Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi:
A centre of excellence
Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital
is now one of the very few institutions
in the country, where disease-specific clinics
(Subspecialty Clinics) have been set up
to provide state of the art eye care.
Retina Clinic deals with diseases of
the posterior segment of the eye. The
treatment of retinal disease is very expensive,
time consuming and requires highly skilled
professionals. At present, this clinic
has four qualified retinal specialists,
has all the advanced equipment and trained
paramedics dealing with 40-50 such patients
daily being referred from all over the
country. In addition world renowned retina
specialists from abroad are also invited
to work here as visiting consultants and
impart modern training skills.
Photo 1: A patient under examination in
Photo 2: Mr. Ishaq Chisti, visiting retina
consultant from USA during a luncheon
with President of the Trust and Prof.
Jahangir Akhtar, Dean of Pakistan Institute
of Ophthalmology, Al-Shifa.
Eye problems in children require special
surgical and medical skills. At Al-Shifa,
our pediatric clinic, with three experienced
pediatric consultants, and three supporting
departments (optometry, Orthoptics, and
low vision), is providing the most comprehensive
eye care in the country. This clinic alone
is handling 15% of the surgical and 20%
of the total hospital patient population.
Like retina clinic, this clinic has also
the facility of visiting consultants from
abroad. Prof. Miller from University of
Illinois, Chicago, an international child
eye specialist with special interest in
genetics and holder of the Best Doctors
of America Award in 1994, 1998 and 2000
is visiting us during April, 2004.
Photo 3: A child is under examination
at Orthoptics clinic
Similarly Cornea and refractive surgery
Clinic is providing one of the best quality
services in the country. Our experience
and results in corneal grafting are reflected
by the number of corneal cases referred
to Al-Shifa from all over Pakistan and
The low vision clinic supported by low
vision resource centre is one of most
well-equipped and skilled department in
the country providing services to those
patients whose visual problem cannot be
helped by medicine or surgery. The availability
of indigenous good quality low vision
devices as well as imported computerised
vision enhancement apparatus, excellent
professional support along with expert
counselling and optometric services makes
it a unique facility in the country .
II of Al-Shifa Hospital Sukkur will be launched
by Prime Minister
During phase I, Al-Shifa Sukkur
has been providing secondary level eye care
facilities along with very well-run community
program. Now after consolidating its Phase
I on target, the hospital is now ready to
take up its responsibilities as tertiary
eye care centre by starting subspecialty
clinics. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr.
Jamali has kindly agreed to launch Phase
II including special clinics – Pediatrics
(child eye clinic), Retina and diabetes.
During this visit, the Prime Minister will
also be laying foundation stone of National
Academy of Paramedics wing of this complex.
This institute will play a major role in
human resource development of much needed
manpower in the field of ophthalmic midlevel
personnel. During Phase II, hospital building
capacity will be increased from 100 to 200
beds. The phase II will be completed in
three years time.
of Kohat Hospital in full swing
After ground-breaking ceremony
of our third hospital at Kohat in the North
Western Frontier Province of Pakistan during
March this year, 50% of the construction
work there has completed. During Phase I,
the entire infrastructure will be completed,
and induction of staff will be finalized
by the end of 2004. Hopefully by March 2005,
the hospital and its community program will
become operational. During phase II, research
and post-graduate training facilities for
doctors and paramedics will be developed.
. It is going to be one of the major quality
eye care providers for the people of Frontier
Province and adjoining belt of Afghanistan.
The total expenditure will run up to Rs.
for Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Quetta:
The strategic plan of Al-Shifa
requires comprehensive tertiary eye care
hospitals in all the four provinces. Those
at Rawalpindi and Sukkur are operational,
while the third hospital at Kohat will be
functional by year 2005. The planning for
fourth hospital in the capital city of Baluchistan
province is in progress. The provincial
government has already earmarked adequate
land for this project. The construction
will be undertaken immediately after completion
of Kohat hospital. It will provide all those
facilities currently available at Rawalpindi.
The cost estimated is about Rs. 25 crores.
Para from WHO carries out evaluation of
Al- Shifa Trust
is a WHO Collaborating Center for Prevention
of blindness in Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Quality assurance has always been our prime
consideration. To ensure that, Al-Shifa
Trust always invites external evaluators
in order to know our weakness and strengths.
This time on the request of President of
the Trust, WHO had sent one of its world-renowned
ophthalmologists, Dr. Pararajasegaram to
carry out this evaluation. He carried out
in-depth analysis of the performance of
hospitals, PIO, Research Centre and Centre
for Community Ophthalmology by interviewing
the key faculty members and through direct
observation. While summarizing his report
he concludes” ------being a WHO Collaborating
Centre and an apex national eye institute,
Al-Shifa Trust has taken great strides in
its first 14 years of life. The achievements
are extraordinary; the amount and quality
of clinical care, the level of post-graduate
training and dedication and commitment of
the staff can be compared with any institution
in the world. I can safely count Al-Shifa
to be one of the role models for developing
Dr. Para also delivered lectures to residents
and held frank discussions with the faculty
Aimed at strengthening of
eye care services for children with the
help of ORBIS international, this three
years project has successfully completed
its first year. Against the target of 8,000
child consultations, over 22,000 consultations
took place in first year. Similarly against
the target of 800 operations/year, 1206
operations have been carried out by the
pediatric department. The patient waiting
time for consultation has been effectively
reduced to zero. Similarly the rest of the
project is also moving according to schedule.
Dr. Raihan the interim Country Director
of ORBIS also paid a visit to Al-Shifa
to monitor the progress of the project.
Under the project, ORBIS has arranged
the visit of world renowned pediatric
ophthalmologist, Prof. Marilyn Miller
to conduct a weeklong training program
at Al-Shifa during April 2004. In addition,
one of our senior ophthalmologists, Dr.
Ayesha Khan (FCPS, FRCS in ophthalmology)
will also undergo one year training in
pediatric ophthalmology at world-known
Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
vice President visits Al-Shifa
Mr. Ashok Mehta, 2nd Vice
President of Lions International, visited
Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi.
During his day-long visit, he was taken
around the different components of the hospital.
While highlighting the contributions of
LIONS Sight-First Program at Al-Shifa for
prevention and control of diabetes related
blindness, President of the Trust acknowledged
this with gratitude and hoped that Al-Shifa
and LIONS will further strengthen their
partnership. Mr. Mehta was highly appreciative
of the efforts of Al-Shifa and promised
to collaborate in the field of paramedic
training and for starting a similar project
for prevention of diabetes-related blindness
at Sukkur hospital. It is worth mentioning
that as the country is facing acute shortage
of trained paramedics in eye care, Al-Shifa
has requested assistance from Lions Club
for developing National Academy of Paramedics
(NAP) in order to meet this urgent demand.
Currently Al-Shifa Trust is
working in four districts for strengthening
of eye care services (Districts Jhelum,
Rawalpindi, Attock and Sukkur). District
Eye Surgeon and two paramedics from each
district were earlier trained to upgrade
skills. Now the equipment worth Rs. 4 million
with the help of WHO and SSI has been handed
over to the district eye units. We hope
that with assistance from Al-Shifa in their
capacity building, the cataract output of
these district eye units will increase to
compensate for the existing backlog of blindness
in these areas. Al-Shifa has plans to involve
more districts in the year 2004 with the
help of international NGOs and donors. It
is worth mentioning that for one district
eye unit, the requirement of equipment ranges
from Rs. two to four million (including
both district and its tehsils).
Chip Morgan from Operation EyeSight on a
project monitoring visit
Operation EyeSight Universal
(OEU-Canada) is long-standing partner of
Al-Shifa since 1992. It has helped Al-Shifa
in various fields like training of district
eye surgeons, Pharmaceutical project, school
screening, health education, surgical camps
and infrastructure development. Recently
Mr. Chip Morgan was deputed by OEU to conduct
monitoring visits of various OEU projects
across the globe. As a part of that program
he also made a visit to Al-Shifa. He was
quite impressed by the performance and standards
of Al-Shifa and hopefully this visit would
prove a milestone for the partnership and
further broaden the scope of cooperation
between Al-Shifa and OEU. He evinced keen
interest in our research projects, subspecialty
development and low vision devices.
Training Activities by Pakistan Institute
o National University of Science
and Technology (NUST) approves PIO courses.
NUST has recently recommended affiliation
of some of the courses run by PIO like Optometry,
Orthoptics and Ophthalmic technician. It
may be recalled that post graduate training
in ophthalmology is already recognized by
College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan
and Quaid-e-Azam University.
o Induction of New Residents. The annual
induction of doctors for post graduation
in ophthalmology and that of paramedics,
nurses and optometrists took place recently.
Twelve doctors and 30 paramedics were selected
for this purpose this year. Currently 26
doctors and 58 paramedics are under training
here. The courses run for doctors are FCPS,
MS, MCPS, subspecialty fellowships and microsurgical
training, while Orthoptics, optometry, ophthalmic
technicians and ophthalmic nursing courses
are available to ophthalmic midlevel personnel.
Most of the training costs are directly
being borne by Al-Shifa.
o International training activities:
? Afghan doctors with the help of WHO are
currently under training at Al-Shifa for
a one year surgical skill enhancing program.
Dr. ZiaulHaq one of the trainees says “In
the last couple of months, since I have
been here, I have learnt considerably. Not
only that my surgical skills are being polished,
but also I am learning how to approach towards
the problem of blindness in a comprehensive
? The faculty of Al-Shifa is now also being
invited to conduct training abroad. In this
respect, one of the senior members of our
faculty of optometry, Mr. Waqas conducted
a training program in low vision for optometrists
in Bangladesh. The activity was sponsored
in national and international Conferences
Al-Shifa has always encouraged
continuous professional development of its
staff. a. Dr. Wajid
Ali Khan attended a WHO meeting of its Eastern
Mediterranean Regional collaborating centres
followed by Dr. Tayyab who participated
in WHO Vision 2020 Planning Workshop at
its regional headquarters in Cairo and gave
a lecture on childhood blindness. b.
Similarly pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr.
Shehla Rubab along with one of the research
fellows Dr. Amtul Aziz was invited to speak
at Lahore national ophthalmology conference.
c. Al-Shifa also participated
in a symposium on disability, organized
by National Institute of Handicapped where
director research gave a presentation on
burden of disability due to blindness.
of the Research Projects
The research department is
currently involved in over a dozen research
projects including multi-center international
trials. One such trial on control of trachoma
is underway now-a-days and will be completed
by the end of February. A study on infection
control is also near completion. Another
study is looking into the impact of Vitamin
A intervention on childhood blindness, while
a similar study is exploring the causes
of childhood blindness.
of President Al-Shifa to Gulf States
Visit to Gulf States by President
of the Trust:: President of the Trust made
a very successful tour of Gulf States. The
response by the community was as usual very
encouraging and about 10 million Rs. were
by International School of Islamabad:
International School has been a regular
donor to Al-Shifa in its corneal transplant
campaign. Recently it made a contribution
for two corneas and also donated large
number of toys for child patients. The
corneas have been transplanted in two
children, Palwasha and Karim, aged 4 and
7 years from Dera Ismail Khan and Mianwali.
International School of Islamabad has
set an example of commitment for a noble
cause, worth emulating by other schools.
Forum for Young Friends
AThis has now become a very
popular forum for promotion of humanitarian
cause of Al-Shifa Trust. Relentless Miss
Huma has successfully motivated number of
young students from various elite schools
of the city like St. Mary’s, Presentation
Convent, City School and Beacon House in
public awareness and health education campaign.
Some schools have already set-up Al-Shifa
Health Education Corners in their libraries.
In near future, Young Friends have planned
to put up donation boxes in their School
Cafeterias. Keep it up Friends!
towards Self-Reliance: CNG station to start
Al-Shifa is always striving
for sustainability of its eye care services
through various income-generation schemes.
The CNG, diesel and petrol station are fully
operative and sale is showing a sharp rise
every day. It will serve as an important
source of income for Al-Shifa. Chairman
Senate, Mr. Mohammadmian Somro who is also
one of the Al-Shifa Trustees has inaugurated
it on 19th January 2004.
Address by President of the Trust
achieved by Al-Shifa is not an individual
act, it is a team work and I commend you
all for that” said Lt. Gen.(Retd.) Jahan
Dad Khan at a recently held All-Al-Shifa-Staff
gathering. In his address he summarized
major achievements of Al-Shifa during year
2003 including completion of major projects
like construction of Kohat Hospital, launching
of phase II of Sukkur hospital, expansion
of subspecialties at Rawalpindi Hospital
and establishment of CNG station. Our weak
areas, he said, were slow progress in affiliation
of courses of Al-Shifa Ophthalmic Research
Centre and human resource development of
ophthalmic midlevel personnel, while we
have also been slow in our district focus
program. He advised that maximum time should
be spent on implementation of policy decisions.
In the end he said that we have and we will
always live up to the expectations of our
donors and friends who are tremendously
helping Al-Shifa to grow.
a. Mr. Salman Ahmed has joined
Al-Shifa as Director Finance. He has brought
with him a rich experience spread over a
quarter of a century.
b. Dr. Shehla Rubab has rejoined us as pediatric
ophthalmologist after completing one-year
post-fellowship subspecialty training in
pediatric ophthalmology at world known Hospital
for Sick Children Toronto, Canada
26 years back, Sajid Ghauri
had to face one of the worst tragedies of
his life. He had deadly tumours in his both
eyes. To save his life, the eyes were to
be removed. He had to choose between death
and blindness. He had no choice. Aged 34,
now he is the father of two children age
4 and 6 years. Sometimes back, the parents
of Mr. Ghauri, noticed that both their grand
sons had the same whitish cat’s eye reflex
which earlier had cast the sight of their
son. Probably the nightmare had not ended
for Ghauri. At Al-Shifa Orbit and Oculoplastic
unit, which is now a major referral centre
of the country for tumours of the eye and
plastic surgery, children were also diagnosed
to have Retinoblastoma, -the killer of sight
and life. However, his children are more
fortunate. They got their treatment in time.
Still one eye had to be removed in one child,
while the rest had to be treated by drugs
and laser. These children have survived
and retained the sight, but many others
may not. Retinoblastoma -if not treated
in time- is fatal. Because of lack of awareness
in Pakistan, children are brought very late
with very bad prognosis. Al-Shifa receives
such patients from all over Pakistan. We
have been able to save the sight and life
of many such children through prompt intervention.
Please note that any child with recent unexplained
loss of vision, squinted eye or white eye
or a red eye resistant to treatment may
have this problem. Consult the doctors.
And remember, it runs in families.
at the plight of such patients, one of
our donors who happened to be around-
Ms. Neelam Amani from UK- made a generous
contribution for the treatment of these
patients. We are thankful to her.
HOSPITAL AND OUTREACH PERFORMANCE
Last Quarter 2003
Coming Events At Al-Shifa
Launching of Phase II of Al-Shifa Sukkur
by Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Visit of LIONS evaluation team, headed
by Dr. Para - 29th January to 1st February,
French Scientific team to undertake research
at Al-Shifa – 9 to 13 February, 2004.
Prof. Miller from USA to impart training
in Pediatric Ophthalmology during 15 –
17 April 2004.
Visit of President Al-Shifa Trust to North
Al-Shifa Needs Your Support
Al-Shifa is a non-profit and a non-political
organization. It is committed to providing
eye care and treatment mainly to the under
privileged and poor. Almost 75% of all patients
attending Al-Shifa Eye Hospital are treated
free. The Trust is able to meet only 30-40%
of its expenses from its own sources while
the remaining expenses are met through zakat,
donations and support from philanthropists.
Your contribution means the gift of sight
for someone in need!
A donation of $50 will help to restore the
eyesight of a poor patient with cataract,
while a donation of $250 will assist in
obtaining a cornea for a corneal blind person
requiring Keratoplasty. Kindly send your
donations or Zakat to following Account
1. In UK
a. Habib Bank AG Zurich 5/7 High Street
Southall, Middlesex UB 1 3HA, UK
Account Number = 7-2-7-20311-402-109356
a. HSBC Bank AuchinLeck House, Birmingham:
Account Number = 40-1108-41311565
2. In USA
a. National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), 100
Wall Street, 21st Floor New York, NY 10005:
Account Numbers = 52152507, 52152578
b. Al-Shifa Foundation of North America
1200 SMITH ST STE 2355 Houston TX 77002:
Tax ID (For US Residents Only) 36-4328912
3. In Pakistan, donations can be sent directly
to Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Jhelum Road,
Rawalpindi or to account No.365-1, Muslim
Commercial Bank Limited, Al-Shifa Branch
Rawalpindi. All donations in Pakistan are
exempted from Income Tax vide Regional Commissioner
Income Tax, Islamabad, letter number SO-III-26
(9)97-98/5422 dated 23rd May 1998.
4. We also maintain collection accounts
in branches of Pakistani banks in the Gulf
5. Online Collection