Dwell in Possibility
The Shar communities have been residing for decades in a village named Sher khan Shar, situated about 4-5 km away from Attna Mori. According to their custom, they don’t allow outsiders including doctors, to enter their village in the name of honour.
MSUs, on one of their daily rounds, came across this village in Mirpurkhas and noticed multiple cases of malnutrition. This was not the only concern of the team. It was reported that there was a pregnant woman who needed urgent EmONC services. The family members and the village community refused to allow the Shifa team to enter their village as per their custom.
However Shifa Foundation’s MSU team did not give up and after a very long dialogue finally convinced the family and village heads to let their team see the woman. Shifa’s team safely delivered the baby and also saved the life of the mother.
Shifa Foundation’s MSU team made full use of that opportunity, took a round of the village and identified multiple cases of malnutrition. Then referred those to OTP.
At around 2 in the afternoon ,one of our MSU teams, got a phone call reporting an emergency. A Pregnant woman from Mehboob Farm, UC Jhuleri, Mirpurkhas, had gone in to preterm labour. Realizing the grave severity of the situation, our MSU team without wasting any more time, left for their destination.
The woman was in a lot of pain and her condition was worsening with every passing second. She was pregnant with twins.
After analyzing the whole situation, the lady doctor, deciding there was not enough time to transport the woman to a health facility, delivered the twins at the site. Both babies were premature and under weight.
Our team saved the lives of the mother and both the babies , who were provided with necessary medical care. The mother was given two newborn kits and the required medication. She was also counselled on how to take care of herself and her babies. On follow-up, the mother and both the babies were healthy.
Shifa Foundation’s team conducted an eye screening activity in 36 different Government and private schools. The purpose was to diagnose different ophthalmologic ailments. During this activity 3000students were screened, out of which 154 students were diagnosed with eye redness, itching and debilitating vision, etc.
Rabiya Batool, a student of 4th grade was amongst the students diagnosed with weak eyesight. She shared her experience with Shifa’s team in her own words.
‘On the 21st of November, 2011, we were told that a team from Shifa Foundation was to visit our school, to check our eye sight. My friends and i were scared ,not knowing what would be done to our eyes because we had never gotten them checked before. We were explained to, the procedure ,by a teacher of ours and were asked to cooperate with the team members .After a while, the team arrived,with charts in their hands, which they pasted on the walls. One by one we were called and were made to read letters of different sizes. A team member calling, himself an optometrist,checked our eyes for other problems as well.
When i was asked to read the chart, i was finding it difficult to read the small letters on it. They asked me if I had problems while reading and I agreed. They asked me a couple of other questions; wrote something on the card and gave it to me.
After two days we were picked up from school and were taken to Shifa Foundation’s office. They told me that I had weak eye sight and that I would be given spectacles to rectify it.A few days later I got my glasses and I realized that I could read easily with them on.
I could see the letters more clearly and I was happier than before. Now whenever someone I know faces the same problem with their eyes I tell them about the Shifa Foundation team and advice them to seek their help.’
Dr. Mohammad Habib had been working in the civil hospital for the last 5 years. He complaind that getting trained staff in that area was next to impossible. Because of which they always had a shortage in terms of human resource and with floods they had to make do of whatever trained or untrained staff available, to balance out the demand. Hiring staff and then training them was difficult. Shifa Foundation had been a great help in that area.
“I thought about training a couple of locals but the problem was I didn't know where to start. I needed some guidelines. That is when Shifa Foundation approached me with their training manual for a refresher course for Medical Staff. The illustrations and videos immensely helped in learning and grasping the new concepts”.
Shifa International Hospital surgeons successfully removed a rare kidney tumour weighing around three kilograms from the abdomen of a two-year-old girl by a surgical procedure that lasted five hours. This cancerous tumour was taken out by a team of five surgeons led by a noted urologist and kidney transplant surgeon Professor Dr Saeed Akhtar. According to Dr Akhtar, the tumour was almost as big as a football but after the surgery Huraima was free from all pain and wass consuming food and liquids.
Taimour Khan, 35, father of Abbottabad’s Huraima, shared his experience:
“Initially, we thought that the swelling was caused by dirt and mud she consumed while playing in the house courtyard and just shrugged it off. But later as it began growing, we got alarmed and went to a leading Abbottabad hospital, where doctors disclosed after a test that she has been carrying a tumour in abdomen. Totally distraught, we rushed to Shifa International Hospital for further tests and treatment.”
Huraima’s family was relieved to see their daughter undergo a successful operation and a fast recovery. According to Dr Akhtar, only five in 100 people with kidney cancer survived in the past but now chemotherapy had increased survival rates to 95 per cent. He said though reasons for development of cancerous tumour had so far been unknown, chromosomal abnormalities were generally blamed for it. The urologist said the sooner the deadly cancer was diagnosed and treated, the better were its sufferer’s chances of recovery.
At the time when parents are planning the weddings of their sons, the parents of 21 years old Syed Imran Shah were planning the burial of their first born. On the way back from enjoying a dinner with his cousins, Imran suffered severe head injuries due to a road traffic accident. Despite all possible efforts at Shifa International Hospital for a week, the parents were eventually informed that the time had come to turn off the ventilator that was artificially supporting their son’s breathing process.
The family had meanwhile learned about the Transplant program at PKI, and after consulting with PKI’s Team, they decided to donate both the kidneys of their beloved child, before turning off the life-supporting machines. This act of selfless sacrifice thus opened the doors for organ sharing - a new dimension for the Cadaveric Transplant Program in Pakistan; the legal alternative for patients suffering from kidney failure who do not have blood-related family donors and do not want to stoop to further exploitation of the vulnerable by illegal buying of human organs.
PKI’s team of consultants worked overnight, identifying and testing the possible pool of kidney patients registered with them for a possible match, and early next morning one kidney was successfully transplanted to one of PKI’s patients, while the other kidney was sent to SUIT, Karachi, for better utilization and as an example of PKI’s commitment to the promotion of Cadaveric Transplant Program in Pakistan. This was the first ever transplant in Pakistan where organs procured in one center were transferred and transplanted successfully at another center across the country, thus pioneering the concept of organ – sharing in Pakistan.