A story of dedication and commitment
In the year 2014 Sahibzada Mohammad Shabeer, an enterprising young man at the age of 22 years established a blood bank in Peshawar, the capital city of KPK province of Pakistan. Being the largest city of the province, it houses the largest hospitals, government and private and draws patients from all around the province and from the neighboring Afghanistan. Many a time the treatment entails surgery. Government blood banks cannot keep pace with the surgical procedures. Thus, there has been a need for additional blood banks.
It was in early part of the year 2017 that he began to realize that a disorder of the blood known as Thalassemia was quite common in Pakistan. This realization came to him after his friend mentioned his plight to him: his son and daughter were suffering from Thalassemia Major and that he could not get proper care for them in the city of Peshawar. He registered his organization Jhwandoon (Life) with the local government and began seeking blood donations for the affected children. His efforts have culminated into the formation of a formal blood bank where blood is collected, screened and stored according to modern guidelines. At this writing he is serving 124 children on a regular basis. His regrets is that he lacks the capacity to serve more.
During my conversation with him and his assistant Sara, he mentioned his achievements and also his difficulties. He stated that he needed to expand his services to the ones who cannot get help in time and on regular basis.
In January 2020 an interesting relationship developed between the Thalassemia clinic and Dosti Welfare Organization of Peshawar, Pakistan. DWO, a registered charitable organization in Pakistan and a sister organization to Global Education Campaign in the US. It was decided to establish a school for these children on the premises of the clinic. Almost all of the patient-children who come from the poorest of the poor families were enrolled. These are the children who beg on the street corners or rummage through the garbage dumps to pick out pieces of glass or plastic to sell at the end of the day. If lucky them may be able to pick out a snack to eat at the dump. Some of them work in local carpentry and auto shops, a human disgrace. The age of these children ranges from seven to twelve years. Despite their weakened condition they work long hours during the day and spare some time for some very basic level of education. The makeshift school is full to the brim.
This article has been prepared to draw your attention the most destitute of the world. They are sick, poor, overworked, and uneducated. What could be worse than that.
We are asking you to, very kindly, lend us a helping hand in improving the medical facility to serve these children better and to serve more of similar children who deserve assistance. We are also requesting you to participate in making the school more efficient in terms of space, teaching aids and hiring of trained teachers.
The clinic’s Immediate needs are:
- A larger facility
- A full-time physician.
- At least one genetic counsellor.
- A chemical analyzer (the machine)
- An Enzyme-Linked Immuno-assay (ELIZA) machine. Currently the clinic is utilizing a borrowed machine.
- A Cryo-centrifuge. This will help the clinic to begin serving Hemophiliac patients.
The school also needs assistance with larger space with better seating arrangement. At least three more teachers are needed.
Sahibzada Mohammad Shabeer was born and raised in Budber village where he finished his high school education. He earned his electrical engineering diploma in NICE university in Peshawar. He operates the blood bank and the Thalassemia clinic on full time basis which also includes setting up blood collection camps on the weekends.
The clinic is operated under the direction of eight-member board, which does not include Mr. Shabeer. He draws a meagre salary of PKR 17,000 (107 USD)/month. With the staff of eight personnel, it is a struggle to make it from month to month.
It is a great model that can be expanded, strengthened, and replicated in other locations as the population with Thalassemia is growing. By some estimates there are ten million patients with both Thalassemia forms. About 5000+ patients are added to the list every year. This also calls for hiring a large number of family counsellors. The subject, Thalassemia, is a mega subject and is beyond the scope of this writing.
Again, please support this young man achieve his dream of serving the most deserving on this earth.
My earnest hope is that APPNA members in general and KMC Alumni in particular will get involved in this worthy cause with great enthusiasm.
Munir Ahmad, M.D.
Contact Details of Zhwandoon Welfare Organization:
Sahibzada Muhammad Shabeer
Zhwandoon Welfare Organization
Opposite Hotel Grand Near ECS Street, University Road, Peshawar