Appeal by Chairman
According to the latest report by the World Health Organization on the global cancer burden in 2018, there were approximately 170,000 new cases of cancer in Pakistan in the past year. The increasing number of cancer cases in the country are naturally, also reflected in our increasing workloads. In 2018, we saw a 10 percent increase in new patient registrations compared to the year before. Behind each of these numbers, of course, is a person, with a whole network of family and friends who are affected by this diagnosis of cancer. This is what motivates us to continue to strive towards enhancing our capacity to provide holistic cancer care to all our patients. We achieve this by investing in new construction and expansion projects, by continuously upgrading our equipment and technology and, most of all, by ensuring that we have highly trained and committed staff, dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all our patients. I would like to thank our donors and supporters across the globe, as each one of you is an important part of this journey of continuous progress, and to take this opportunity to share our achievements of the past twelve months with you.
I am very happy to be able to tell you that SKMCH&RC in Lahore has upgraded its Radiology Department with the latest state-of-the-art equipment. We have recently acquired 3 Tesla MRI technology, and upgraded our CT scanners, enabling us to greatly enhance the quality of cancer imaging at the Hospital. Moreover, as breast cancer is the commonest cancer seen at our facilities, we have invested in upgrading our diagnostic services for breast cancer, with the introduction of first-of-its-kind 3D digital mammography facilities in Lahore. Our first Hospital, in Lahore, received the Gold Seal of Approval by the Joint Commission International (JCI) in 2018 following an exhaustive five-day audit by a team of US surveyors, and we are the only charity hospital in Pakistan to have achieved this exacting approval.
SKMCH&RC, Peshawar has completed phase II of its development, with the introduction of radiation treatment facilities, and now has a functional Clinical and Radiation Oncology Department. The department is equipped with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, including a 16-slice CT simulator, two state-of-the-art linear accelerators and the latest digital treatment planning system. This is now the most technologically advanced facility in Pakistan, north of SKMCH&RC Lahore, and commencement of clinical functions here means that patients will no longer have to travel to Lahore for most radiotherapy treatments. We will continue to invest in the latest technology to ensure that the best possible treatment is available to patients at all our clinical facilities, regardless of their ability to pay.
You will be pleased to know that construction work for SKMCH&RC in Karachi has commenced. It is expected that construction will be completed over a three-year time frame at a total cost of Rs. 9 billion. The development of this comprehensive cancer diagnosis and treatment facility will be of enormous benefit not only to the most populous city of the country, Karachi, but also to the people of the whole of Sindh, as well as to those in Balochistan.
SKMCH&RC offers cutting-edge healthcare facilities free of cost to deserving cancer patients. 75 % of our cancer patients receive financially supported treatment. It is primarily your Zakat and donations which enable us to provide free cancer treatment to thousands of deserving cancer patients each year. Our budget for the year 2019 is Rs. 13 billion and we expect around half of this to be met by your generous Zakat and donations. Please continue to help us in the fight against cancer, as you have always done, and give generously to bring hope to those suffering from cancer in our country, for many of whom Shaukat Khanum Hospital, in Lahore or Peshawar, is the only symbol of hope.
With warmest regards,
Chairman, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust