On the 29th of December 2020, Pakistan’s first tertiary-level cancer centre, the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre (SKMCH&RC), completed twenty-six years of service. Over the past two decades, the Hospital has dealt with several challenges but never closed its operations, even for a single day. As we find ourselves amidst another challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for the support of our donors and staff whose unrelenting commitment has ensured continuity of care for all our cancer patients during these unprecedented times. With full confidence in the generosity of our supporters, we plan to proceed with our ambitious goals for 2021, designed to make state-of-the-art cancer care accessible to ever-increasing numbers of people in Pakistan.
The construction of a new PET-CT suite at SKMCH&RC in Lahore, for our second PET-CT scanner, was completed in December, 2020. PET-CT scanning is one of the most advanced imaging modalities for cancer patients and many of our cancer patients require multiple PET-CT scans during the course of their treatment. Pakistan’s first PET-CT scanning system was installed at this Hospital over a decade ago, and due to the growing number of patients, the addition of a second PET-CT scanner became inevitable to manage the increasing workload at the Hospital. As the current infrastructure of the Hospital is already running at full capacity, we expect to begin construction work for the new Clinical Tower in the autumn of 2021, which will allow us to enhance and improve existing facilities, embrace new technologies and accept for treatment a larger number of patients.
SKMCH&RC in Peshawar completed the fifth year of its operations in December 2020 and services at the Hospital continue to be scaled-up. I am pleased to tell you that, marking the completion of the third and final phase of development of the Peshawar hospital, construction of four operation theatres has recently been completed and two are to be fully equipped and functional by the 1st of March, 2021. This will be another milestone for our hospital in Peshawar and will benefit patients from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa hugely, since they will now be able to access all the major modalities of cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and now surgery, at SKMCH&RC, Peshawar.
In Karachi, after a brief disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction work has resumed for Pakistan’s third and largest Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre. Just as our donors stood by us during the construction of the first hospital in Lahore and the second one in Peshawar, I hope that our generous well-wishers will open their hearts, once again, and donate generously for the third hospital in Karachi.
Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust strives continuously to enhance Pakistan’s capacity to provide the best possible care to as many cancer patients as possible, based on the principles of equity, transparency and merit. For the year 2021, we need Rs. 19 billion to sustain not only two state-of-the-art cancer centres but to continue the construction of the hospital in Karachi, to commence construction of the clinical tower in Lahore and to continue to ensure that the latest technology is employed in providing cancer treatment at all our facilities. As in past years, we expect about half of this to be met through your generous donations and Zakat. I invite you to pledge a regular gift of hope in 2021 and to enable the growing network of the Shaukat Khanum Healthcare System to one day eliminate the scourge of cancer from the face of our nation.
With warmest personal regards,
Chairman, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust