Asia’s biggest children’s eye hospital in Rawalpindi has opened its doors for patients with a capacity of treating 150,000 children annually. The hospital, Al-Shifa Children Eye Hospital, was established at the cost of Rs. 1 billion.
The project was designed to facilitate patients and families, improve efficiency and deliver high-quality health care. It was completed in time with an investment of one billion rupees, and it will be able to cater to the needs of 500 OPD patients per day, said Executive Director Al-Shifa Trust, Brig. (Retired) Rizwan Asgar.
Talking to the media, he said that apart from taking care of 500 OPD patients, fifty complicated surgeries could be performed in a day by specialists. Rizwan Asgar claimed that this would be the biggest hospital in Asia, as far as the capacity is concerned. It has been completed under the supervision of the President of the trust, Major General (Retired) Rehmat Khan.
He said that we will be delivering the best care and treatments for children and playing a central role in research, for which we are thankful to the philanthropists and the donors.
He added, “We have hired 16 eye specialists, all the operation rooms have been equipped with the latest machinery and linked with the operation rooms of the main hospital. Four-storey complex has been dedicated to children cancer department, the wards, and rooms for doctors are built according to western standards while cafeteria, waiting areas, and private rooms are that of international standards.”
Masses need not hesitate to come to the hospital as 80 percent of patients are treated free of cost, while those who can afford do not need to travel to the US or UK, as they will get equally good services in this hospital, he added.
He stressed that eye screening for the children should be mandatory as lack of awareness creates several problems in the children as they grow. “Babies should be able to see in terms of focusing ability, color, vision, and depth perception in their sixth month, therefore they should have their first comprehensive eye exam at that age,” he said.
Eye Diseases In Pakistan
“Our data regarding school screening shows that 20 percent of children bear some sort of eye problems while 5 percent have severe eye disorders,” Brig. (Retired) Rizwan Asgar said.
Their eyes should be examined again at age 3 and just before they enter the school as our future is linked to children, he said. Further adding that premature babies should be examined soon after birth so that timely action could be taken to prevent any problem.
He said that school-aged children should have an eye exam at least every two years if no vision correction is required. Children who need eyeglasses should be examined annually or as recommended by the doctor.
“So far, we have been able to treat more than six million patients in the OPDs and more than 600,000 surgeries have been performed in the hospitals run by the trust at Rawalpindi, Kohat, Sukkar, and Muzafarabad,” he concluded.
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