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Iran opens largest pediatric hospital in Middle East

File photo shows a view to the Zahra Mardani pediatric hospital located in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz.

A 700-bed pediatric hospital has been inaugurated in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz making it the largest such facility in the Middle East region.

The Zahra Mardani hospital, a charitable facility to which the Iranian government has contributed by providing the required land, was inaugurated on Saturday during a video conference ceremony attended by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The hospital has been built in seven years, said a report by IRNA news agency, adding that the facility would offer various pediatric treatments, including mental and rehabilitation services.

The hospital is the largest health facility built in Iran over the past decade, said Rouhani during the inauguration ceremony while adding that a 1,000-bed general hospital would officially open in the capital Tehran just after he leaves office in early August.

The president was referring to the Mahdi Clinic Hospital, a project described by authorities as the largest hospital built in the Iranian history.

Six other hospitals and five specialized clinics also came on line on Saturday to add over 500 beds to  the hospital system capacity in Iran.

The projects, including the pediatric hospital in Tabriz, have cost over 30 trillion rials ($120 million) in government and private investment, said a report on website of the Iranian Presidency, adding that they would add 2,996 permanent jobs for doctors and nurses and other staff.

The launch of new hospitals comes as Iran is battling a fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Hospitals across the country have reported increased referrals in recent days as a result of a surge in infections with the Delta variant of the virus.

Government authorities have repeatedly boasted of the fact that Iran is relying on home-grown capacities to battle the pandemic, saying US sanctions have blocked the country’s access to drugs and medical equipment from abroad.

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