KARACHI: The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) inaugurated its newly expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Wednesday with the support of English Biscuits Manufacturers (Pvt) Limited.
The expanded NICU will offer emergency, inpatient and intensive care treatments for babies born early, providing the best possible specialised care to its neonate patients.
“Welcoming a baby is such an exciting time. For parents of babies born early, however, it is a time of anxiety. Families and their new additions need specially trained medical staff, special equipment and special understanding to survive this period. We are delighted to partner with AKUH on this initiative,” said Dr Zeelaf, Chairperson, EBM at the inaugural ceremony. “We, as a company, have always been conscious of our social responsibility and have endeavored to institutionally strengthen initiatives for public welfare.”
Every year, 600 babies are referred to the NICU – from AKUH and other hospitals in the city – because many babies are born early, with low birth weights or with complications-are at risk for a variety of neurologic and developmental problems in childhood.
The Level III NICU at the University Hospital, gifted by Rashada and Khawar Butt of EBM, provides the highest level of care for critically small or ill newborns. There are four wards with five incubators in each, four isolation rooms with two isolation rooms for babies with infections and two ‘negative’ isolation rooms for babies with communicable infections. The new 9,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility will allow the University Hospital to care for more babies at risk.
Dr Mohammad Sohail Salat, Chair, NICU Commission Group, AKUH, thanked the EBM team for this help in meeting the specialised needs of preterm babies in the city. He spoke of how the new NICU, with double the number of beds and nursing staff, has realized University Hospital’s vision of helping more than 1,000 pre-term newborns every year, allowing the hospital to apply new technological advances in newborn intensive care in a family-centered environment.
“We are extremely grateful for this magnificent donation from EBM. This was the first gift in our campaign to raise substantial funds from the corporate sector in Pakistan for the University Hospital,” said Firoz Rasul, President of Aga Khan University. “Such generosity enables us to initiate specialty and acute care services to provide world class healthcare in Pakistan.”
English Biscuits Manufacturers (Pvt) Limited generously funded the Rs 200 million expansion, and are the first partners in the Aga Khan University and University Hospital’s effort to increase private fundraising to expand its academic and clinical facilities at its Stadium Road campus.