January 15, 2016
Members of the JIMS Board of Governors
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalam wa Alikum.
I am honored to be here in the historic city of Jacobabad. Today we are here to celebrate a great story of partnership between America and Pakistan. This chapter of that story began in 2010 when then Secretary Hillary Clinton came here at a time of need, following terrible floods and she announced a new initiative with Pakistan to maintain a healthy and productive population. We all know it is imperative that the citizens of Pakistan have access to high quality health care.
With that goal in mind, the United States and Pakistan have worked in partnership for many years to not only build infrastructure like the impressive building behind me, but to improve health service at all levels.
Many of you have heard of the Maternal and Child Health program. Since 2012, the United States has spent $200 million to improve the health of women and children – almost 21 billion rupees. Half of that amount was devoted to working in partnership with the Government of Sindh. I am proud to say that these investments have already brought returns. Since the program began, 1.4 million women and children have received health care at a facility supported by the American people.
We are here today to inaugurate the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Sciences or “JIMS.” When speaking of her commitment to this project during her 2010 visit, Secretary Clinton said access to quality hospital care in Sindh is essential. Today I am proud to say this hospital is already providing high quality medical care to more than 800 people each day. That number will grow as the emergency room and surgical facilities come on-line.
We are confident JIMS will fulfill its promise of being state-of-the-art facility providing high quality medical and surgical services to more than one million people each year, as well as serving as a nexus for research and training in the region.
Some of the brightest minds from Sindh, southern Punjab, and Balochistan will study, learn, and work together here to solve some of Pakistan’s greatest medical challenges. These challenges include liver disease, which is so pervasive in this region.
The JIMS Board of Governors was established to guide and advise the hospital as it provides services to families here for generations to come and has assume this role effectively. In this effort, the Government of Sindh and the Department of Health have been excellent partners. We have seen this in the construction of the new residential complex for hospital staff and the new facility to train nurses, which will help increase the region’s skilled workforce.
Everywhere in the world, people want their families to be safe and healthy. That is a basic responsibility of any society to its own. That is why the U.S. is encouraged by Pakistan’s prioritization of health. We are working with UNICEF here in Jacobabad on a water and sanitation campaign. We are also working with the Government of Sindh to repair Jacobabad’s water and sewer lines and upgrade the existing water treatment plant. We all know access to safe drinking water is an important part of staying healthy.
Together, we are striving for a strong, stable, healthy and prosperous Pakistan. Lasting people-to-people ties are what bind us together in this shared goal.
Thank you for being here today to share in the dedication of this great facility.