First lady urges job opportunities for calamity-hit victims

Islamabad-First Lady Mahmooda Mamnoon Hussain Saturday urged the government and non-government organisations to find out employment opportunities for disabled victims of natural calamities like earthquake to mitigate their sufferings.

She was addressing a ceremony to inaugurate a free medical camp for treatment of spinal cord injury patients of 2005 earthquake, set up by the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences and National Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine.

The camp would provide free medical facility to the quake-hit patients, who Vice Chancellor Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Dr Javed Akram hoped would get rid of wheelchairs after spinal surgery.

Foreign-qualified Chief of Spinal Surgery of Doctors Hospital Lahore Dr Attique Durrani would regularly visit the patients at PIMS for treatment and surgery. Around 32 patients were present there at the ceremony and the VC said around 200 more patients were about to be registered.

The First Lady immensely lauded the establishment of the camp and said such remedial steps would enable numerous sons and daughters to become fruitful citizens of the country. She said the 2005 earthquake had wreaked havoc all around, killing many and leaving thousands other to suffer serious diseases which take years to be treated like the spinal cord injury. She expressed the pleasure that PIMS, NIRM and Surgeon Dr Attique Durrani took measures to end the pains of the disabled patients so that they could join the race of national development. The First Lady opined that the prevention of natural disasters was not possible; however, effective strategies could help mitigate the sufferings of the victims. VC Javed Akram said it was not difficult for the SZABMU to create nerve cells as the institution had already made 250 successful retinal translations, create artificial skin besides establishing a satellite lab, working in genetic diseases.

He called for President Mamnoon Hussain’s support to the university, desiring to become the first institution to introduce Masters and PhD degrees in spinal surgery. Dr Attique Durrani also assured the wheelchair-ridden patients to do whatever was humanly possible to change their lives. Later, the Vice Chancellor presented a memento to the First Lady who also reciprocated by presenting a shield to him.

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