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20 August 2010, 06:00
A charitable hospital in Pakistan, which was set up by a Watford postman, has appealed for donations to help flood victims in the area.
The Alma Bi Hospital, which was built after 15 years of fundraising by local postal driver Mohammed Younis, has seen demand for its free services soar since monsoon rains devastated North-western Pakistan.
Mohammed was inspired to raise money for the Western-style hospital in Hafizabad district after his mother died from leukaemia there in 1980.
The clinic, which is named after her, opened in 2007 to provide maternity services for the poor but has grown to offer general healthcare in Hafizabad district.
It is struggling to provide enough help in the aftermath of the floods, as its five full-time doctors have to travel to outlying villages to provide medical treatment, leaving the hospital itself short-staffed.
Mohammed said: "This terrible crisis is causing hardship to many millions of people and is putting services under almost unbearable pressure. The Alma Bi Hospital was built to serve an area where health care is in very short supply. Everything we provide is completely free for the poor. Doctors and staff at the hospital are working round the clock to meet the increasing health needs of local people. As a result, simply in order to keep going, we are in desperate need of funds. We need donations now. If people can help in with any amount, large or small, they can be confident that every penny will be used for the sole purpose of serving the people.''
The hospital, near to Pindi Bhattian, is also providing shelter for many people whose homes were destroyed in the crisis.
Donations to the Alma Hospital Trust, which funds the hospital from the UK, can be made with a credit or debit card by calling 01923 215 663. Donations can also be made by post, making all cheques and postal orders payable to Alma Hospital Trust, and sending to Alma Hospital Trust, PO Box 260, Royal Mail, Ascot Road, Watford, WD18 8HA.
For more information go to www.almatrust.org/donate.