March 18, 2014
Mr. Kawasaki presenting his views at the event
Islamabad, 18 March 2014: "The Project for Improvement of Child Health Institute in Karachi" was launched today to mark the start of its construction work. The ground breaking ceremony for the project was held today in Karachi, jointly attended by Dr. Sikandar Ali Mandhro, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Environment, Coastal Development Authority, H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Pakistan Office. The Government of Japan provided grant assistance worth 1.423 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to around Rs. 1.38 billion) for this project which is implemented through JICA.
Sindh Government's Child Health Institute receives pediatric patients from all over the northern Karachi city, whose population is approximately 4.16 million and that of children under 12 (the beneficiary group of the project) is approximately 1.77 million. However, the existing setup of this institute can provide limited medical services due to lack of facilities and equipment. Patients that require specialized pediatric medical treatment are referred to the tertiary medical facilities which are already overburdened.
At the ceremony, Ambassador of Japan Mr. Inomata said, "Providing high-quality healthcare services is one of the priority areas in Japan's assistance to Pakistan." Ambassador Inomata pointed out severe insufficiency in delivery of child health services in Karachi and mentioned, "thus, upon request of the Government of Sindh, Japan decided to provide a grant aid to expand facilities of the institute to deliver improved health services to children."
Mr. Inomata shared his belief that "investment to child health is investment for the country's prosperous future. We have to ensure that all children receive proper medical treatment." He expressed his wish for close cooperation among the Government of Sindh, JICA, all partners and companies involved for smooth and swift implementation of the project. At the end of his remarks, the Japanese Ambassador said, "This Project will further strengthen the existing good relationship between Japan and Pakistan. Our partnership, supported by strong ownership of the local authorities, will surely bring a better future to children and the country."
In his reply, Dr. Sikandar Ali Mandhro expressed deep gratitude to Japan's commitment to child health in Karachi.
Speaking at the ceremony Mr. Kawasaki, Chief Representative of JICA said "this grant assistance will enable Government of Sindh to establish 250 bed scale Child Health Institute and procure approximately 500 items of the medical equipment. This Child Health Institute aims to provide advanced pediatric care and establish a strong patient referral system in Karachi City."
Mr. Kawasaki added "I sincerely hope this new child hospital will contribute to the community for long and serve as a drive for significant improvement for child health in Sindh Province."