A story of dedication and commitment
It was in early part of the year 2014 that Sahibzada Mohammad Shabbir began to realize that a disorder of the blood known as Thalassemia was quite common in their part of Pakistan, the north-west province, known as Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa. 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 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 assisting 124 children on a regular basis. His regrets is that he lacks the capacity to serve more.
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 education. The makeshift school is full to the brim.
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.
This articles have 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.
Now a little bit about the founder and associates:
The founder: 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.
At the age of 22 years in 2014, after realizing the shortage of blood for the patients undergoing surgery in local hospitals, he established a blood bank which has grown to include serving Thalassemia patients. The Thalassemia Welfare organization currently serves 124 patients regularly and subsists on small donations from friends, families and other locals. Interestingly, all the furniture was donated personally by a local Tax commissioner – tax collectors have hearts too.
Peshawar being the capital of Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa province of Pakistan, has the largest hospitals which draw hundreds of thousands of patients annually from rest of the province and Afghanistan. The families are unfamiliar with the big city and often feel lost. They need guidance in finding accommodation, medications and how to find blood for the upcoming surgeries. With its limited resources The Zhwandoon Thalassemia foundation and blood bank does the best what it can.
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.
All of your donations to the foundation are tax exempt according to the US IRS rules. Please be generous.
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.