Pasted here for future reference… from 2010 sometime when doing volunteer work after the 2010 floods in Sindh.
Sultan Kot Proposed Medical Center
Summary: No need to go there. For the long version, read on!
It’s a small hospital + maternity clinic, set up in 1936 by a english missionary lady. She ran it till 1976, at which point she left. The place was built by her, presumably on missionary funds. In those times it was the only hospital, so was much needed. The property belongs to the missionary, or to her church.
While it ran, it was the most english of institutions, with her wandering about a strict purdah town in her skirt and umbrella. She also taught english to the local notables, which means the Aghas, as they are the only notables in Sultan Kot.
Sultan Kot was founded by the orginal Agha who had run away from Afghanistan and given this area by the local bigshot at that time whose name I don’t remember any more. He had aspirations to be a Sultan, hence the name Sultan Kot, which is a new town he built. The Aghas own all the surrounding area – about 60,000 acres irrigated land and assorted non irrigated. The total population is about 15,000 people in all of this area spread over 20 villages.
After the english hospital shut down, the govt. at some point built a very large hospital 600 meters away – it has 20 beds in 3 rooms but has more than 20 rooms. The govt. hospital is spread over 3 acres and employs 4 female and 4 male doctors, plus assorted nurses, staff etc. It has ultrasound, xrays, dental stuff, and so on. Also a working, pretty new ambulance.
This being a govt. hospital the only actual people in this entire building was one lab assistant, though he was likely a lab chowkidar posing as a assistant. Agha S assured me that they get hold of doctors if and when needed.
Sultan Kot seems nicer in terms of poverty and need than most other towns, and acording to Agha Something whom I met there, there isn’t much need in the area. I offered to set up a medical camp but there wasn’t any real need, and he said the patients in that area end up getting medicines etc anyways as the Aghas pressurize the govt. to fix their people. I had arranged to send a mobile health unit there tmrw but cancelled that. Can still send later on if need arises.
Since all the people are Agha’s people there, they all end up getting fixed. The current MPA Agha Taimur is very busy making the govt. fix up the town, and the hospital is also undergoing renovation right now.
The only real reason I gathered why they want the maternity clinic fixed is becuase all the older generation of Agha’s were born there, (before rising crop prices and faster cars made it possible to shift to Karachi) or delivered by the english doctor in their homes. Hence there is a lot of nostalgia attached.
The minute the english left they left the place to fend for itself and now their servants live there. The whole building is falling apart, the sky is visible in some of the rooms, and the walls are literally crumbling. According to Agha S, it needs to be demolished and built anew. This is my assesment as well.
And that was Sultan Kot.