<p>On Thursday, Sara Vazir, an international henna artist, visited the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), to raise awareness about paediatric cancer. She spent time with the young patients, drew henna tattoos on their heads, played games and left them with gifts.
</p><p>Sara is a bold supporter of children with cancer and their families. The main purpose of her visit was to raise awareness regarding childhood cancers and the emotional and mental support that is critical for both cancer patients and their families.
</p><p>Upon arrival, Sara was welcomed by faculty and staff at AKUH, primarily from Peadiatrics and Paediatric Oncology. She was briefed on the initiatives taken by AKUH in providing support and care for children and their families, to make their stay at the hospital comfortable.
</p><p>She lauded the efforts made by the oncology department at AKUH in ensuring that children and their families receive the highest quality, empathetic care, and treatment possible. She stressed that medical treatment alone is not enough, the right support and environment are critical in ensuring complete recovery from paediatric cancers.
</p><p>Speaking about Sara Vazir's visit, Dr Sadaf Altaf, Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology at AKU said, “These activities are for children because they don't like coming to the hospital, and we're trying to make their experience a fun-filled one, ensuring that immunocompromised children have all the opportunities at their disposal to enjoy what life has to offer."
</p><p>Sara distributed pre-Ramazan gifts among the children admitted to the paediatric wards, but the highlight of the event was Sara painting henna tattoos, signifying that children with cancer are no less in any shape or form. Sara invests in this art form for children with cancer, free of charge and has taken part in this initiative with various local healthcare institutes.
</p><p>According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 400,000 children and adolescents develop cancer each year. While cancer signs and symptoms are like other childhood diseases, early diagnosis is imperative and can play a crucial role in treatment. A multidisciplinary approach is vital in managing the disease and a holistic patient experience.
</p><p>AKUH offers this multidisciplinary approach and is committed to providing access to the highest quality care to all, regardless of their financial ability. In 2021, AKUH offered Welfare and Zakat support worth PKR 3.67 billion to over 950,000 patients.
</p><p>AKUH welcomes Welfare and Zakat support for its Paediatric and Paediatric Oncology programmes among others. <strong>To support the cause, visit</strong> <a href="https://giving.aku.edu/">giving.aku.edu</a>