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Famous Dadar sanatorium turns into a ghost house

Famous Dadar sanatorium turns into a ghost house

MANSEHRA: The sanatorium in Dadar area , once the biggest centre for treatment of tuberculosis in the entire Asia, has turned into a ghost house as neither the federal nor provincial government is bothering to repair its major blocks which were destroyed in flash floods in 2001 and later in the devastating earthquake in 2005.

The sanatorium, which was established in 1939 on an area of about 1,600 kanals for the treatment of tuberculosis patients, was converted into a mental and general hospital after government established Hazara University at the place of mental hospital in Dodial, some 13 years ago.




The hospital wears a deserted look and most of its blocks, either destroyed in flash floods or earthquake, have been abandoned and only three barracks are being used currently as psychiatry and general wards.

The ward specified for women psycho patients has been lying vacant for long time because of shortage of proper facilities and staff.

“I am astonished to see that this highly precious piece of land covered by trees of Cheer, which is a tonic for the TB patients, has been lying useless and government is not taking any concrete steps for its preservation,” said Qamar Zaman Abbasi, who was present at the hospital.

The government, he said, should reconstruct the destroyed blocks so that psycho patients, who were confined in a limited portion, could be provided with adequate space and environment to live.

“How one can be treated in such congested environment, instead one who is brought here is left at the mercy of such bad environment and might be infected by many other communicable diseases,” he said.

The record of the hospital showed that 100 mentally retarded patients were usually confined into the mental portion of hospital but ironically there was not a single psychiatric in the hospital. The doctors, who were treating the mentally retarded patients, were only medical officers.

The patients brought from different parts of the county show their excitements when they see people coming to the hospital. They sing songs in different languages and imitate speeches of different political leaders.

“I will vote for Mian Nawaz Sharif, who is a handsome man, in elections,” said one of the patients confined in the first ward.

Another one, standing beside him, jumped to take his turn and shouted that he would vote for Imran Khan as he played cricket with him.

Two other patients sang folksongs in Hindko and Pashto.

Zafar Ali, a junior clinical technician, who was on the duty outside one of the wards, said that patients were normal to some extent after being treated there. He said that they were aggressive and out of control when they were brought there.

He said that more than 90 per cent portion of the hospital was destroyed during the two natural calamities and could not be reconstructed.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2015

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