Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital gets Balochistan’s first cancer center

This undated file photo shows Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital in Baluchistan. (Photo courtesy: social media)
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Updated 04 February 2020

Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital gets Balochistan’s first cancer center

  • Marking the World Cancer Day, the province’s chief minister laid the foundation of 40-bed health care facility
  • At present, thousands of cancer patients from southwest Pakistan visit Karachi for treatment

 

ISLAMABAD: Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of the first cancer treatment facility in the country’s southwestern province to benefit people suffering from the chronic disease.
Located at Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital, the 40-bed, state-of-the-art cancer center will have four wards offering modern health services to patients, authorities said.
The facility will also have 14 private rooms and two inpatient care and physiotherapy halls for male and female patients.
The cancer facility will be built at the cost of Rs.1557.658 million with an allocation of Rs100 millions for civil work and equipment.
Addressing the grounding breaking ceremony, the chief minister said that the medical facility was a gift to the people of the province on World Cancer Day.
“We are gifting this hospital to our people on World Cancer Day,” he said. “We are making sure to provide all health facilities to cancer patients under one roof of the cancer block of Shaikh Zayed Hospital,” he said, adding that a child cancer unit would also be established with the help of Indus Hospital Karachi.
“The people have to sell their properties for cancer treatment [due to poverty], making it difficult for them even to aspire for a cure,” he said. “We have to treat our cancer patients in the province.”
The health indicators in the sparsely populated Balochistan province are not as good as other federating units of the country. According to a report, about 35,000 cancer patients from Balochistan undergo treatment in the country’s major urban centers where medical facilities and accommodation charges are usually too high for them.
“It is a longstanding demand of the people of Balochistan, and the provincial government has finally managed to fulfill it,” Balochistan government’s spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani told Arab News, adding: “The government has allocated Rs1 billion for the current Public Sector Development Program for the establishment of the health care facility.”
Prof. Dr. Roohullah, a former professor at the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy (CENAR), Quetta, maintained that the cancer center was a positive step.
He said that the support of other departments of Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital would make the center “a complete medical facility which the province has needed for a long time.”
Calling the establishment of cancer health care facility in Quetta commendable, Secretary General of Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Dr. SM Qaisar Sajjad, said the center should have qualified doctors who have the facility to conduct surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“It comes a bit late, but it’s highly commendable,” Sajjad told Arab News, urging PM Imran Khan to use his expertise of Shaukat Khanam Hospital and establish state-of-the-art hospitals in the capitals of all four provinces.
‘‘Cancer needs timely treatment, but even in cities like Karachi we see many people waiting for their turns for chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In Quetta, where there is no cancer hospital at present, the situation is even worse,” he said, adding: “In such a scenario, this is great step.”


Pakistan opposition draws thousands to capital to protest ruling party’s ‘foreign funds’ case 

Updated 19 January 2021

Pakistan opposition draws thousands to capital to protest ruling party’s ‘foreign funds’ case 

  • The Pakistan Democratic Movement urged the election commission to promptly announce its verdict in the case
  • The interior minister said the opposition alliance failed to attract large number of people to the protest demonstration 

ISLAMABAD: An alliance of Pakistani opposition parties, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), held a protest rally today, Tuesday, outside the election commission which is hearing a case involving alleged illegal foreign funding for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. 

The case was filed in November 2014 by a founding PTI member, Akbar S Babar, who claimed massive financial irregularities in the handling of foreign funds by the party that amounted to about $3 million. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has still not adjudicated the matter, making the PDM leadership criticize it for “the inordinate delay.” 

“Neither is this government elected nor has it any right to rule the country,” the opposition alliance chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said while addressing the participants of the rally in Islamabad. 

He accused the prime minister of contesting the 2018 elections after taking “funds from Israel and India,” adding that the foreign funding case was pending for the last six years even after a revelation by the State Bank of Pakistan that the PTI had 23 “hidden accounts.” 

Rehman said the ECP had held about 150 hearings in the case, noting that the PTI filed 50 applications for its deferment and that the nation was still awaiting the judgment. 

“Some powerful institutions had occupied the election system and brought an incompetent person to power,” he said. “They are now running the government from behind the scenes.” 

Criticizing the ECP, he said: “If this weak election commission provides them [the ruling party] protection, we won’t be able to trust it in the next elections.” 

Rehman said that no country in the world, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, was willing to trust Pakistan due to the government’s “poor foreign policy.” 

“We will continue our struggle [against the government] within the legal and constitutional ambit,” he added. 

The opposition alliance has frequently accused the PTI of coming into power by manipulating the 2018 elections and promised to dislodge through public support. The government denies the charge of election rigging. 

Addressing the protest demonstration, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Sharif also accused the prime minister of getting funds from India and Israel and using for his 2014 sit-in to overthrow an elected government. 

“Do you know who funded him from India? Bharatiya Janata Party member Inder Dosanjh. And the Israeli who funded him was Barry C. Schneps,” she claimed, adding that “countless” such people and companies from Israel and India had funded the PTI. 

Mocking the ruling party’s statement in the foreign funding case in which it blamed its agents in the US for any possible illegal funding, she asked the prime minister should also reveal the names of the “agents who brought you into power.” 

Lambasting the ECP, she said the election commission was “part of the crime of selecting an unqualified person and bringing him to power.” 

Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Faisal Karim Kundi said that the PTI had admitted that its agents accepted the funds from foreign countries and companies. 

“If the agents had done something wrong, it means that the PTI is involved in it,” he said, urging the ECP to give its judgment in the case. “The verdict will prove which enemy countries had funded the PTI,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Islamabad’s local administration had beefed up the federal capital’s security to avert any untoward incident during the opposition’s protest demonstration. It had deployed over 1,800 security personnel to maintain the law and order besides identifying alternate routes to ensure smooth flow of traffic. 

Responding to the opposition’s protest, Federal Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed termed it a “disappointing and poor” show and claimed that the opposition alliance had failed to attract a large number of protesters to its demonstration. 

“We welcome your long march [toward Islamabad] after this today’s show, and that will be your last show [of power],” the minister said, admitting that the opposition had all the right to address public gatherings. 

He also rejected the opposition’s accusations regarding Israel and India. 

“They [the opposition] were given a free hand [to protest outside the ECP], and they have been exposed,” he said. “We are waiting for their long march now.”