As part of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) ethos the business has chosen to create and support a charity with particular importance to the directors of AA Labels. Sohail Sethi (MD) was born in the UK and at an early age experienced the loss of his mother to illness and subsequently spent his early formative years living with family in Lahore, Pakistan. Sohail went on to marry his wife Asifa Sethi (Director) whose family also originate from Lahore.
Following the strategic decision by AA Labels to locate and develop its accounts, IT and studio design teams in Lahore, a property was acquired for the purpose and the idea for a clinic to occupy the ground floor area was born.
The motivation was to assist with the alleviation of hardship associated with poverty through the provision of free medical services in a city that has connections and history for Sohail and Asifa.
Lahore, Pakistan Sakina Al Shafa Clinic, House No. 124/7, Street No. 03, Chaman Park (near Hassan Juice Corner), Naya Pull Moughalpura, Lahore, Pakistan
The charity was established in 2009 by Sohail Sethi and Asifa Sethi to provide free general medical services for families in the city of Lahore unable to afford private medical costs. When the clinic first opened it was intended to serve a small local community in north of Lahore, providing free basic consultation, medical and prescription services for c. 300 patients a week, but has since grown to become 5-6 times that size in response to demand.
CHARITBLE AIMS & OBJECTIVES
The charity has two main aims, constituted in the registration document with The Charity Commission, which can be summarised as:
1. The relief of the sick and poor in the Punjab province of Pakistan either generally or individually through the provision of funds for establishment of medical surgery, and 2. To advance education in all areas relating to malnutrition and hygiene.
STAFF & OPENING HOURS
The clinic currently employs 6 full-time staff and is managed by Imran Bashir – Practice Manager. In addition, there are 2 Doctors and a Nurse, plus a Pharmacist and a non-clinical member of staff.
The clinic is open 6 days a week from Monday to Saturday, 07:30 – 18:30.
The clinic now serves and see 300-400 patients a day for consultations and repeat medication, dealing with ongoing illness and medical conditions such as Asthma, Diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory illness and urinary tract infections, dispensing c. 300 free prescriptions for medication daily.
The clinic also provides a free testing service for blood sugar levels, blood tests, scans and urine tests.
Everything is free and there are no chargeable services provided and the clinic serves a particularly poor neighbourhood in the city of Lahore, which is Pakistan’s second largest city with an estimated population of 9.3 million residents in 2018.
Unfortunately, the provision of free clinical services such as this are not common, hence the need to expand the size of the clinic and range of services provided to keep pace with demand.
2 Fully equipped GP consultation and examination rooms. 1 Fully equipped nurses’ consultation and examination room. 1 Pharmacy & Dispensary 1 Female Waiting Room & WC 1 Male Waiting Room & WC 1 Reception Area
The clinic is entirely funded by a UK based charity called MEDICAID ACTION LIMITED Charity Commission Reg. No: 1131335 the trustees of which are also the directors of AA Labels, Asifa Sethi and Sohail Sethi.
The clinic is also registered as a business in Pakistan with The Registrar of Firms – Lahore District, Reg. No. 2861 2008/9 and with the Punjab Healthcare Commission, Reg. No. R-25973.
The community served by the clinic is impoverished and many people cannot afford private medical care and medication.
Many homes are open compounds without shelter from the elements.
Sanitation is minimal and disease and infections are spread quickly, especially among children.
The red blanket serves as a front door to this family home.
Which has no roof, the bed is stood up during the day to create space and the family’s toilet is a drain upon which a bucket is placed for the collection of water.
The main gates and entrance to the clinic can be seen to the right-hand side of this picture.
Similarly, the small pedestrian gate can be seen on the left-hand side of the picture.
Patients complete their registration summary with a thumb print.
The entrance from immediately in front of the clinic.
The clinic sees and treats many young children for minor ailments and illness, referring on to hospital if required, although it is unlikely that treatment can be afforded.
Basic health screening is carried out as standard.
Patients of all ages and genders are treated.
Oxygen is available if required in each of the doctor’s consultation rooms.
A mother completes the registration procedure for her daughter to be seen by a doctor.
Her daughter has a skin infection on her face.
A patient explains his injury to a doctor.
Respiratory checks are routine.
As are checks for blood pressure and heart health.
Typically, infected wounds are treated at the clinic which otherwise might take longer to heal and also lead to other problems.
As are checks for blood pressure and heart health.
The charity has recently installed a new proprietary MIS for appointment making, medication dispensing and stock control, patient records and analytics. Which has been designed and developed entirely by the IT team at AA Labels and the benefits to both staff and patients has been considerable.
All staff members have been provided with laptops and the daily organisation of appointment allocation, stock control and procurement has not only improved but will in future provide valuable data to better inform decision making regarding the charity’s investment needs.
AA Labels continues to invest in equipping the clinic with technology to support and improve the quality and range of services provided and is currently investigating the purchase of Angiography and ECG equipment for the clinic.
This is what some of those patients of the clinic have to say about the services freely available:
STATEMENT FROM IMRAN BASHIR – PRACTICE MANAGER
I have been with this charity for 6 years and i have seen it grow from serving less than 300 patients a month to 10,000 patients a month.
I have seen the clinic develop and progress over the years from just one doctor in the beginning and our second doctor joining 4 years ago and a pharmacist joining for the dispensing of essential medication. The purchase of an ultra-sonic scanner and new management software developed for patient appointments and records, purchasing, stock control and employee payroll.
We now have a queue management SYSTEM with the new software, providing a SMS text messaging service for appointments and medication and monitors displaying patient names and doctor or nurse in the clinics waiting rooms.
Our next appointment will be another qualified nurse to work in the clinic and we hope to be able to continue to invest in the additional equipment required. Lately we are providing improved medicines for our patients and we have seen a difference in this and patients have given their positive feedback on this. The building has recently been refurbished and updated.
The clinics services are completely free. Always have been and always will be, because there are no other services providing free consultation and medicine in the area. We are fortunate to be in a position to help the less well-off and provide benefits that help people in most need. Imran Bashir 26.09.2018
If you are interested in learning more about this charitable work, or would like to make a donation please visit the Sakina Al-Shifa page on the website, which can be found under the “SITE LINKS” heading in the page footer Sakina Al-Shifa Clinic