Iknow the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. I have seen the same expression of pain mirrored on the faces of so many others in Pakistan who could not afford cancer treatment. Therefore, twenty-two years ago I made a romise to the poor people of my country that they will receive free cancer treatment in their country. It was because you shared this dream with me and opened your hearts for poor cancer patients that we made possible what was deemed impossible by many. Today we have two functional state-of-the-art cancer centres in Lahore and Peshawar that are providing financially supported cancer treatment to over 75% of its patients. Please accept my gratitude for your unwavering support that has enabled me to keep this promise.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the major achievements in the continued development of the Hospital that have occurred over the past twelve months.
In Lahore, the Hospital’s purpose-built state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit is undergoing an expansion to provide diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy facilities to a larger number of patients. Moreover, to cater to the growing patient activity, ground-breaking of the new Clinical Tower at the Hospital is also planned to be performed this year. The Clinical Tower would almost double the capacity of most of the clinical services and thus allow us to serve more cancer patients.
In Peshawar, I am very pleased to be able to share with you that Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Peshawar has completed first year of its operations. As planned, in conjunction with the commencement of chemotherapy facility, inpatient beds, fully equipped ICU beds, radiology and pathology facilities are operational. With each passing month, the hospital has continued to record an increase in patient activity. The Radiation Oncology services are planned to be functional in the year 2018 for which relevant construction works are in progress. The Hospital in Peshawar is of tremendous benefit to poor cancer patients, who were previously required to make repeated physically, emotionally and financially demanding trips to Lahore for treatment.
In Karachi, groundbreaking of Pakistan’s third Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre has been performed and construction of the project will commence in the next several months. This multi-level facility, equipped with the latest cancer care technology, is planned to open doors to patients on December 29, 2019. The Hospital will help to enhance healthcare standards and to develop training and employment opportunities in the wider
region as a whole.
We have resolved to undertake these seemingly ambitious projects only because of our absolute belief in your passion and generosity that has never let us down in the past. The annual operating budget for the year 2017 is CAD 122 million and as in the past years, we expect about half of this to be met by your donations and Zakat. While the revenue from the Hospital’s services continues to be utilized for our expansion projects, it is your Zakat that enables us to treat poor cancer patients. I hope this Ramzan too you will give your Zakat generously to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre and enable us to continue to fulfill our promise of hope for thousands of poor cancer patients.
With warmest regards,