Patients’ Behbud Society for AKUH has raised more than Rs 1.2 billion over the last 10 years, including more than Rs 250 million in 2017, the most ever.
At a dinner organised at the AKU Sports and Rehabilitation Centre's poolside, on February 22, over 200 friends and supporters of the Patients' Behbud Society for AKUH (PBS) came to learn about the difference their zakat contributions have made in the quality of life of many musteqeen patients.
As a charitable society, PBS collects zakat and disburses it, under shari’ah guidelines to mustehiq patients who access their quality healthcare at AKUH and its many clinics. All zakat donations are used only for the treatment of patients with all administrative expenses borne by the University Hospital.
There was much to celebrate at the dinner. Over the last decade, PBS has been able to mobilise Rs 1.2 billion. In 2017 alone, over Rs 250 million was raised to support the needs of 1,140 beneficiaries who collectively made 6,270 visits to AKUH for treatment.
Commenting on the generosity of the donors, President Firoz Rasul said: "AKUH is a national asset in terms of its outreach and impact. We would like to thank our donors who have played a significant role in helping the University Hospital to create this impact by contributing their philanthropy and zakat to our Patient Welfare Programmes which provide assistance to patients who need it most."
Presenting the case of Mahnoor Fatima, a child diagnosed with leukemia, Dr Zehra Fadoo, Professor, Paediatric Oncology, said: "Childhood cancer is curable and access to quality care is the right of every child. However, access to care remains an issue in Pakistan. Many patients and their families are unable to afford the cost of treatment. With the help of donors, children, like Mahnoor, can be treated and provided with an improved quality of life."
Dr Saulat Fatimi, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Chief, Heart, Lungs and Vascular Service Line narrated the stories of two zakat beneficiaries who had been successfully treated for complex heart conditions. He said: "12 Pakistanis die of a heart attack every hour and poverty can increase the risk of heart disease by creating additional pressures to work, while continuing to practice unhealthy lifestyles.” In thanking the donors, he noted that “nearly one in four of our cardiac patients is unable to afford their treatment and receives support from AKUH’s Patient Welfare Programme.”
In thanking the supporters, Nadeem Mustafa Khan, President, PBS assured the donors that as a result of their generosity, PBS will work to assure that every eligible mushtehiq patient will have the resources to access expert care and enable PBS and the University Hospital to continue following their mission of delivering a world-class healthcare that consistently exceeds patients’ expectations.