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Service and Salary Structure
President AST makes landmark decision on service and ....Read MoreĽ
BoT approves 660 million Al-Shifa Budget
BoT approves 660 million Al-Shifa Budget ....Read MoreĽ
Ground breaking ceremony of Pharmaceutical Project
Ground breaking ceremony of Pharmaceutical Project...Read MoreĽ
Double honour for Prof. Wajid
Double honour for Prof. Wajid ...Read MoreĽ
Turkish Ambassador
Turkish Ambassador Visits AST ...Read MoreĽ
Sukkur Offers Free Teleophthalmology
Sukkur offers free teleophthalmology services to rural Sindh ...Read MoreĽ
Fred Hollows
Fred Hollows delegation from Australia...Read MoreĽ
NAVTEC Supported Training
NAVTEC supported training program...Read MoreĽ
Egyptain specialist at AST
Egyptian specialist at AST for training in ...Read MoreĽ
AST and Govt of Mauritius
AST signs MoU with Govt of Mauritius....Read MoreĽ
Young Friends of AST
Young Friends of AST...Read MoreĽ
Untitled Document


August 2012 Vol. 23, No. 54

Al-Shifa News Letters


1. President AST makes landmark decision on service and salary structure of employees

2. BoT approves 660 million Al-Shifa Budget

3. Ground breaking ceremony of Pharmaceutical Project

4. Double honour for Prof. Wajid

5. Turkish Ambassador visits AST

6. Glaucoma workshop

7. Sukkur offers free teleophthalmology services to rural Sindh

8. Fred Hollows delegation from Australia

9. Outstanding performance by students of optometry

10. NAVTEC supported training program starts

11. Egyptian specialist at AST for training in oculoplastics

12. AST signs MoU with Govt of Mauritius

13. Staff New

14. Young Friends of AST

15. Ramadan Zakat Campaig

16. Patients’ Column

17. Appeal


President AST makes landmark decision on service and salary structure of employees

“We have tried our best to bring the service and salary structure of AST employees at par with the market demands and we expect from you to give the best to this institution.”  In a recent major policy decision, President AST announced to give almost 50-100% salary rise to employees of AST. In addition, a dynamic career structure for the teaching and professional staff based on the recommendations of TOR Board was also announced. This will need an additional budget of about 24 million per annum.

Board of Trustees approves 660 million Al-Shifa Budget

On the recommendations of the Finance Committee headed by Mr. Saeed Qureshi, who is also the Vice President of AST, PKR 668 million (7 million US dollars) budget was approved by Board of Trustees for the fiscal year of 2012-13. The budget with a deficit of about 160 million takes into account the  recent salary rise and the pharmaceutical project which has been set into motion this year (vide infra).



Ground breaking ceremony of Pharmaceutical Project

The Eye Drop Production Unit has been working at Al-Shifa since 1994 to cater for the needs of AST hospitals. Later, its production was increased for limited commercial use in Punjab. The President of AST, Mr. Hamid Javaid, after thorough feedback from in-house as well as from market surveys decided to launch a full-scale pharmaceutical project which will not only deliver good quality medicines for all of our four hospitals, but will also supply at national and international level on commercial basis. The first good news has already poured in. Two of our medicines already in production have been approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority for export to Middle East.


Double honour for Prof. Wajid

Prof. Wajid Ali Khan, who is the leading expert in the country for diseases of cornea and probably currently has the maximum number of corneal grafting to his credit in Pakistan was awarded with Sitare-Imtiaz by President of Pakistan. Prof Wajid who is Dean of Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology is already the holder of the Pride of Performance Award by President of Pakistan.

Recognizing his services in eye care at national level, Ophthalmological Society of Pakistan has also awarded him Novel Christie Gold Medal. It may be recalled that earlier Prof. Wajid had also been honored by Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology at Hong Kong and Sydney.

“It is not an individual honour, but a collective honour for my institution which enabled me to contribute something at national and international level” commented Prof. Wajid on his nomination for these awards.

President AST, Staff and Faculty convey its most sincere congratulations to him on this landmark achievement.


Glaucoma workshop

Participants of workshop with Prof. Standefer


Being the second commonest cause of blindness in the world, the last survey conducted by WHO in Pakistan shows that blindness from glaucoma has increased in Pakistan by five percent over the last twenty years. AST has the unique facility in the form of fully equipped modern Glaucoma Department with adequately skilled professionals. The department has to its credit the discovery of some genes and important risk factors associated with glaucoma for the first time in the world. As a center of excellence, we also arrange for training of ophthalmologists from all over the country in the diagnostic and surgical techniques for glaucoma.  Professor James E Standefer, from  White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA regularly conducts workshop for this purpose at Al-Shifa Trust. This year five ophthalmologists were trained under his supervision.

Another glaucoma specialist from UK, Mr. Nitin Anand also conducted a live surgical session at Al-Shifa which was observed through our teleophthalmology network by number of ophthalmologists from different parts of the country.

A trainee presenting a case to Prof Standefer
Sukkur offers free teleophthalmology services to rural Sindh

The teleophthalmology project which is a joint collaboration of AST and Govt. of Italy (PIDSA) has been very effective in providing expert consultation services to far-flung health care centers in both public and private sector. AST Eye Hospital Sukkur which is one of the main teleophthalmology linked center has now started providing free teleophthalmology services in Sindh. All the eye care physicians of the area have been approached to avail this opportunity free of cost. “ I believe, this is a wonderful opportunity for the deserving patients especially in rural Sindh, where hardly any specialist is available” said Dr. Rajesh Kumar of Larkana on receiving this news.


Turkish Ambassador visits AST

“I am very happy to be here to see such a wonderful facility which is doing an excellent job for prevention of needless blindness in the country. Many centers of excellence in Turkey will be ready to collaborate with Al-Shifa through mutual exchange of professional skill and knowledge.” said His Excellency, Mr. Mustafa Babür Hizlan, Ambassador of Turkey in Pakistan during his recent visit to Al-Shifa Trust.  We look forward to a strong collaboration in near future.



Fred Hollows Foundation delegation from Australia visits Al-Shifa


OMP students with Kirsten Bailey and Dr. Rubina Gillani of FHF


Fred Hollows Foundation playing a key role in human resource development in eye care in Pakistan is a long standing partner with Al-Shifa Trust, supporting many projects especially in training of Ophthalmic Midlevel Personnel. Based in Sydney Australia, FHF country office in Pakistan maintains a constant rapport with AST. Recently Ms Kirsten Bailey from Australia visited us and held important meetings with senior faculty and management of AST. FHF and AST partnership has agreed to start subspecialty training in allied vision sciences like optometry and vitreo retinal surgical assistance technology for the first time in Pakistan.

President AST with FHF delegation


Outstanding performance by students of optometry

Under National Academy of Paramedics, Pakistan Institute of Ophthalmology, is providing quality training in different fields of ophthalmology and allied vision sciences. Our students are consistently performing well in university exams.  Asma Amin and Muhammad Abu Zar Ghaffari each got second position in the University in 1st and 2nd Professional BSc. Optometry exams respectively.



PIO starts specialized training courses for OMP for the first time in Pakistan with support from NAVTEC

Ophthalmic Laser and Ultrasound Technology is fast developing discipline in the world. For the first time in Pakistan. These courses have been started from July this year to meet the demands for specialized OMP cadre at national level. National Vocational and Training Education Centre is supporting these programs.


Egyptian specialist at AST for training in Oculoplastics

Ms Eman Moustafa from Mansoura, Egypt is an ophthalmologist who has recently joined Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi for developing her skills in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery of the eye. Under the supervision of Prof. Tayyab Afghani who is a leading professional in this discipline, she will stay with us for six months training. “I feel Pakistan is my second home. The atmosphere, hospitality, quality and diversity of training has created an excellent enabling environment for me” commented Eman. Welcome Dr. Eman!



AST signs MoU with Govt of Mauritius

The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, signed on 6 July 2012 at the Subramania Bharati Eye hospital in Moka a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further strengthen the existing cooperation in the field of ophthalmology for a period of five years.
The signature ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr. Lormus Bundhoo, and the Chief Consultant/Dean of Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Professor Wajid Ali Khan, and his team who were on a visit to Mauritius from 30 June to 7 July 2012 to carry out voluntary ophthalmic operations.
According to the terms of the MoU, the Al-Shifa team will continue to operate on complex cases on voluntary basis using state-of-the-art technology and new techniques available in Mauritius. The team will provide training to the local surgeons and the nursing staff during surgeries and will conduct seminars, workshops and clinical meetings. The MoU also makes provision for Mauritian doctors, nursing staff as well as paramedical staff to undergo short and long-term training at the Al-Shifa Trust Eye hospital.
Mr. Bundhoo said that the presence of Pakistani team bears testimony of the commitment of friendly countries to assist Mauritius in enhancing the quality of care in the field of ophthalmology.
Since the first visit of the team to Mauritius in 2008, the Al-Shifa doctors have operated on 168 complex ophthalmic cases.  These include a 46 cases of corneal grafting, vitreo-retinal and other complex oculoplastics and child eye surgeries.
Prof. Wajid on behalf of Al-Shifa Trust thanked the Government of Mauritius for its hospitality and expressed his conviction that the collaboration between the Al Shifa Trust Eye Hospital and the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Govt of Mauritius will continue to strengthen.

Staff News
  1. Dr. Sarah Zafar, a bright upcoming ophthalmologist in the field of vitreoretinal surgery passed her FRCS recently. She is already qualified as FCPS in Ophthalmology after completing 4-years residency at Al-Shifa. Congratulations!
  2. Mr. Mohammed Ahmed, a bright optometrist, working at Al-Shifa Hospital Rawalpindi, was recently selected for Leadership Training Program in Optometry. This 3 week training program which included participants from six countries was conducted at Sydney under the auspices of International Center for Eye Education (ICEE). “I learned a lot of new techniques and skills in optometry education, which I plan to apply here at Al-Shifa” said Mr. Ahmed at conclusion of his training. We are thankful to ICEE for this support.
  3. Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmed has joined AST as Director Finance. A Chartered Accountant as well as Cost and Management Accountant, he brings with him a rich experience of over 20 years. Welcome, Mr. Ahmed!.



Young Friends of Al-Shifa take pride in serving the ailing community

This year remarkable number of leading school students participated in Social work Program under Young Friends of Al-Shifa. These students worked under the supervision of Social Welfare Coordinator Ms Ayesha Khan. These students helped in guiding the patients to