Community Health Care
Marafie Hospital,Mehdiabad
This 41-bed hospital was constructed and established at Mehdiabad in 1995 by the Marafie Foundation. The facility is run by the Foundation and is well equipped with provision for X-rays, ultra sound, ECG and a laboratory. In order to involve the local population and to create a sense of ownership, the Medical Officer and team of paramedics have been recruited locally. Over the years, the Marafie Hospital has become a base from which various local and foreign NGOs visiting the area can conduct their health programmes. The Adelaide Leprosy Center headed by Dr. Ruth Pfau carried out a TB research program there in 1998. Dr. Ruth Pfau was impressed by the premises and the work being done by the Foundation and referred to the hospital as, "one of the important support centers in the endeavor to rid the Northern Area of the scourge of tuberculosis; where TB patients [can be] diagnosed in time and cured".
The Red Crescent Society of Pakistan a!so visited the area in 2000 to conduct a free eye camp in collaboration with the Pakistan Army. Over 1800 patients were treated in this camp. The St. John Ambulance Team of U.K. visited Baltistan in May/June 1999 and carried out useful training in first aid ECT at various hospitals and also held small workshops about the importance of clean drinking water. Their experts also gave solutions for constructing simple drinking water facilities from the streams and springs.
In the winter of 1999, a German doctor, Anne Glodny, braved the severe cold to spend 40 days at the hospital to treat many patients. Another doctor Detief Worthman and his wife arrived in Skurdu from Germany on 28th July 2000. The team carried out mass vaccinations in the various villages of Kharmang from 2nd to 23rd August 2000. A total of 1152 persons were vaccinated by the team. Mrs.Linda Worthman also taught English to the Medical staff in Mehdiabad. The team returned to Mehdiabad and stayed there from I st August to 3rd September 2002 carrying out mass vaccinations in many villages of Kharmang, Their latest visit took place in 2004, and a large number of patients were treated by them.

Remote Treatment through the internet
With the support of Dr. Muhammad Jahangeer and his associate Dr. Ejaz Hussain, Marafie Foundation for the first time arranged treatment for skin diseases through the Inter­ net. The Medical Officer at the Mehdiabad Hospital was sent to Lahore for training and the facility became operative at the be­ ginning of 2005. This is the first use of IT for remote treatment in an isolated area where skin problems are very common due to harsh sunlight and fair complexion br>
Mother and Child Health Care
Poor health care for women and children has always been a seri­ ous problem in Baltistan. The mortality rate of infants, and post childbirth complications mid deaths of women were very high due to the lack of trained midwives or female health visitors. Deaths in childbirth were very common, even in Skardu. The headquarters of the district administration, due to lack of female health workers and doctors.The Marafie Foundation addressed this problem through a very modest initiative in 1995. which consisted of train­ ing a girl from Khaplu. This worked towards ending existing preju­ dice and helped to present the profession of health care and a re­ spectable vocation for female workers. Since then, Marafie Founda­ tion has trained three female health visitors and midwives. This has also encouraged others to join the profession, and many girls have adopted nursing as a profession. The government has also made arrangements to send lady doctors to the Skardu District Headquarters Hospital. This has to some extent addressed wom­ en`s healthcare problems. To meet the requirement of health care for women and children, the Marafie Foundation has set up two Mother and Child Healthcare Centres at Thowar, Khaplu and Chutron that extend advice, guidance and healthcare to women and children and through timely intervention, help to reduce complications and mortality.