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UAE charity needs Dh9.2m push to complete diabetes centre in Pakistan

DUBAI // A UAE charity group that is building the first ­state-of-the-art diabetes hospital in Pakistan needs another US$2.5 million (Dh9.18m) to complete the project.

The Diabetes Centre is being built in Islamabad by a group of Pakistani expatriates in Abu Dhabi who started the project six years ago. The hospital aims to offer free treatment to diabetes patients, as well as provide preventive education.

So far, $3.7m has been spent on the skeleton of the hospital. “[This] is complete and work on installation of air conditioning, an IT network and interiors has started,” said Dr Asjad Hameed, founder and chairman of the board of directors of the Diabetes Centre and a consultant diabetologist working in Abu Dhabi.

“Our interim clinic continues to serve hundreds of patients every week, with almost half of those patients receiving partially or fully subsidised medical care. We also continue to make school visits and run mobile health screening clinics across northern Pakistan.”

Dr Hameed said his team felt donor fatigue was a problem for the completion of the hospital.

“At present, the world is facing lots of human crises and the UAE has been the leading country that is helping people in almost every part of the world. We realised we may have to face donor fatigue and that project progress may be hurt because of this,” he said.

“We are doing our best to fight the challenge but the time has come that we need support of all those who believe that health is the basic right of every human being.”

Dr Hameed said the hospital was scheduled to start operating by the end of this year to complement the UAE’s Year of Giving.

“We are optimistic that the Year of Giving will cement our relationship with the Emirates Red Crescent, and the generosity of UAE citizens will come through to assist us in completing this critical healthcare project,” Dr Hameed said.

According to International Diabetes Federation statistics, Pakistan has the 10th highest rate of diabetes in the world, with 6.6 million patients out of a population of 182 million. At the present rate, the country could have the fourth-highest rate in the world by 2030.

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The National