Janbai Kassum Valli Khoja Ismailia Maternity Home
Dr. Sohail Ansari
The total number of the Ismailis in Karachi around 1920 was about five thousands. The Imam hired one midwife in 1920. The average birth per month was 17 in 1923. Varas Bandali Kassim, a farsighted philanthropist obtained a plot of 3227 square yards for a maternity home from Harichandrai Vishandas, the President of Karachi Municipal. In 1920, Imam laid foundation of the maternity home at Kharadhar, Karachi. Varas Bandali Kassim donated Rs. 1,50,000/- for it, whose construction began in May, 1923. It was completed within four years and was inaugurated by J.L. Rieu, the Commissioner of Sind on April 15, 1924. It was named ‘Janbai Kassim Vali Khoja Ismailia Maternity Home’ in the loving memory of his mother and was presented to the Imam. It was well equipped for the treatment of mothers and their newly born babies. It contained an operation room, waiting room and other seven rooms with 24 beds. It was furnished with the latest medical facilities.
With the introduction of an advanced general surgery unit for women, the maternity home now functions as a full-fledged hospital for women and children and has been renamed as the Aga Khan Hospital for Women and Children, Kharadar.