Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospitals

Successful medical treatment of more than 4 Million People todate     Approximately more than 0.35 million successful operations todate      Approximately 1300 patients treated on a daily basis     More than 120 doctors trained/grauated to alleviate the sufferings of the blind       More than 0.3 million operations carried out during out reach progam/eye camps      More than 1.5 million children successfully screened todate
Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospitals









News Letters

I. Al-Shifa Trust Rawalpindi- a center of excellence

II. Specialty Clinics Operative at Sukkur

III. Construction of Kohat Hospital in full swing

IV. Planning for Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Quetta

V. Dr. Para from WHO carries out evaluation of Al-Shifa

VI. District Focus Programme

VII. Aiming for Self-Reliance: Al-Shifa CNG station


IX. LIONS vice President visits Al-Shifa

X. Mr. Chip Morgan from Operation EyeSight on a project monitoring visit

XI. Induction of new residents

XII. Training of Afghan Doctors

XIII. Participation in national and international Conferences

XIV. Progress of the Research Projects

XV. Donation by International School of Islamabad

XVI. Al-Shifa Forum for Young Friends

XVII. Visit of President Al-Shifa to Gulf States

XVIII. Annual Address by the President of the Trust

XIX. Staff News

XX. Patient Column

XXI. Quarterly Progress

XXII. Future Events

XXIII. Appeal

• 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 retina clinic
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 from abroad.

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 .

Phase 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.
Construction 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. 25 crores.
Planning 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.
Dr. Para from WHO carries out evaluation of Al-Shifa
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 countries.”

Dr. Para also delivered lectures to residents and held frank discussions with the faculty members.

ORBIS Project
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.

LIONS 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.
District Focus Programme
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).
Mr. 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.
Professional Training Activities by Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology
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 manner”.
? 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 by SSI.
Participation 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.
Progress 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.
Visit 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 collected.
Donation Promotion Activities

ii. Donation 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.


Al-Shifa 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!
Moving towards Self-Reliance: CNG station to start working soon
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.
Annual Address by President of the Trust
“Whatever is 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.
Staff News
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
Patient Column
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.

Moved 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.

Quarterly Progress


Last Quarter 2003














































Important 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, 2004

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 America

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 Numbers: -
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 States.
5. Online Collection
Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospitals