Mahmoud Al Ansari
A group of journalists from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates yesterday visited HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Jammu & Kashmir on the first anniversary of its establishment.
The hospital is an extension of the humanitarian assistance donated by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan , the President of the United Arab Emirates to alleviate the sufferings of the kashmiri people who were incalculably affected from the devastated earthquake of 2005. It is a part of his contribution to the reconstruction and rehabilitation phases.
The hospital complex was designed, constructed and equipped by the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi Municipality under the supervision of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation in accordance with the established international standards most befitting to earthquakes fault line areas or prone to deadly natural disasters. The hospital, the only one of its kind has brought new hopes for better healthy life and has become a landmark in the history of AJK. Free health services are provided to the people of the city and the surrounding villages.
The hospital which costs 28 million US dollars is centrally located, spreading on 70 thousand square meters, replacing totally the destroyed Combined Military Hospital (CMH ) by the disastrous earthquake and stands now as the state of art complex with 250 bed capacity. The Hospital complex covers an area of around 15,000 square meters. A similar hospital has been commissioned in Rawalakot city too.
The main building of the hospital has a magnificent façade; a plain full of lush greenery surrounded by seasonal flowers and colorful roses and well guarded entrance. Moreover, a beautifully built fountain is adding grace and attraction. Moreover, the hospital an environment friendly is equipped with latest machinery, medical/surgical equipment of international standard. Khalifa Hospital has already treated more than half million patients at indoor & outdoor clinics since its inception.
Brig. Shakeel ur Rehman Afridi the Commandant of the hospital briefed the media team about each and every possible aspects of the state of the art hospital. He said that the administration of the hospital was committed to provide best health care to the needy people.
He proudly shared that the College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan (FCPS) has already approved this hospital for training in Anaesthesiology, Othorhionlaryngology, Ophthalmology, orthopedic Surgery, Psychiatry, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the highest levels. He said it is indeed a great achievement of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital. It is of course acknowledgment of the dedicated doctor’s thorough professionalism, nurse’s humanitarian spirits, paramedical staff’s honesty and above all visionary abilities of the hospital administration.
He told journalists, so happily that most recently the AJK government has notified that Sheikh Khalifa hospital is declared as affiliated Teaching Hospital of “Azad Jammu & Kashmir Medical College in Muzaffarabad” which is indeed a great achievement for the hospital.
The commandant and his deputies accompanied the team in go round to every section and department of the hospital. It was observed that despite the rush of patients in Out & Indoor sections no hustle and bustle was seen. The overall degree of cleanness, efficacy of attendants and last not the least the performance oriented spirits of the doctors and surgeons was outstanding .The food served in wards, is hygenic and rich in quality and quantum.
Brigadier Afridi said the hospital receives more than 1700 patients daily. Approaching the wards, Brigadier Afridi said that bed occupancy was above 98 percent and number of patients kept on moving onwards by every passing day. Deputy Commandant Col. Saber talked about the magnificent systems of “Waste Management” and “Loadsheeding Management” in the hospital due to which no loadsheeding and dirt was experienced during the visit. He told that the team by the grace of Allah, the hospital is self-reliant and working in transparent and prudent manners.
At ENT section, the team was told that keeping in view all the cultural barriers elements of service and privacy, the administration have made separate “Male & Female ENT and other sections.
The administration applied golden principles of the “human psychology” in its Child Ward, Family Planning section, and Nursery too. There was a “Play Room”. The nursery and child ward, beautifully decorated with colorful toys, dolls, placards, and drawings has reflected the spirits of caring & sharing softness and kindness The parents and small children felt at home while staying at the hospital.
The team also visited “Emergency ward” which is well equipped. Professional surgeons, practitioners and paramedical staff are working round the clock .The emergency block is provided with two ambulances.
The journalists had a chance to talk to a number of admitted patients and their relatives. Their eyes and hearts were full of hope and thankfulness. They all prayed for the health and longer life of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his noble cause in shape of this hospital. They all are satisfied with the medical services and care they receive. Many patients and their relatives were thankful to the placidness of the technical staff, compassionate nature of nurses, facilitating character of paramedical staff and above all human spirits of the doctors and surgeons for their treatment.
At “Orthopedic Ward”, a surgeon shared that his section succeeded to replace hip and lower parts of the human body which was a remarkable medical breakthrough in Pakistan. He proudly stated that every surgery along with medicines were totally free to all the citizens of AJK. Lithroscopy ward has already successfully treated more than eight hundred patients since its inauguration.
To keep the doctors, surgeons and technical staff updated the hospital had a Library and well designed Symposium hall .Workshops and conferences on the different technical and medical topics have already been conducted in the hospital which proved beneficial to all the participants. So, Sheikh Khalifa hospital also became the best learning destination for the professors and students too.
Burn Unit was properly placed and organized. All precautionary measures were taken to safeguard the lives of several patients with high degree burns. It was noted that Holy Quran Verses decorate the corridors of the hospital which looked so valuable through motivation and morals projection. Public awareness campaigns and messages in the hospital conveyed good impression.
During his talks Brig. Afridi noted that the hospital urgently needed extension in OPD, ICU and Cardiology wards for the better medical treatment of the patients. He also requested for the early start of “Phase II construction work at the hospital which would be helpful for the people of AJK in the years to come. He stressed the need to have continued cash-flow especially in shape of working capital so that day to day management of expenses could be easily done.
He said Military attaches of several friendly countries have already been in this hospital and they all appreciated the efforts of the administration along with the services and expertise given to all the patients free of cost. Many foreign delegations use to pay personal visits and got mesmerized about the state of the art in the hospital.
Replying to a question on the hierarchical chart of the hospital, Brig. Afridi said that there were 500-600 civilian employees along with 230 military personnel working together for the welfare of the patients and needy people.
At the end Commandant Brig. Shakeel ur Rehman Afridi, Deputy Commandant Col. Saber showed their gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE for his humanitarian assistance to the people of the AJK after earthquake 2005. They spoke highly about the timely help to the people of quake-affected areas in order to alleviate their sufferings and lessen their agonies and healing of sorrows. They shared that hospital is the act of novelty, generosity, keenness and kindness that well be cherished in the memories of AJK people for generations to come.
The complex consists of three main components, the main hospital building, ancillary buildings, two hostels as accommodation for doctors and nursing staff and a Villa for Medical Superintendent of the hospital as well as a helipad ground.
The two storyed hospital has four elevators and staircases comprise up Out-Patient Department (OPD), Specialist Clinics, Pathology Department, Radiology Department having latest MRI, CT Scan, Fluoroscopy, General X-ray, Mammography, OPG, Eye/ENT surgery and Ultrasound, besides a Blood Bank.
There are 6 fully equipped operation theaters, dialysis room, ICU, CCU and recovery wards with latest monitoring systems. The hospital has a fully equipped emergency unit and several wards e.g. orthopedic, physiotherapy psychiatry, burn, medical and surgical for male and female patients, children and a maternity with neonatal care and a private ward. Besides this, Central kitchen, cafeteria, gift shops, pharmacy, complete administration blocks with library, symposium hall,
Ancillary facilities like CSSD, Laundry, Incinerator, Mortuary, Plant room, Two substations, metering room, stand-by generators, underground water tank (100,000 gallons) are also provided in the hospital. Beside these facilities, there is a sewerage treatment plant, which can treat 40,000 gallon sewerage per day. Out of treated water, 20,000 gallons are used for irrigation and 20,000 gallons is dispose off in city sewer. Morganti Group, Osmani and Company (Pvt.) Ltd., Project Consultants and M/s. Al-Jawahir Technical Pakistani Contracting Company worked for building of this hospital.
Going in the historical perspectives, Khalifa hospital was inaugurated by Dr. Hanif Hassan Ali, Minister of Health of the United Arab Emirates and the former Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Mohammad Yaqub Khan and was attended by the special representative. The members of UAE delegation HE Khalfan Sultan Al-Kitbi, undersecretary, Presidential Affairs, HE Nasir Khalifa Al-Badoor, Secretary of Health Ministry, HE Ali Saif Sultan Al-Awani, the Ambassador of the UAE to Pakistan, HE Ali Ubaid Al-Ali, Additional Secretary, Health Authority, Abu Dhabi and HE Engineer Abdullah Saeed Al-Shamsi, head of operations and maintenance, Abu Dhabi Municipality graced the occasion.
At a later date, the Prime Minister of Pakistan HE Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, accompanied by the President of AJK Raja Zulkarnain Khan unveiled the plaque carrying the name of the President of UAE HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan declaring the formal commissioning of the hospital. The Prime Minister stated that after a tour of the hospital that this noble act reflects the height of humanitarian assistance by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE. It also shows depth of the brotherly relations between the two countries and will cherish in the memory of people of Pakistan forever.
According to Health officials in Muzafferabad, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Muzafferabad has undoubtedly become centre of hope, life, recovery, survival and above all rehabilitation for the needy patients in AJK. They said that the hospital has succeeded to lessen human miseries and agonies after the dangerous earthquake of 2005 and the infinite voyage of service, sincerity and sensitivity is going on and on and achieving high standards of accreditation and professionalism. Sheikh Khalifa hospital is also creating history while doing noble cause to injured and wounded patients.
Keeping in view, the high performance and result oriented ratios of the doctors and surgeons posted in this hospital many patients prefer to be admitted in this hospital rather to be treated elsewhere in AJK because it is safe heavens for them. In simple words, this hospital is the icon of humanity, dignity, and supremacy in all respects. The successful operative nature of the hospital shows that the UAE always seeks to update its humanitarian, charity and health programmes to cover larger numbers of the needy people around the globe. Long live HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his humanity services and vision about the wellbeing of the needy, struggling and poor people.