KARACHI - Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed has said that emphasis is being laid on providing better treatment facilities to pregnant women, mothers and new-born so as to achieve targets set under millennium development goals by 2015.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of new 3-storey, 60 bedded Obstetrics and Gynae complex established at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC), with the financial assistance of US$4.5 million by USAID, here on Tuesday.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson, Health Secretary Aftab Ahmed Khatri, Consul General of the US at Karachi Michael Dodman, JPMC Executive Director Professor Tasneem Ahsan were also present on the occasion.

Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that this new OBGYN complex would have OPD, ultrasound, a small laboratory and minor procedure rooms, on the ground floor. It would also have 60 inpatients beds on 2nd floor, including a 10 bedded High Dependency Unit and a Fistula Ward, including a seminar hall, library, workshop hall & skills laboratory. He thanked the USAID for donating US$4.5 million building in place of the old outpatients department. He highlighted that a hospital is being constructed at Jacobabad with the assistance of USAID. This hospital would cater treatment needs of not only patients of Sindh but of Baluchistan also, he added. Minister Health said that the tradition of philanthropy and public private partnership is strong in the institution. The Marium Ali Muhammad Tabba Foundation (MATF) donated a building block consisting of labour wards & operation theaters to it in the year 2000. As a result, the number of annual deliveries has gone up from 6000 in the year 2000 to 16,000 annually at present. He said that USAID has contributed significantly in the health projects of this province.

He said that JMPC is the biggest treating hospital where only in OBS & Gynae OPD over one lac patients come and more than 16000 deliveries are performed, annually. It caters for the treatment needs of not only patients of Karachi, but also that of interior Sindh and other provinces.

Speaking on the occasion, US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson said that Health and Education were the priority for USAID as these are the pillars of social sector and help in growth of a society. He further said that USAID was attaching top priority for quality health to mothers and new-born and children up to 5 years of age. He assured that USAID would continue its cooperation in future also.

Later, Provincial Minister Health and American Ambassador inaugurated the complex and visited each floor of the complex.