Locals call for expansion of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Swat

Patients and visitors congregate at the main entrance of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Model Hospital in Saidu Sharif, Swat, on January 2, 2020. (Photo supplied by the hospital management)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Locals call for expansion of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital in Swat

  • Say the hospital has done excellent job, though it requires more resources to deal with growing number of patients
  • Setting up small health care facilities in remote regions can also decrease the workload of hospital staff

SAIDU SHARIF, Swat: Hundreds of people are treated at the Out Patient Department (OPD) of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in this picturesque valley, yet locals believe the facility must be expanded to provide uninterrupted health care service to growing number of patients.
“The OPD examines about 1,300 patients on a daily basis,” Dr. Najib Ullah, spokesperson for the Saidu Teaching Hospital, which also oversees the administrative affairs of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital, told Arab News on Thursday. “The patients come from remote areas, such as Buner, Chitral, Dir, Dargai, Shangla and Batkhela, keeping the health facility under heavy work pressure.”




A doctor examines a child at the pediatric unit of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Model Hospital in Saidu Sharif, Swat, on January 2, 2020. (Photo supplied by the hospital management)

Inaugurated in 2016, the 100-bed hospital was funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and built at a cost of $5.5 million, but the residents of the area maintain it should at least have 150 beds to deal with the overwhelming number of patients.
Hazer Gul, a senior executive who works with the development sector in Swat, told Arab News that the hospital was providing matchless health services to approximately 1.7 million people in and around the Swat region.
“If the UAE sets up small health units in remote hill stations, however, it will provide health services to people at their doorstep and decrease the workload of the hospital in Saidu Sharif,” Gul suggested.




A doctor examines a patient inside the medical ward at Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Model Hospital in Saidu Sharif, Swat, on January 2, 2020. (Photo supplied by the hospital management)

Stretching over 5,430 square meters, the spokesperson said the hospital was equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Among other things, it has emergency center, medical and surgical wards, operation theaters, cardiology and chest pain clinics, burn center, pediatric unit and neurosurgery and plastic surgery facilities, he added.




Medical staff talks to patients at the Out Patient Department (OPD) of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Model Hospital in Saidu Sharif, Swat, on January 2, 2020. (Photo supplied by the hospital management)

Fazl-e-Subhan, a native of Saidu Sharif, said the UAE-funded hospital had been providing excellent services, but the number of patients was steadily growing, putting tremendous pressure on the health care facility.
“The UAE can either establish small health units in other areas or expand the staff and other facilities at this one,” he maintained.
Dr. Najib Ullah said that the hospital in Saidu Sharif has a separate pharmacy, and patients visiting the emergency center were given 90 percent of medicines free of cost.
“The hospital faces shortage of staff and lacks some equipment, such as wheelchairs. The capacity of the existing laboratory needs to be enhanced so that tests like arterial blood gas can also be performed here,” he continued.


Pakistan 'facilitated' Afghan peace deal, says army spokesman

Updated 27 February 2020

Pakistan 'facilitated' Afghan peace deal, says army spokesman

  • Babar Iftikhar rejects rumors that US-Taliban peace deal may be delayed
  • Underlines the army’s success in eliminating militancy

ISLAMABAD: Two days before the signing of a US-Taliban deal, Pakistan said on Thursday it had done its best to facilitate the Afghan peace process.
“There will be positive results from this deal. Nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan. We are hoping for the best,” military spokesman Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar told reporters at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The US and Afghan Taliban are due to sign the peace agreement in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday. 
The army spokesman added that Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan is “cordial” as there are no reasons for it to turn sour.
As Thursday’s conference was Iftikhar’s first since he took office in January, he underlined the army’s success in eliminating militancy and restoring normality in Pakistan. As evidence of the success, he cited increasing tourism activity and the return of international cricket to the country. 
The ongoing Pakistan Super League is held on home soil for the first time, as security concerns had caused most games in previous years to be played abroad.
The army spokesman also said Pakistan does not seek open conflict with India, but is fully prepared to respond to any misadventure.
“There is no space for war between two nuclear powers, as this will have uncontrollable and unintended consequences. Things will spiral out of control,” he said, adding that the military is “prepared for all scenarios” and will “effectively respond” if there is any challenge to Pakistan’s security and integrity.
The statement comes exactly a year after two Indian fighter jets were downed for violating Pakistan’s airspace in an operation dubbed “Swift Retort” on Feb. 27, 2019.