Islamabad - The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) has provided free limbs services to over 14,000 people with disabilities from the state-of-the-art medical services in the last three years, an official said on Monday.

ICRC Spokesperson Najam Abbassi said that the services were provided at the centres of Lahore, Muzaffargarh and Karachi. 

Three years after they were set up, three physical rehabilitation centres have been handed over to the Indus Hospital Network by the ICRC, he said.

The centres were established as part of a tripartite agreement between the ICRC, the Indus Hospital Network and the CHAL Foundation in 2014.

The first centre, in Muzaffargarh, started functioning in March 2015 and is attached to Recep Tayyep Erdogan Hospital.

The official said that the second one was step up in Karachi in April 2015 and is attached to the Indus Hospital Korangi. The third centre opened its doors in December 2015 in Lahore and is attached to the Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Hospital.

All three provide modern rehabilitation services to people with disabilities. These include prosthetics, orthotics, physiotherapy and mobility devices like wheelchairs and crutches.

The ICRC provided all the financial support – amounting to 170 million Pakistani rupees – to establish and run the centres from 2015 to mid-2017.

It also offered scholarships and training opportunities to the technical staff, as well as importing a steady flow of raw materials for the production of artificial limbs.

The CHAL Foundation handled the operational responsibilities, provided technical staff and medical personnel and organised on-the-job training sessions. The Indus Hospital Network hosted the centres at the hospitals it manages, provided administrative support, managed patient records, and made tertiary care services available to the patients, as well as providing them with food.

Following the handover, the Indus Hospital Network will manage the three centres independently. However, the ICRC will continue to provide and bear the cost of the raw materials for the foreseeable future. The three organizations will continue to work together to expand and strengthen the physical rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in Pakistan.

The ICRC has been providing physical rehabilitation services to people with disabilities in Pakistan since the 1980s and currently supports 22 centres.