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News Letters

March 2008 Vol. 19, No. 42

1. Al-Shifa Trust News

2. Muzaffarabad Hospital construction started

3. Rawalpindi Hospital forges ahead

4.Inauguration of PIO Sukkur and CNG station by Caretaker Prime Minister

5.Record number of Surgical Camps by Sukkur hospital

6. Special Focus on Ophthalmic Research

7. Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology

8. Patient Column

9. Visitors Diary

10. Donors Corner

Upcoming Fund-raisers in North America

12. Hospital progress

13. Future events

14. Appeal


2008 A Challenging Year Ahead

In its 20 years of life, 2008 is the most challenging year for Al-Shifa Trust. Giant projects have been planned and put into motion for this year. Some of these, the details of which you will see in the following pages are: -

  • Commercial, Self-reliance project. It will be established in the premises of Rawalpindi eye hospital at an estimated cost of Rs. 3 billion. Planned to be completed in 4 years, it will cater for financial self-reliance of Al-Shifa Trust.
  • Muzaffarabad hospital construction to be undertaken in fast mode. It will be completed by August 2009 at the cost of Rs. 250 million.
  • Quetta hospital construction will start in June this year and will cater for the eye care needs of the most underserved province of Pakistan.
  • Extension of Rawalpindi Hospital
  • Al-Shifa Research Center for Ophthalmology
    Al-Shifa, a successful story of 20 years - book launched:

The book “Al-Shifa-A Beacon of Light” is about the tales of sacrifice, commitment and  dedication of a group of people for a cause, a history of how Al-Shifa made a journey from dream to reality in the land rich with the tales of Prince Kunala regaining his sight after losing it at the hands of his revengeful mother.

This 167 page book makes a fascinating study for those who care for suffering humanity and want to do something practical. An interesting chronicle of one of the most arduous jobs of fund-raising with lots of lessons to learn: how Mr. Jahan Dad Khan got the support of legends like Dalip Kumar and saved pennies to get pounds. On the other hand it is also an interesting account of devious tricks of contractors, blunders of consultants, yielding of a stubborn minister, honesty of a Judge, magnanimity of a President and more--- . Apart from the first-hand account of founder President of Al-Shifa Trust, contributions have also been made by others including Prof. Miller from University of Illinois, Chicago, Prof. James Standefer from Minnesota and Mr. Chip Morgan from Vancouver Canada.

WHO EMRO nominates Al-Shifa Trust for AGFUND Prize

It is a matter of pride for Pakistan that Al-Shifa Trust has been nominated by World Health Organization for the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Organization’s (AGFUND) International prize for pioneering Development Projects 2008 on the Prevention of Visual Impairment. Through this nomination WHO has also acknowledged that due to its strong leadership, Al-Shifa Trust has become a leading training institute in the East Mediterranean Region as well as a WHO Collaborating Center.

International linkages expanded

In order to expand its donor base, Al-Shifa Trust is establishing new contacts with foreign missions of different countries. In this regards, diplomats from different countries were invited to Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi. The diplomats from Iran, Belgium, Japan, South Korea, France and Brunei showed keen interest in the activities of Al-Shifa Trust specially in the field of human resource development. The diplomats were shown around various components of Al-Shifa and a presentation was also made after which honorable delegates were given answers to different queries. As a result of this interaction, the support for different projects is being discussed with Embassy of Japan and South Korea.

Muzaffarabad hospital construction started

The construction work for Muzaffarabad hospital has just been started. The construction work is undertaken by Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and will be completed in one and a half years time. FWO has previously also built our Kohat Hospital. This hospital will cost about Rs. 250 million. The hospital will be on the same standard as Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi, which is the mother Hospital and would provide comprehensive eye care services to the people of AJK, as well as to the Northern Areas like Gilgit etc..  Al-Shifa Trust is already popular here because most of the eye patients from here are regularly treated at its Rawalpindi Hospital and moreover its community outreach program is conducting free eye camps in the far flung areas of AJK screening and treating thousands of patients at the camps.

    Latest equipment purchased. A breakthrough in corneal disease

Various treatment stages for conical cornea

Prof. Wajid Ali Khan learnt the technique in Geneva under supervision of Prof. Theo Seiler

Al-Shifa Trust has achieved another land mark. The latest technology of Corneal Cross-linkages for the treatment of conical cornea (Keratoconus) is now available here. Keratoconus is an important cause of visual impairment in adults and children. It is at times progressive in nature and can completely rob the patient of vision. The latest technique arrests the progressive conical deformation of cornea. It is available only at very few centers of the world. Prof. Wajid Ali Khan mastered the technique in Geneva under the supervision of its inventor Prof. Theo Seiler.

 International Girls Hostel completed

The training for eye paramedics and eye nurses is going on since the start of Al-Shifa. The standard of training and its recognition by premiere national universities has made it highly competitive. Now we are receiving candidates from other countries of the world. In order to meet the accommodation requirements of international students, a new girls' hostel has recently been completed. The construction for the international boys’ hostel is in progress. The girls’ hostel will accommodate about 40 national and 12 international students.


Sukkur Hospital – Drive for Self-reliance

Inauguration of Pakistan Institute  of Ophthalmology Sukkur and CNG station by Prime Minister at Sukkur Hospital

Mr. Mohammad Mian Soomro, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is also a senior member of Board of Trustees Al-Shifa Trust, recently visited Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Sukkur. Accompanied by caretaker Chief Minister of Sindh, Mr. Justice (Retd.) Abdul Qadir Halepota, and other dignitaries, Mr. Soomro performed the stone-laying ceremony of Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology (PIO) Sukkur. The drive for self-reliance of Sukkur hospital got another boost by simultaneous ground-breaking ceremony of Al-Shifa Fuel Station.

Although the training of eye paramedics is already going on in Sukkur, the establishment of PIO at Sukkur will solve the problem of an exclusive training institute which is badly needed for whole of this underserved region. The Sukkur Fuel Station once completed will help in resource generation. It will be followed by more income-generating projects in near future.

The prime minister also distributed certificates amongst the eye paramedics who completed their training at Sukkur and doctors who have completed their training successfully at Rawalpindi. The Prime Minister and Chief Minister also announced a donation of Rs. 10 million for the hospital.


On this occasion, it was also decided that the provincial government of Sindh will take active part in development of the hospital. It was also announced by President of Trust that a satellite clinic of Sukkur eye hospital will be set-up in city center to improve the access of all segments of society to this modern eye hospital. The local philanthropists and provincial government also pledged donations for Al-Shifa Trust.

Record Number of Surgical Camps by Sukkur Hospital

Sukkur hospital has been making very rapid progress now. In the last quarter, 12 surgical camps were held where over 2,000 operations were successfully conducted in far-flung and highly underserved parts of Sindh Province.

Special Focus on Ophthalmic Research

  • Al-Shifa Research Center for Ophthalmology (ARCO)

 Terms of references approved

Renowned international researcher Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ilyas Burney from National Institute of Health has taken over as Chairman of Al-Shifa Research Committee.  He has to his credit many original research publications. The Research Committee comprising of Chief Consultant and senior faculty members decided to formally name the research center as Al-Shifa Research Center for Ophthalmology (acronym ARCO). The core research staff consisting of an Epidemiologist, a Research Coordinator and a research assistant/librarian has been authorized. Al-Shifa has already set aside adequate funds as initial seed money for the project. But research is a long-term and expensive but essential undertaking. It will need lot of support from philanthropists. A funding proposal currently under preparation will be sent to international NGOs and donors in near future.

National Institute of Health (NIH) to collaborate with ARCO

National Institute of Health Islamabad will be one of the collaborators with ARCO. NIH is one of the leading research institutions of the country

Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology (PIO)

  • Impetus given to professional development of doctors

The PIO Development Plan which was approved by Board of Trustees has now been set into motion. President of Al-Shifa in his recent address to the doctors announced special measures for the professional development of doctors. A special fund has been set up for young and able doctors for short-term professional training at international centers of excellence after post-graduation. Similarly the President announced to start regular exchange program for senior faculty with different international centers.

Asia-Pacific Academy honors Prof. Wajid

Asia Pacific Academy of ophthalmology during a recent meeting in Hong-Kong presented distinguished service award to Al-Shifa Chief Consultant, Prof. Wajid Ali Khan. Prof. Wajid is the leading cornea and anterior segment surgeon in Pakistan.

Academic Excellence

Recently one of our faculty members, pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Saima Nuzhat added to her qualifications the distinguished degree of FRCS from England. She is already a holder of fellowship of college of physicians and surgeons Pakistan as well certified pediatric ophthalmologist. Congratulations to Dr. Saima!

  • The results of the first professional examination for BSc. Optometry and Orthoptics by University of Health Sciences have shown excellent performance by our students. Three students got distinction in the exam. They are Mr. Sadaqat Ali, Mr. Tanveer, and Mr. Nisar Latif. Congratulations!

    Participation in International Conferences

    Prof. Wajid Ali Khan attended the Asia-Cornea Society meeting in Singapore and a workshop on latest corneal technologies in Switzerland. He also presented a paper on latest corneal treatment protocol.

    Prof. Nadeem Qureshi, head of department of retina, attended an international video conference at Bangkok Thailand. He presented one video of his research work.

    Dr. Ayesha Khan, head of department of pediatric ophthalmology attended the recent meeting of American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology held at Washington, DC, USA.

    Dr. Sultan Asif Kiani, from department of Oculoplastics participated in the international meeting of Oculoplastic Association of India held at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.

    Seminar on Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is a silent killer of vision. It is the second most common cause of blindness and for the first time this year around the world, a World Glaucoma Day was held on 6th March. Al-Shifa Department of Glaucoma also organized a Seminar on this occasion under the supervision of Chief of our Glaucoma Department, Dr. Farah Akhtar.

    Al-Shifa attracts more international students

    Currently, foreign students from different countries are undergoing training in various disciplines at Al-Shifa. With support from ORBIS international, USA, Dr. Mustafiz from Bangladesh is undergoing one-year training in fellowship of retina. Similarly three students from Somalia are under training in Optometry and Refractionist programs.

  • Patient Column

    Hasan Ijaz a six years child from Sadiqabad, a son of poor farmer had sudden acute illness on rising up one morning. There was huge swelling of the eye with child being critically ill. The parents had to travel to different places but the condition went on worsening. Finally someone arranged for their travel costs to Al-Shifa Rawalpindi where the child underwent major operation lasting for over 2 hours in the department of Orbit and oculoplastics. By Grace of Allah, the child fully recovered and now he can see and live a normal life.



    Ch. Abdul Sattar from Glasgow

    Dr. Pervez Rasul from Chicago

    Dr. Zahid Beg from New Jersey USA

    Visit of President Al-Shifa to Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce

    Upcoming Fund-raisers in North America

    President Al-Shifa Trust will be visiting North America from 29th April to 28th May for fund-raising. Al-Shifa Foundation for North America and Al-Shifa Chapters in USA and Toronto, Canada have already made extensive preparations for this important event. We request all our friends in North America to extend full support in this regard. The program of the visit is as follows: -

    New York   April 30 – May 03
    St. Louis  May 05 – May 06
    Chicago   May 08 – May 10
    Houston    May 12 – May 13
    Los Angeles    May 15 – May 17
    Vancouver  May 19
    Calgary   May 21
    Edmonton May 22
    Toronto May 24 – May 26

    Donors Corner

      Institutional Donors

        1. Govt. of Pakistan/Govt. of Sindh jointly pledged a grant of PKR 10 million.
        2. Discover Islam- an NGO from Bahrain donated PKR one million for Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Muzaffarabad
        3. Islamic Foundation of Toronto donated 15,000 US dollars
        4. Islamabad Chamber of Commerce pledged Rs. two million
        5. Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce pledged Rs. one million
        Individual Donors
        1. Ch Abdul Sattar from Glasgow donated PKR 2 million for construction of residential block of Al-Shifa Trust
        2. Mian Habib Hussain and Raja Allah Ditta from Waltham Forest Muslim Trust donated 5,000 sterling pounds
    Progress Report


    Rawalpindi, Sukkur and Kohat

    First Quarter 2008







































    Grand Total




    Important Coming Events At Al-Shifa
    • Paramedics Conference – April 2008
    • Visit of North America by President Al-Shifa
    • Launching of Quetta and Muzaffarabad Hospitals – April/June 2008

    Al-Shifa Needs Your Support
    Al-Shifa is a Not-for-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!
    Kindly note that your Zakat donations go separately to the accounts which are dedicated for treatment of Zakat patients only.

    Kindly send your donations or Zakat to following Account Numbers: -

    • In UK
    • Habib Bank AG Zurich 5/7 High Street Southall, Middlesex UB 1 3HA, UK

    Account Number = 7-2-7-20311-402-109356 (Pound Sterling Account)
    Account Number = 7-2-7-20311-333-109356 (US dollar Account)

    • HSBC Bank AuchinLeck House, Birmingham:       Account Number = 40-1108-41311565
    • In USA
    • National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), 100 Wall Street, 21st Floor New York, NY 10005:       Account Number = 52152578
    • Al-Shifa Foundation of North America 1200 SMITH ST STE 2355 Houston TX 77002:    Tax ID (For US Residents Only) 36-4328912
    • 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.
    • Send an SMS and Donate for Al-Shifa: Mobilink is running a fund-raising service for Al-Shifa. If you have got a Mobilink number then SMS ‘Donate’ at 7432 and Rs. 10 will go to Al-Shifa
    • PIA joins the noble cause of Al-Shifa: While traveling via PIA Flights you can donate in the name of Al-Shifa.

    Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Jhelum Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
    Tel: 0092 51 5487820-25, Fax: 0092 51 5487827

    Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Railway Road, Sukkur, Pakistan
    Tel: 0092 71 5612766, 0092 71 5615466 Fax: 0092 71 5613453

    Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, KDA, Kohat, Pakistan
    Tel: 0092 922 515686, 0