As Ramadan comes to a close supporters of the Hashim Welfare Hospital have been updated on the progress of the appeal during this years Muslim holy month. Leaflets setting out the progress made since the foundation stone was laid in 1999 and the first patient seen in 2003 show that there has been steady progress. The eye department was opened in October 2003, a clinical laboratory in March 2005 and, with the assistance of the World Health Organisation, a dental department in March 2006. Hospital staff also played a crucial role in helping victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Pindi Hashim, the village in rural Pakistan where the hospital is located is about half way between Lahore and Islamabad.
Founder and Chairman of the Appeal, Urological Surgeon Dr Idrees Awan comments: “Over the last two years £75,000 was donated to the appeal during the two Ramadan months. Whilst some of this has been used to provide hospital services we have also been able to keep some in reserve for Phase 2 of our building plans for which we need a total of £150,000. Staff at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals in Surrey have helped with the design of the second stage which started in autumn 2007 and all we need now is money to enable us to complete the building. Recently a football match at Woking Football Club and a curry night with Old Guildfordians have raised £425 and £650 for the appeal. We are very grateful to the people of Woking and Guildford who supported these events.”
Included in Phase 2 of the building plans are:
- A purpose built investigation block with x-ray, ultrasound and laboratory facilities;
- A modern surgical theatre instead of the current temporary eye theatre; and
- Day wards for patients coming in for eye surgery, kidney stone treatment and dialysis.
Since the hospital opened over 94,000 patients have been treated including 11,000 eye patients, 800 dental patients and over 800 cataract operations performed. Of these some 35,000 were treated in the 10 months following the October 2005 earthquake.
Dr Awan continued: “In addition to building the hospital in Pindi Hashim our Vice President in Pakistan, Dr Ajmal Naqvi has built a small day hospital in the village of Tehsildar Wala, about 100 miles from Pindi Hashim. I was pleased to be able to see Dr Naqvi recently and hear about the progress of the both the hospital in Pindi Hashim and the new service at Tehsildar Wala, where we will be helping to set up medical services similar to those at Pindi Hashim.”
“During the blessed month of Ramadan we are pleased to receive all ‘Zakat’ donations. Unbelievably 25p – the price of a cupcake - pays for four outpatient visits. Just £30 can give someone their sight back. £1,000 pays for a bed for the hospital and £5,000 pays for an entire room. During 2007 we received our largest donation to date - £5,000 from one individual donor.”
The Hashim Welfare Hospital Appeal was formally affiliated to Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust in 2005. Staff from the hospitals provide technical support and medical expertise to the development and services of the Hashim Welfare Hospital.
Anyone wishing to donate money to the appeal can do so by visiting www.hashimwelfare.org.uk or by contacting the UK appeal Treasurer, Mr Sajid Mahmood on 01483-762774 or 07887-851040.