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    New building for Jamhuriat hospital to open soon: Dalil

    KABUL(PAN): A new building for the state-run Jamhuriat hospital in Kabul, a much much-awaited project, will soon be inaugurated, the acting public health minister said on Tuesday.

    The hospital, which has been operating in Kabul over the past more than 30 years, is one of Afghanistan's modern medical institutions.

    Currently, 120 patients are being treatment at the hospital. A new 10-storey building for the facility with the capacity of housing 350 patients was constructed by Chinese engineers in 2004.

    However, its opening was delayed due to lack funds and staff shortages.

    Agha Khan Network officials had many times examined the new building to know the structure's resistance against earthquakes, Dr. Soraya Dalil, the acting public health minister, told a news conference in Kabul.

    "The key problems remain in the new building are lack of surgery wards and a proper ventilation system," she said, adding the problems had been discussed with the Chinese embassy who had promised to resolve them.

    "We want the Jamhuriat hospital to be special and able to cater to the needs of people. We want to see the hospital resourceful and can serve as a centre of research and knowledge," she said.

    Management and administrative affairs of the hospital will be handed over to the Agha Khan Network until the existed problems were resolved, the minister said, but she did not provide an exact date for the inauguration of the hospital's new building.

    Kabulresidents and patients demand an early opening of the ten-storey building.

    frm/ma