KARACHI: Hundreds of children and their families participated in a carnival held at the Indus Hospital on its Korangi campus on Saturday.
Organised for the hospital’s paediatric patients, including those who have recently completed their treatment for clubfoot, the event also marked Universal Children’s Day — a global event celebrated every year on Dec 15 to highlight the Charter of Children’s Rights.
One of the highlights of the programme co-hosted by the hospital’s psycho-social and physical rehabilitation department was distribution of certificates among 130 clubfoot patients.
Speaking at the programme, Dr Abdul Bari Khan, the chief executive officer at the Indus Health Network, said the objective of the event was to provide children with a healthy break from their medical procedures.
“We want children to enjoy as much as they can — at least for an afternoon. It is truly delightful to see families attending this event and having fun with their kids,” he said.
Ayesha Haider of Aamer Haider Charitable Foundation recalled what compelled her and her family to initiate this noble cause and collaborate with the hospital for the clubfoot treatment.
In her video message, actor Sarwat Gillani, also the Indus Ambassador for Children’s Cause, congratulated paediatric patients and their parents on the successful treatment and assured them of her cooperation.
Dr Amin Chinoy, executive director at the physical rehabilitation directorate of the hospital, shared details of the four-year programme for the clubfoot — a birth defect where one or both feet are rotated inward and downward.
“Over the past few years, we have felt that we are also a part of our patients’ families. We want to spread this message that this birth defect is treatable and families with affected children must get the required treatment as early as possible,” he explained.
About the programme ‘Pehla Qadam’, he said it envisaged a clubfoot-free Pakistan which was possible with support from philanthropists and dedication of the hospital team.
“We also want to acknowledge and appreciate efforts of each child and their family in complying with the long course of treatment.”
Dr Muhammad Fareeduddin said the carnival was an important psycho-social initiative which would help children forget their day-to-day pain and struggles with the hospital staff, though for a while. “We want children to build a positive association with the hospital staff,” he said.
The event featured stalls for face painting, arts and crafts, games and kiddie rides.
Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2019