Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) has established the first Paediatric Oncology Unit in Children Hospital PIMS, much-needed treatment facility in public sector hospitals of twin cities. Federal Minister of Health Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani was to inaugurate the Paediatric Oncology unit but he did not turn up and the Executive Director PIMS had to perform the opening ceremony.
Col Antoni Pennai Military Attach Italian Embassy, Nariko Prati wife of Italian Ambassador, ED PIMS Dr Altaf Hussain, Dr Lawrence Faulkner of cure2Children Foundation, Italy, Dr Nuzhat Yasmeen Assistant Professor Paediatric Oncology and Dr Sadaf Khalid Pakistan Branch Co-ordinator of Cure2Children Foundation were also present on the occasion.
The 8-beded unit is also has an isolation facility and a minor procedure room for chemotherapy and Bone Marrow aspiration therapeutic biopsies. While speaking at the inauguration of the POU and concluding session of the symposium on Bone Marrow in Thalassemia Children the ED PIMS Dr Altaf Hussain termed the initiative as another major achievement after start of the first Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.
He said PC-I of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in PIMS is being prepared and soon it would be submitted on priority basis so that the facility may be extended to the large population.
With reference to the concluding session of the symposium on Bone Marrow in Thalassemia Children, he said, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit is a beautiful example of Public Private Partnership. Pims and Cure2Children Foundation are providing free services of Bone marrow transplantation to poor patients who can not afford the expensive treatment.
While giving a brief background of the POU, Dr Nuzhat Yameen Assistant Professor Paediatric Oncology Unit said Children Hospital is providing Oncological services since 1985, however a separate oncology unit was a long desire.
The tumour registry project run by this unit started in November 2005 and till date 450 children were diagnosed with different cancer types and monthly 350 patients visit OPD visits and 220-day care Chemotherapy, she continued.
Children with common and rare cancer are treated in this unit and there is an excellent teamwork between Paediatric oncology and Paediatric surgeons. This is the only public sector cancer unit, which has a huge catchments area from Kabul to Lahore, she added.
She appreciated the efforts and commitment of Italian NGO Cure2Children Foundation for running the Bone Marrow transplant facility in children hospital. She opined that the two-bedded unit is insufficient to meet the large number of children suffering from the life threatening ailments like Thalassemia, Aplastic anaemia and leukaemia, which can only be treated by Bone Marrow Transplant.
She was of the view that this facility should be further expanded in future so more and more children can take befit of this facility. She requested the authorities concerned to approve PC-1 of the 16-bedded Bone Marrow Transplant unit and 25 bedded Paediatric Oncology Unit.