The metropolitan city of Karachi saw the worst surge in Covid-19 cases after Eid-ul-Fitr, as people started to develop respiratory complications due to the virus and were losing their lives whilst awaiting to receive an oxygen supported bed in a Covid-19 treating hospital. People were carrying their dear ones from one hospital to the other since the hospitals treating Covid-19 patients were overwhelmed to their maximum capacity. People were dying in ambulances and even in their homes, as the private secondary care hospitals were not geared to manage Covid-19 patients.
Jamaat’s Proposal for Arrangements to Facilitate Covid-19 Patients
During a time of such crisis, the Karachi Jamaat came up with a proposal of creating a facility with oxygen arrangements to facilitate Covid-19 patients of mild to moderate severity in one of its school buildings. As the schools were closed since early March this year, the proposal was thought of and ultimately executed.
Based on the proposal, Fatimiyah Montessori School was selected to be transformed into Fatimiyah Short Stay Oxygenation Unit (FSSOU). A detailed planning for the project was done while Imamia Medics International, Pakistan (IMI) agreed to provide technical assistance to run the facility.
Determination despite Challenges
Initially when the project was thought of, there were no funds available. It was really a nightmare and there was a feeling of apprehension in the face of the challenges that were ahead. Oxygen companies were failing to meet the ever-rising demand for oxygen and oxygen cylinders were non-existent even at five times their original cost.
When asked about the challenges face, Dr. Kanani, Medical Superintendent Fatimiyah Hospital, mentioned that, “Alhamdolillah, Allah (swt) helped and we were able to overcome all those challenges right from the permission from the authorities to meeting with the challenge of shortage of oxygen and from our capacity building to run this project in a school premises which required structural changes to overcoming the financial difficulties.”
Community Members join hands to provide Financial Assistance
The doctors affiliated with Fatimiyah Hospital including those who are now working abroad were the first to come forward with monetary contribution when the donation appeal was launched. They were joined by the community philanthropists while an encouraging response was also received from the members of our community and the required funds were made available. Hospital furniture and all the necessary equipment were procured, doctors and staff were hired and their training with regards to maintaining safe practices in a Covid environment were carried out.
Affordable Facility for Covid-19 Patients
All the above efforts ultimately resulted in the creation of a 30 bedded facility to manage Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate severity. The facility took off on 13th July 2020 and an informal open house was arranged to witness the facility in operation on the eve of the inauguration day.
It is a highly subsidized facility in comparison to other private hospitals which demanded huge sums for caring for these patients. The local and national TV channels gave a good coverage of the facility and the initiative was widely appreciated by people from all walks of life.
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