Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday evening, we had a celebration of the achievements of the Kashmir International Relief Fund, in the first 25 years of its existence. I have been privileged to be the Patron of the KIRF since its inception, and I have great admiration for Ishfaq Ahmed, the CEO. He has done amazing work on a shoestring, and at the hospital the KIRF has built, they are now delivering care to hundreds of mothers and infants. Its an inspiring record, and I do hope KIRF will be able to spread the message to the whole of Azad Kashmir. Maternal and infant mortality is still worse than in many states of sub-Saharan Africe, but there could be immediate reductions, given the political will and a modest increase in resources. Sending volunteers of Kashmiri origin to work at the hospital is a brilliant idea, and the pilot was a terrific success.

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