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Fundraiser for Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital
09-06-2009, 07:24 AM
Post: #1
Fundraiser for Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Ishrat Hyatt

Islamabad

The annual iftar, fund raising dinner for the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, hosted by chairman Imran Khan and members of the Board of Governors of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust was held at the Islamabad Club and attended by invitees from many walks of life — some of them ardent supporters, others not so devoted but willing to give as much as they could for this worthy cause.

Whether you agree with Imran Khan’s political views or not is another matter but this venture of his has won the hearts and minds of all sections of society and rightly so. After ‘iftar’, the anchorperson of the evening, Sophia Shahid welcomed the guests and after reminding them why they had gathered there, appealed to them to support the hospital with open hearts. A documentary was screened to give details about the hospital, highlighting the activities of a former cancer patient who now volunteers at the hospital, paying back in small measure for the treatment she received.

After this head of the hospital staff, Dr Faisal came and said that the biggest challenge they face is monetary. He gave a brief overview of the hospital, which was inaugurated in December 1994 and requires an annual budget of Rs250-300 billion. Of this amount approximately half is generated by services provided at the hospital and the other half is from donations and grants. Adding that 120,000 new cases of cancer are detected each year — every fifth one is a child. He said 75 per cent of the patients are treated free or pay a nominal amount, while 25 per cent are charged because they can afford it, but they all receive quality treatment.

He concluded by saying that facilities at the hospital have to be upgraded and the number of beds increased because it was heart breaking to refuse patients who needed the state of the art treatment provided at the hospital. They were working on the project and soon, with the help and support of everyone, their objective would be achieved.

Addressing the guests, Imran Khan began by saying he could judge the mood of a gathering just by looking at the people and likened those present to a ‘twenty twenty and not a test match’ category, something, which only cricket loving persons understood! He was passionate while speaking about the hospital he founded in memory of his mother, after whom it is named and said people used to laugh at him when he presented his vision of providing free treatment to cancer patients — something he has managed to do with the help of generous supporters like them. He was highly appreciative of Dr Faisal and other staff members who worked with exemplary dedication and said they were probably the only ones in all of Pakistan who did not seek commissions from medicine retailers, but always requested a concession in rates.

Mentioning the names of a few institutions whose CEO’s had labelled the hospital as ‘unique,’ praised its services and said it was among the best hospitals in the world, he added that while his colleagues were sometimes nervous about where the money was going to come from, he was always surprised and grateful that whenever funds were needed, they appeared from somewhere. He concluded by announcing that the hospital now had a ‘PET’ (Positron emission tomography) scan, which could detect the smallest nodule in any part of the body and this meant that treatment could start as early as possible because cancer was curable if detected in time. A photo session followed as children presented Imran Khan with cheques for large amounts, while the envelopes on the tables were put to good use as smaller sums were enclosed and handed in. It was a good effort and hopefully paid dividends for the purpose it was intended.

http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=197004
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