RANDOM THOUGHTS : Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute - BY: Dr. A.Q. Khan

Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute
Dr. A.Q. Khan


I presume everyone knows that, beside nuclear technology achievements, I am also very active in the social sector. I have established, or helped to establish, many educational and medical institutions. At the moment my colleagues, friends, philanthropists and I are engaged in setting up a 300-bed, social welfare hospital in Lahore. In this gigantic project Mr. Shaukat Virk (Executive Director), Mr. Hussain Ahmad Shirazi, Dr. Saeed (former Head of Sheikh Zeyed Hospital), Mr. Ansar Javed (former Chairman of EBR), Dr. Saeed Elahi (Chairman, Hilal-e-Ahmar Pakistan), Mr. Qaiser Amin Butt and many philanthropists, notably Mr. Arif Habib, Mr. Nasim Khan, and late Khan Zaman Khan, have been of great help and assistance.

During my last visit to Lahore I met a very good friend, Dr. Saeed Akhtar, a U.S.-trained and highly competent urologist. He has made it his lifeís mission to serve humanity, especially those Pakistanis suffering from kidney and liver problems. Formerly he was Head of the Urology Department of Shifa International Hospital, a state-of-the-art, top-class hospital.

Very often, a good thing is achieved by Divine Intervention. Just as Mr. Bhutto was the main facilitator for our nuclear programme, so Mian Shahbaz Sharif turned out to be the facilitator for the Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute and Research Centre (PKLI & RC), Lahore. He not only approved the concept, but also provided 60 acres of land and gave $ 200 million for this important project. The whole project was conceived by Prof.Dr. Saeed Akhtar, Dr. Syed Nayer Mahmood and their colleagues and they did everything possible to achieve its inception.

The foundation stone was laid on August 14, 2015 and this mega hospital was planned to be launched in phases. The first phase was launched in December 2017 with a wide range of services, including OPD, inpatient facilities, pathology, clinical laboratory, pharmacy, two operating rooms, intensive care services and radiology. Upon completion, PKLI will be a facility of 800 beds with a 100-bed emergency centre, a 100-bed ICU, a 100-bed outpatient dialysis facility, a 500-bed inpatient facility, 20 operating rooms and 10 same-day surgery suites. It is the only hospital in Pakistan designed on Joint Commission International Association standards which ensures, not only state-of-the-art patient care, but also keeps patient safety in mind. It will be fitted with the most modern equipment to perform complicated medical and/or surgical procedures, including robotic surgery, to provide least trauma from surgery. Other complicated procedures, offered in only a few centres in Pakistan, will also be offered, amongst others, highly specialized kidney and liver transplants. This will help save the country hundreds of thousands of dollars by not having to send patients to India or elsewhere for treatment and will also enhance our achievements, dignity and respect. It will also save them from a lot of inconvenience. Hemodialysis has already been initiated with an emphasis on sterilization procedures to ensure that no patient contracts viral hepatitis.

Realizing the high burden of liver diseases in Pakistan, the Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment Program was planned for in 2016 and the first Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment Clinic was launched in Lahore in March 2017. This program provides state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment services, completely free of cost, under the supervision of USA and UK trained doctors. Under this program it is planned to set up clinics in 25 districts of Punjab, out of which 22 have already been launched. To date, more than 100,000 people have been screened, vaccinated and treated and about 3,000 patients are being served every day. Trained doctors at the Institute keep in touch with these satellite clinics from Lahore using advanced communication technology. They study patientsí reports and help guid local doctors regarding treatment. In pursuit of a hepatitis-free Pakistan by 2030, PKLI also regularly conducts community engagement and awareness activities for the prevention of hepatitis. The PKLI Team has also played a key role in promulgation of the Hepatitis Bill 2017. The Institute is promoting a culture of research to gather national and international scientists and clinicians on one platform for innovative research. PKLI is also collaborating with LUMS where PKLI researchers work in the basic LUMS laboratories and LUMS scientists work at PKLI to get clinical material. The hospital complex will also include a university to build future indigenous human resources by providing a world-class education and research facilities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is hoped that they will set a new benchmark in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. PKLI is proud to have triggered a reverse brain drain in Pakistanís healthcare industry. A pool of 70 foreign-trained and experienced consultants at the hospital is unmatched in Pakistan.

We, at KRL, followed the same technique of reverse brain drain, bringing back to Pakistan many foreign-trained and experienced scientists. This brings to mind an interesting event. When Dr. I.H. Usmani (a Ph.D from London) was replaced as Chairman PAEC, he told Mr. Bhutto that Pakistan did not have the infrastructure or trained manpower to make nuclear weapons (which was true at the time). He later joined the UN dealing with energy where our very able and knowledgeable former Foreign Secretary, Mr. Riaz M. Khan, once met him in New York. During talks, Dr. Usmani told him that a young man (meaning me) was taking Bhutto Sb. for a ride by claiming to make nuclear weapons by some Madhani-type machine (a butter-making churner). Later, after we had made weapons, he told Mr. Riaz Khan that he was really surprised that Dr. Khan had made possible the impossible by using centrifuge technology. Imagine the consequences if someone had said that to Mr. Bhutto and he had listened to them and terminated the program. The same good luck went for Prof.Dr. Saeed Akhtar. Lucky for him that the Chief Minister did not seek the advice of some ill informed bureaucrat!

Posted on Apr 16, 18 | 2:34 pm