PPL Rehabilitation Centre, Bagh, Azad Jammu & Kashmir

PPL Rehabilitation Centre, Bagh, Azad Jammu & Kashmir

According to estimates of the World Health Organization and International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and AJK earthquake of 2005 killed about 73,000 people and left around 167,926 injured. Among them, 879 were amputated, 559 became paraplegics and 38,430 required prosthetic and orthotic assistance. These figures amount to 0.5 percent of the 7.7 million people living in the affected areas.

In May 2006, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Murshid Hospital and Healthcare Centre to provide financial support to establish a rehabilitation centre for victims of the 2005 earthquake at the District Headquarters Hospital in Bagh, AJK. The purpose was to produce and provide free-of-cost artificial limbs, treatment and follow-up, together with emotional support to amputees.

The centre has been operational since December 2006 and was run initially by Pakistan Institute of Orthotic and Prosthetic Sciences (PIPOS) until 2010 thereafter it was handed over to Chal Foundation. Initially, PPL committed three-year support for the centre, however, due to increasing demand, the company decided to establish an endowment fund to continue support for operational expenses in order to reach out to the remaining affectees and provide quality follow-ups to patients.

So far, more than 5,000 amputees have been successfully treated at the rehabilitation Centre and assistive devices provided to 1,297 earthquakevictims. The centre also supports learning opportunities for PIPOS interns to increase the pool of experienced and qualified medical professionals in the coming years to counter emergencies in the future.