LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Construction work on an ICRC-funded special health centre for people with disabilities has begun in Lashkargah, capital of southern Helmand province, officials said on Wednesday.
Officials say the health centre would produce artificial limbs for the disabled and treat their ailments.
Dr. Abdul Baqi Hanafi, Networking Adviser of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the southern zone, told Pajhwok Afghan News the health centre would be constructed on 6,000 square meters of land in Shahid Ghaltan area. It will be completed in one and half year.
He said the building would have 13 rooms, a hall for sports, complete power and water systems Domestic materials will be used in the construction of the facility, designed by Afghan engineers.
He said the construction of the building would cost 20 million afghanis, to be paid by ICRC.
The hospital will be able to accommodate 60 male and female patients with disabilities and treat 250 OPD patients at a time, he explained.
Hanafi added the health centre would provide artificial limbs to those who lost these organs to explosions and would treat other diseases of people with disabilities.
“The construction of this new health facility will improve the quality of artificial organs for the disabled, provide bed facilities for the disabled with spinal cord injuries and train those having lost their legs and hands to get familiar with replacement of artificial organs.”
Dr. Mohammad Wali Himmat, a specialist in treating the disabled, told Pajhwok there had long been a need for a special health centre for the disabled in the province.
In the past, he recalled, people with disabilities in Helmand had to travel to Kandahar and Kabul for treatment.
“The establishment of this health center is good news for the disabled. The last two decades of war have crippled hundreds of people here who are suffering from severe economic problems and physical disabilities. They will be treated here physically and mentally,” he remarked.
People with disabilities in Helmand are happy with the health centre being set up in the province to treat them.
Mohammad Akbar, 43, lost a leg in an explosion three years ago. He has travelled to Kandahar several times for treatment. The construction of the new health facility would solve his problem, he hoped.
“ICRC had a physical rehabilitation centre for the disabled in Lashkargah which remained operational for 11 years, but did not have all facilities to treat the disabled. They had to move to Kandahar or Kabul,” he said.
He promised the new health centre would provide artificial limbs to the disabled besides treating various ailments, including spinal cord, paralysis, birth defects, curvature of spine and muscular dystrophy”
The land for the facility was allotted by the Ministry of Public Health five years ago, but the construction work was delayed due to some problems.