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Home > Topics > Community Awareness

Doctor starts 'camel ambulance' in remote Pakistan village

He travels across the sandy dunes, tending to the sick and critically ill; four years ago began managing a government dispensary and upgraded to a jeep

This article appeared in the travel website Roads and Kingdoms, and has been posted on as a way to highlight unique medical care in a remote part of the world.

ACHRO THAR, Pakistan —There were things I did not expect when entering the Achro Thar, the White Desert of Pakistan. I did not expect to see the hot white sand turn cold and grey, covered with a layer of broken seashells, a few feet before a lake, of all things: two square miles of water in defiance of the seasonal drought.

I did not expect to see just how pristine this place was. Unlike the Tharparkar desert—the southern-most part of the desert strip which runs on the east of Pakistan next to the Indian border, part of the enormous cross-border Thar desert system—Achro Thar has remained in its pristine condition, untouched by any signs of modern development, mainly because of the absence of a workable transport.

I did not expect to see a man climb on top of a jeep just to have a cell phone conversation, but this is what Mir Ali, our indefatigable driver whose family is from this desert, did every time he needed to reach the outside world. If a jeep is not handy, Ali tells me, then the only other alternative is to climb the tallest sand dune and hope that one of Pakistan’s five telecom giants has sent some signal your way.

Read full story: The Camel Ambulance of Achro Thar

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