Retrospective: His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan inaugurates French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul, Afghanistan with Afghan President & France’s First Lady

Earlier this month and eleven years ago on April 8, 2005, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), together with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and French First Lady Mme. Bernadette Chirac, inaugurated the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC), an international-class, paediatric hospital founded by the French charitable organisations La Chaîne de l’Espoir and Enfants Afghans.

His Highness and Mme Bernadette Chirac, the wife of the President of France, being met by President Karzai upon their arrival at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. - Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Highness and Mme Bernadette Chirac, the wife of the President of France, being met by President Karzai upon their arrival at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. – Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

We share excerpts from the speech made by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration of the French Medical Institute for Children to highlight the significance of this initiative.

“We are here today thanks to the generosity of large French enterprises, and of French men and women who have understood the critical situation of medical care in Afghanistan after 25 years of war, and who wish to urgently try to re-establish medical institutions capable of serving the population who no longer have access to satisfactory medical treatment.

 

Out of one million children born each year in Afghanistan, 165,000 die within the first 30 days. Nineteen out of 20 births are outside a medical establishment. Out of one million future mothers, 17,000 will die of complications linked to their pregnancy. In Western countries this figure is 100, even less, for the same million births.

 

This infinitely serious situation justifies in itself the support of the Aga Khan University and the Aga Khan Health Services, but three additional reasons have prompted our engagement in the future management of this institution.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
Inauguration of the French Medical Institute for Children.
Kabul, Afghanistan – April 8th, 2005.


His Highness, with Mme Bernadette Chirac, Alain Deloche, the founder of La Chaîne de l’Espoir (left), and Phillipe Douste-Blazy, the French Foreign Minister (right) at the inauguration ceremony for the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) in Kabul. - Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Highness, with Mme Bernadette Chirac, Alain Deloche, the founder of La Chaîne de l’Espoir (left), and Phillipe Douste-Blazy, the French Foreign Minister (right) at the inauguration ceremony for the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) in Kabul. – Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

“Indeed, I should especially emphasise the significance of this Institute in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

 

This Institute was created through a Public-Private Partnership to establish a new medical institute through a strategic collaboration: The support of the French Government, that of the Afghan Government, the participation of the French Non-Governmental Organisations La Chaine de l’Espoir, and Afghan Children, and the Aga Khan University.

 

This collaboration is today unique in Afghanistan and will bring to the Afghan population a new high quality hospital that will be accessible to the underprivileged.

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
Inauguration of the French Medical Institute for Children.
Kabul, Afghanistan – April 8th, 2005.


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