Mirpur          -       President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Masood Khan on Sunday urged medical fraternity particularly physicians of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir to voice their concern over the worst health crisis in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

“The people in IIOJK are faced with the worst health crisis of their history as the Indian occupation forces use pellet guns as a mean of crowed control maiming, blinding, and injuring them,” he said. Sardar Masood was addressing a gathering of over 500 doctors and senior health consultants across the country at an annual mid-summer meet in the State’s metropolis on Sunday. According to AJK President Office, the event, organized by Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM), was also addressed by President of PSIM, Prof Javed Akram, Senior Vice President Prof Aziz Rehman, Dr Somia Iqtadar, Prof Bikha Ram Devrajani and others, AJK President office told media on Sunday.

The AJK President said IIOJK people had not only suffered from grievous eye injuries but also had been denied access to communication as well as all level of primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare amidst year-long lockdown. 

“The occupied territory lacks healthcare staff, drugs, surgical material and the equipment needed for healthcare,” he said and cited a report published by the Wall Street Journal, which had suggested that hospitals in IIOJK have become graveyards because of a crisis like humanitarian and health emergency situation prevails there.

Citing another report released by Doctors Sans Frontier (MSF) compiled in collaboration with the University of Kashmir, Masood Khan said some sort of mental distress, anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) prevails among nearly 1.8 million Kashmiri adults – 45 per cent of the region’s adult population. 

“Children seeing killings, physical torture, sexual abuses and destroyed properties before them are particularly suffering from PTSD,” he added.

Referring to the recent spread of the corona pandemic, he said Pakistan and Azad Kashmir had risen to the occasion and responded to the catastrophe with courage and resilience. 

“By the grace of Almighty Allah, we have done well despite all limitation by keeping the number of fatalities extremely low,” he said.

The AJK president said at present, three public sector medical colleges and one in the private sector were producing about 400 graduates annually.