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UK Christian doctors raise £25,000 in seven days for two hospitals serving Pakistan flood victims
Published: 21st September 2010
UK Christian doctors have raised over £25,000 in one week to supply free food, clothing and medical care to people displaced by the Pakistan floods.
The Christian Medical Fellowship, who organised the appeal, have sent the money directly through two Christian hospitals in badly affected remote rural areas, with whom they have strong links.
Pennell Memorial Christian Hospital (PMCH), Bannu, on the Afghanistan border, is providing food and medical care for 200 Christian and Hindu families in a nearby camp for internally displaced people (IDPs). Medical Superintendent, Dr Nadeem Hidayat, said 'Many NGOs are afraid to work in these areas. Due to security issues, it's difficult for me to leave the hospital so I am visiting flood victims with a van full of army guards. The former Medical Superintendent was kidnapped by the Taliban. But by the grace of God we are safe. We treat many war wounded Taliban in our hospital so we have a good reputation in this area.'
Kunhar Christian Hospital (KCH), in the Himalayas en route to China, is giving free hospital treatment to those affected by the flood, and distributing food and clothing to the community. Founder Dr Haroon Lal Din reported, 'Most of our patients are Muslims from the surrounding mountains and valleys. KCH was one of the few buildings in the area still standing after the Kashmir earthquake of 2005. Amazingly, once again after the recent floods, KCH is the only hospital in the area with electricity, able to provide emergency obstetric care.' Last week was the end of Ramadan and both hospitals distributed Eid gifts, including New Testaments, to the Muslim communities around them. The staff at PMCH each contributed two days' wages to make this possible. As it was also the anniversary of 9/11, tension was high in both areas. A church not far from Bannu was bombed and destroyed but thankfully the hospital teams were kept safe.
Dr Vicky Lavy, CMF's Head of International Ministries said, 'CMF is not an aid agency, but we wanted to do something to help. Being part of a worldwide fellowship of Christian doctors puts us in the unique position of being in direct contact during health crises with Christian doctors on the ground. Once we had communicated the need, CMF members quickly rose to the challenge and within a week just over 100 UK doctors had given over £25,000 which we were able to send immediately to those serving on the frontline. It has been a wonderful privilege to be able to stand with our Pakistani Christian colleagues in this way, and through them to help some of those who have suffered from this tragedy.'
Last year CMF members gave £38,000 to equip Christian medical teams treating cholera victims in Zimbabwe and £115,000 in 2005 to equip two hospitals (Kunhar and Bach) providing relief and medical care for the Kashmir earthquake victims. Part of that latter gift enabled Kunhar to establish a satellite communications system which has kept them in contact with the outside world in the present situation when all other telecommunications have been destroyed in the flood.
Notes for editors
Pennell Memorial Christian Hospital (PMCH), Bannu, is an 80 bedded hospital on the edge of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan. There are 2,000 families in a nearby camp for internally displaced people (IDPs). Christians and Hindus are minority groups and the poorest section of the population. PMCH is caring for 200 of these families, providing food and medical care. Kunhar Christian Hospital (KCH) is a 20 bedded hospital founded in 2000 by Dr Haroon Lal Din, a local doctor who has been working in this northern district of Pakistan since 1988. The hospital is just off the new highway cutting through the Himalayas linking Pakistan with China. Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 4,000 British doctor members in all branches of medicine. A registered charity, it is linked to about 65 sister organisations in other countries throughout the world. The CMF exists to unite Christian doctors to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.
For further information:
Dr Vicky Lavy (CMF Head of International Ministries 020 7234 9660 Dr Andrew Fergusson (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9675
For further information:
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.