS in discharging of its services for the people.

Earlier, the chief minister inaugurated the 36-beded hospital at Asoo Goth, which has been upgraded to a general hospital with different wards like burns, gynea, maternity and others. The hospital had been constructed at a cost of Rs80 million.

The chief minister also announced to build double road from Malir 15 to Super Highway in Memon Goth, covering all the villages of the area. “On your [people of the area] demand, I am also announcing the launch of  a major water supply scheme,” he said, and added it was to the Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, MPA Sajid Jokhio and MPA of the area Murtaza Baloch to prepare the scheme and start the work because “you can say that funds are at the your disposal,” he told them.

The chief minister also visited senior PPP leader Jam Bijjar to inquire after him.

The chief minister who had started his whirlwind tour from Malir 15 concluded it at Dumba Goth where he visited an under- construction Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Rehabilitation Center for Burns & Rape Survivors.

He said that the center would be a state-of-art health facility established on the brink of motorway and close to more than 50 villages located on both the sides of the road (old Super Highway). The chief minister assured the people of Malir that he would revisit shortly to solve their other problems.