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LAHORE: Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) Secretary Najam Shah inaugurated on Saturday a 30-bed ‘free dialysis unit’ near Kahna.

Adviser to Chief Minister Khwaja Salman Rafique and some senior health officials also attended the opening ceremony to encourage a private charity — Bilqees Sarwar Foundation — for setting up the much-needed facility meant for poor kidney patients.

Named Razia Begum Dialysis Centre, the facility is equipped with 30 dialysis machines at a cost of Rs75 million.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by the donor, Sarwar family, besides doctors and paramedical staff. It will provide free-of-cost dialysis facility to poor patients.

The donors have originally planned a 100-bed facility which will be the largest set-up in the province offering free-of-cost dialysis to the poor.

Addressing the ceremony, philanthropist Farhan Sarwar said the patients requiring dialysis should get them registered with the centre.

He said the kidney failure patients visiting the public sector hospitals were being given six to eight months waiting time for dialysis. He said the centre would provide the same treatment in three shifts absolutely free of cost.

“Our prime focus will be on the factory workers, labourers and the poorest of the poor who could not afford the expensive mode of treatment”, Mr Farhan said.

He said the charity would display banners outside factories and localities inhabited by poor people in and around Kahna, announcing free treatment.

“Our plan is to install total 100 dialysis machines, making the centre the largest dialysis setup in Punjab”, he said, adding that all the equipment and accessories were procured from abroad.

Salman Rafique and Najam Shah praised the initiatives, saying other philanthropists and donors should also come up with a similar zeal as the government alone could not fight ever-increasing burden of various diseases.

They also pledged that the government would provide dialysis kits to the centre in order to share burden on the facility.

CONVOCATION: The convocation of School of Health Sciences Fatima Memorial System was held at a local hotel on Saturday.

The school incorporates the graduates from FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry, FMH Institute of Allied Health Sciences and Saida Waheed FMH College of Nursing.

A press release said the convocation consisted of 90 medical, 27 dental, 86 allied health science and 51 nursing graduates.

The graduates achieved a total of 14 positions and 10 distinctions from the University of Health Sciences, Lahore.

The degrees were conferred by UHS Vice Chancellor Prof. Muhammad Aslam.

Till date 775 MBBS, 288 BDS, 285 allied health sciences, and 431 nursing students have graduated from Fatima Memorial System.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2016