Sukkur Blood & Drugs Donating Society | By Kashif Shamim Siddiqui


Sukkur Blood & Drugs Donating Society

SUKKUR and Larkana Divisions are the areas where millions of deserving people are without proper medical facilities, which were causing death to valuable lives.

In 1998, with the help of socially responsible corporate sector, government, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, international donors, Provincial Zakat Council and many philanthropist individuals, construction of Sukkur hospital was started.

Now the hospital has become one and the only biggest hospital in Sukkur & Larkana Divisions where it is especially working on areas like Thalassemia, Mother & Child Health, Blood-related disease and providing free medication along with awareness of contagious disease to the people in and around the areas of entire Upper Sindh. Most of these services are free of cost or on highly subsidized rates.

Dr Muhammad Naeem, Executive Director of the hospital, says “I believe what someone said that ‘the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve, while working with Sukkur hospital, I have closely seen the trauma and misery these poor patients face, we at Sukkur hospital are just sowing the seeds that will one day reap the goodness and happiness for less the privileged, right now we have more than 800 registered Thalassemia children with free blood transfusion and Iron Chelating therapy, now the people of Sukkur and Larkana do not need to go out of the area for treatment, we hope and pray that more generous supporters would join hands with Sukkur Blood & Drugs Donating Society (SBDDS) and help it grow so that it can cater for maximum patients with quality treatment free of cost”.

SBDDS is a not-for-profit and non-political social welfare organization registered with the Social Welfare Department (Community Development Department) Government of Sindh under Voluntary Agency Act 1961.

SBDDS is a services/advocacy, awareness, training-based organization working in the field of healthcare, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, voluntary counselling testing, screening of blood and its products for infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis, management of Thalassemia children, anti-natal & post-natal care to mothers, surgical and medical facilities to women and children at Sukkur hospital and community level through outreach program, blood banking, blood transfusion and diagnostic services.

Hospital’s team consists of full-time, part-time, volunteers’ public health specialists, physicians, social scientists, teachers and people from marginalized population.

Hospital’s field workers are one of the key strengths who have received trainings conducted by the Nutrition Support Program, Sindh AIDS control program and Sindh NGOs network for HIV/AIDS and Pakistan National AIDS Consortium (PNAC), HASP-CIDA, Population Council, USAID, TVO.

At SBDDS, there are more on a waiting list. This is the only Thalassemia centre of its kind after Karachi which provides free screened and safe packed red cells transfusion facility to the Thalassemia children of entire Upper Sindh, i.e., Sukkur & Larkana Divisions, lower parts of Punjab and Balochistan like Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad, Khanpur, Sibbi, Dera Allah Yar, Dera Murad Jamali, Dera Bugti and Sui.

The hospital is also providing safe blood transfusion (packed cell) screened for HBV, HCV, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis and Malaria), Iron Chelating facilities, complete laboratory investigations, surgery (if required) medication etc.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was founded in 2005 with the aim to provide quality healthcare facilities to infant & newborn children.

In the year 2015, by observing our efforts and dedication in the field of child and mother healthcare, the Japan government gave a to the hospital.

At NICU, hospital is providing proper medical services to more than 175 newborn babies every month with the help of 22 incubators. The services are highly subsidized or free on the basis of patients’ financial status.

In Upper Sindh area, maternal, neonatal & child mortality at the time of birth is very high. Unskilled midwives, malnutrition & lack of proper medical facilities are some of the causes for this high mortality rate.

SBDDS has taken this situation as a challenge & prioritised this area not only in the hospital but also in far-flung area of Saleh Pat through MCH and mobile visit.

Right now more than 250 normal deliveries in Sukkur hospital and more than 130 normal deliveries in maternal, neonatal health care unit Saleh Pat are performed on a monthly basis with all the related facilities like lab tests, ultrasound, blood and other IPD/OPD services on a highly subsidized rates or at time free of cost are provided.

Hospital’s mobile teams visit Saleh Pat area on a weekly basis & examine females and child patients & provide them prescribed medicines free, while patients requiring hospital care are being referred to the Sukkur hospital for further intervention.

The objective of these free mobile health clinics is to provide antenatal, post-natal care to pregnant women and health education to the women & children of these far-flung areas.

Dr Naeem is so much hopeful about the ‘Responses’ Sukkur hospital/Sukkur Blood Bank will extremely be needing to receive in this Ramadan from people of Pakistan.

Joining hands for the hospital will surely serve humanity, spread happiness and save lives, so please move ahead to make your kind and sincere contribution for the cause.

—The writer is a poet & works for the humanitarian causes in Pakistan.