Cancer is perhaps the most dreaded word, especially so in children. Though in developed countries significant advances have already been made with survival rate of about 80%, the situation in Pakistan is still far from satisfactory. To tackle this dilemma, Children Cancer Foundation Pakistan Trust was constituted a decade ago with the vision and conviction to establish a Children Cancer Hospital (CCH) in Pakistan where quality cancer treatment can be given to every child and to create mass awareness about childhood cancer.
Over the years, CCH has grown and expanded steadily to a 42 bed Cancer Facility providing specialized, advanced pediatric cancer care round the clock to children. The Children Cancer Hospital has so far helped diagnose and treat more than 4600 children suffering from cancer and blood diseases. The hospital gets referrals from all over Pakistan as well as from Afghanistan. Due to this, the number of new cases being handled by the hospital’s outpatient department (OPD) has shot up to 100 per day, where the treatment protocol extended towards every child is of international standard.
Charity with Dignity is the core philosophy at CCH. The journey of hope which started from a mere Rs. 40,000 exceeded Rs. 150 million in 2013, with almost all expenses covered by zakat and donations. Despite the many challenges being faced by the hospital existing in a developing economy and society like ours, it has been able to reach a survival rate of 60%, with a number of cured patients doing very well professionally.
Capacity building, especially training of doctors and nurses has always been a priority at CCH. It began with one pediatric oncologist and two medical officers. Now there are three pediatric oncologists, three pediatricians and eight medical officers. The hospital has established a pediatric oncology nursing education department, which is the first of its kind in Pakistan. Also, there is a strong psychosocial support team that includes a teacher, psychologist and medical social worker. Besides these, the Clinical Research Department at CCH is working closely with the Indus Hospital Research Center.
Even with the advancement in medical and surgical techniques, cancer still connotates impending death for most and a large segment of the society still has a much unenlightened approach to it. Advocacy of childhood cancer is one of the missions of Children Cancer Foundation. It has been creating awareness about childhood cancer in print and electronic media through interviews, articles, leaflets and booklets.
Currently, an MOU with Indus Hospital has been signed to construct a new state of the art Pediatric Cancer Unit within the New Children Hospital at the Indus Hospital premises.
Children’s Cancer Hospital stands as a beacon of hope in the lives of those children suffering from cancer. The hospital needs your help and support to beat the curse cancer causes in young lives and ensure that the majority of childhood cancer victims go on to live wholesome and fulfilling lives.
Dr. Muhammad Shamvil Ashraf – Consultant Pediatric Oncologist & CEO