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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Peaks and Troughs of 2021: A Year in Review

<p>​2021 has been a challenging year, with the world still recovering from the pandemic and the resulting economic downfall. Yet we remained persistent in delivering exemplary care to our patients with the combined efforts of our clinical staff and employees. Here&#39;s a look back at the highlights from the year 2021 and what we were able to achieve together.
</p><p><strong>Conjoined Twins</strong></p><p>Muhammad Ayan and Muhammad Aman, born as conjoined twins to Mr and Mrs Israr Ahmed, now live as two healthy children after a successful separation surgery at AKUH. </p><p><em><strong>Watch on YouTube</strong>: </em><a href=""><em>Israr Ahmed talks about his Children&#39;s Treatment at AKUH​</em></a>

</p><p>Ayan and Aman were Omphalopagus type of conjoined twins. The two bodies are joined at the abdomen, and several internal organs are shared, including the liver and sometimes the intestines. The twin brothers shared a small portion of the liver.
</p><p>While surgery is the only method to separate the conjoined twins, surgery is not possible in all cases. The complexity and survival rates after the surgery depend on the joining sites and the type and number of internal organs.  </p><p>To perform this complicated surgery, a multi-disciplinary team of highly skilled healthcare experts came together to meticulously plan and organise their efforts. These teams included Doctors, Nurses, and Technicians, Anesthesiologists, and Radiologists. Gastrointestinal Surgery and Neurosurgery were on stand-by. The nature of this surgery is such that it demands double the number of resources and concurrent functioning of all teams to manage and save both lives. Our experts delivered exemplary care to our patients.
</p><p><em><strong>Read More:</strong> <a href="">Conjoined Twins Separated at AKUH</a></em>​
</strong></p><p><strong>Gene Therapy treatment</strong>
</p><p>We provided Pakistan&#39;s first gene therapy treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). SMA is a group of hereditary diseases that destroys motor neurons – nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord that control essential skeletal muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing, and swallowing, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy. Even though there is a lack of data to assess the prevalence of SMA in Pakistan, cousin marriages are the most common reason attributed for its occurrence. Global data suggests that 1 in 10,000 live births are affected by SMA with a carrier frequency of approximately 1 in 50. </p><p>Shavez, a two-year-old boy from Chiniot, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) at six months. In this condition, patients experience muscle weakness, decreased muscle tone, limited mobility, breathing problems, delayed motor skills and scoliosis (curvature of the spine), and other serious health problems. Many children suffering from this condition do not survive beyond their second birthday.</p><p>This new drug only requires one dose to cure the disorder, but the cost of this drug is millions of dollars, making it out of reach for most people. Novartis developed a globally managed access programme to provide free-of-cost therapy to 100 patients a year to address this. Shavez was one such lucky patient, selected by Novartis to receive the drug and became the first candidate in Pakistan.</p><p><strong><em>Watch on YouTube: </em></strong><a href=""><em>Mr and Mrs Liaqat Ali Ghauri, talk about their journey</em></a></p><p>Dr Salman Kirmani, Consultant Medical Geneticist and Paediatric Endocrinologist, and his team, saw Shavez in June 2020, when he was one-and-a-half years old, and applied for him to be part of Novartis&#39;s Managed Access Program.  Soon, Shavez received a nomination for the drug. Dr Kirmani&#39;s team spent the next six months training the staff, working with authorities to receive the medication, and running the necessary tests to assess if Shavez was fit to receive the drug.</p><p>Shavez received the drug one day before his second birthday, has shown tremendous improvement over a year. Since then, he has received regular consultations and has demonstrated significant improvements. The doctors at AKUH are hopeful that they will continue to see further progress in the years to come.</p><p><strong><em>Read More: </em></strong><a href="/pakistan/AboutUs/News/Pages/first-ever-gene-therapy-for-spinal-muscular-atrophy.aspx"><em>AKUH Delivers the First-Ever Gene Therapy in Pakistan for Spinal Muscular Atrophy</em></a></p><p><strong>
</strong></p><p><strong>COVID-19 vaccination drive</strong></p><p>We were the first private hospital in Pakistan to voluntarily offer our services to the Government COVID-19 Vaccination Drive. We developed a new vaccination site at our Main Campus to cater to the public. Different teams comprising design, construction, Pharmacy, Patient Access, Security and MarCom came together and designed, built, and began operating the vaccination site within a week.</p><p>Up until now, we have administered approximately 75,583 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the public and healthcare professionals.</p><p><strong><em>Watch on YouTube: </em></strong><a href=""><em>AKUH&#39;s Response to the Pandemic</em></a></p><p> </p><p><strong>Zakat and Patient Welfare</strong></p><p>Last year, we provided our trusted quality care to approximately 14 million patients through inpatient, outpatient, and outreach services. 
In line with our commitment to provide care to those who cannot afford it, we disbursed PKR 3.7 billion in Zakat and patient welfare. </p><p><strong><em>Read More: </em></strong><a href="/pakistan/patients-families/welfare-zakat-assistance/Pages/welfare-programme.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff;"><em>AKUH Zakat and Patient Welfare Programme</em></a></p><p> </p><p><strong>Joint Commission International (JCI) Reaccreditation</strong></p><p><strong></strong>In October, AKUH and the AKU Outreach Health Network, Pakistan, were reaccredited by The Joint Commission International (JCI) for another three years. AKUH was the first hospital in Pakistan to receive this honour in 2006 and has successfully maintained this accreditation. In 2015, AKUH became the first and only academic medical centre in Pakistan accredited by JCI. Continuing the journey of excellence in healthcare services and delivering on the globally recognised best practices, AKUH leadership is dedicated to setting higher standards in the country.</p><p>The survey repeats every three years and analyses the compliance to standards for patient safety, assessment and care of patients, safe surgical care and infection control practices, clinical research, and medical education against global benchmarks. The successful completion of the survey provides a gold seal of approval for excellence in service delivery to the patients.</p><p><strong><em>Read More:</em></strong><em> </em><a href="/pakistan/AboutUs/News/Pages/akuh-receives-joint-commission-international-accreditation-.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff;"><em>AKUH and AKU Outreach Health Network, Pakistan Receive JCI Reaccreditation</em></a>

</p><p><strong>Luke Grenfell Shaw&#39;s Stop at AKUH</strong></p><p>Fighting cancer may be one of life&#39;s most significant challenges, and many would feel life has little to offer when you are struggling with such a debilitating disease. Luke Grenfell-Shaw disagrees. As a person living with cancer himself, Luke has set out on a journey across the world to prove that cancer is not necessarily a limitation and that it is possible to live a fulfilling life, even with this disease.</p><p>On December 2, Luke visited AKUH. Along with his team, he met with cancer patients receiving treatment at the hospital&#39;s oncology ward and shared his inspirational journey and experiences with them. During his visit, Luke met with Dr Shahid Shafi, CEO AKUH, Pakistan, Dr Asad Mian, Chair Emergency Medicine, and Dr Zehra Fadoo, Chair and Service Line Chief, Oncology at AKUH.</p><p>Luke described his experience, and he set out on this journey because it gave him various backgrounds and gave him an outlet to share his story with others going through the same journey. He also lauded the hospitality he has received during his stay in Pakistan. Cancer patients receiving care at AKUH also joined Luke to discuss their experiences while battling the disease.</p><p>Luke visited Pakistan while on a 30,000 km tandem bike ride from Bristol in the UK to Beijing in China to show that everyone can create a rich and fulfilling life, even with cancer. Luke is sharing the journey with other Canlivers and aims to raise £300,000 for various cancer-related charities.</p><p><strong><em>Read More:</em></strong><em> </em><a href="/pakistan/AboutUs/News/Pages/luke-grenfell-shaws-stop-at-akuh.aspx"><em>Bristol2Beijing – Luke Grenfell-Shaw&#39;s Stop at AKUH</em></a></p><p> </p><p>Despite challenges, our clinical teams and staff rose to the occasion and gave their best to provide the right care to the patient at the right time. We are confident that 2022 will be no different, and we will continue to provide our trusted quality care to you and your loved ones 24/7/365. </p><p><strong><em>Watch on YouTube: </em></strong><a href="" style="background-color: #ffffff;"><em>Dr Shahid Shafi&#39;s Year-End Message</em></a>​
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