Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Japan funds $4.43M for maternal and child health care in Sindh.

Islamabad, 4 April, 2024 (GNP): The Government of Japan decided to provide an additional grant of JPY 671 million (approx. US$4.43 million) for “the Project for the Extension of Maternal and Child Health Care Facility in Sindh”, which was announced on 31 August 2021 with the original cost of JPY3,445 million (approx. US$22.76 million).

The Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between  WADA Mitsuhiro, Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Kazim Niaz, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs on April 4, 2024.

On the same occasion, amended grant agreements of the project were signed and exchanged today between Naoaki Miyata, Chief Representative of JICA Pakistan Office and Saeed Ashraf Siddiqui, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The decision of this additional grant is in response to a request made by the Government of Pakistan due to a shortfall in the project cost caused by exchange rate fluctuations and market price escalation.

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Under this project, a new maternal and child health center will be established at the Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences (LUMHS), Jamshoro, which is a public medical institution serving as the regional hub hospital in Hyderabad district.

The maternal and child health center will have departments of obstetrics and pediatrics, including a labor room, an obstetrics ward, a neonatal intensive care unit, a maternal and fetal intensive care unit, a laboratory, and outpatient consultation rooms.

In addition, around 120 items of medical equipment including newborn incubators and ultrasonic diagnostic device are to be installed. The project is scheduled to be completed by April 2025.

Ambassador WADA said, “The project is expected to benefit more than 20 million people. In terms of the project amount (JPY4,116 million/approx. US$27.19 million) and beneficiary population, this is one of the largest grant projects implemented by Japan in countries around the world. I am confident that upon completion in April 2025, this project will be one of the symbols of Japan’s development assistance to Pakistan, along with the PIMS in Islamabad.”

The number of care facilities to treat mothers and babies with complications is limited in Sindh. This project will not only alleviate the pressure of tertiary hospitals in Karachi and Hyderabad, but also open up opportunities for families from all over southern part of Sindh, with improved accessibility and better chances of saving lives.

The Government of Japan and JICA give high priority to mother and child health in the health sector strategy in Pakistan and reassure their commitment to continuous support to its vulnerable population.