The Story of Jubaida Gatrad Maternity and Children’s Hospital
MIAT started supporting Cleft palate operations@£250 per child in Gujarat Pakistan in 2007 once Prof Gatrad became CEO of the charity. These operations were carried out in a very old theatre with very rudimentary facilities in Gujarat city Aisha Bashir hospital. Dr Amanullah from London and Nick Heart from Hull – both brilliant plastic surgeons had started it, followed ably by Dr Riaz.
In 2009 whilst on a telephone call to Dr Ijaz Bashir Prof Gatrad offered not only to continue to support the cleft unit but to build a hospital and transfer the maternity care and expand the cleft centre in a new hospital. This project was hugely facilitated by Dr Ijaz owning a large piece of prime land just outside the city.
Plans were drawn up by an architect friend of the professor who had just retired from the Manor hospital where Prof Gatrad still works after 40 years (2023). The Japanese government had made a donation of approximately £50K and the initial foundation was laid. However, both Prof Gatrad and Dr Ijaz felt that this should really be at least a 3-storey building. In 2014 Prof Gatrad and his mentor and chairman of MIAT Mr Aslam went to check out the progress. This was followed by interest from ITV who invited both Mr Aslam and the professor for interviews. It was in 2016 that the hospital was completed and was subsequently – sometime later officially opened by Ruth Lawton who was representing the British High Commissioner.
The hospital was made functional during its construction and the Cleft centre with purpose-built theatres were built on the ground floor with the proposed maternity serviced on the first floor, and accommodation for private maternity patients on the floor above. MIAT spent over £750,000 to complete the two floors with all modern state of the art equipment. As professor Gatrad had a huge input, the hospital was named after his mother and called Jubaida Gatrad Maternity and Children’s Hospital.
From 2010 both Professor Gatrad and Dr Riaz enthused many health care professionals to visit Gujarat and support training and sustainability of the hospital. The most important infrastructure to build was to support the hospital through local health care professionals. A vocational centre for health care professionals was initiated and now over the years hundreds have graduated and many are still working at the hospital.
The cleft centre really became famous throughout Pakistan and Smile Train started supporting operations and conceded that the quality of operations and aftercare was first class. However it was felt particularly by Professor Gatrad that an infrastructure of Dental, speech therapy and audiology should be provided. Audiologists, dentists and speech therapists from the UK regularly travelled to train and teach whist Professor Gatrad, anaesthetic team and Annette Middleton (senior theatre nurse) instructed on how to take care of babies intra and post operatively and look after critically ill ones.
By 2018 it was obvious that the unit had expanded so much that its use for Maternity care was cancelled as it became apparent that women were less prepared to travel outside the city for their maternity care. Therefore, now this centre is referred to as the Jubaida Gatrad Hospital incorporating the cleft centre. Most just call it the Cleft Centre. Prof Gatrad expanded the Limb Centre that MIAT at had built in Gujarat city in 2011 – this now incorporates the club feet patients. This centre is named after his dad Mahomed. Now over 1000 cleft operations are carried out at the Cleft Centre and 300 children have their lives changed through non operative procedures of ‘catching’ babies with club feet at birth, and carrying out serial splinting. Some who need operating are dealt with at the Jubaida Gatrad hospital. Many donors now support the unit and those who can afford treatment are being charged to support those who cant afford. MIAT still send many thousands of pounds annually to support the hospital and other outreach projects which include clinics well beyond Gujarat and into Kashmir.
Professor Gatrad opening the Jubaida Gatrad Maternity Hospital March 2016
Professor Gatrad arriving to open the Maternity Hospital
Mother and baby Project – medicines for the elderly and pregnant mothers