News & Events
WHO TEAM VISITS MALC
The WHO Team, comprising of Dr Albis-Francesco Gabrielli – Regional Advisor, NTDs, WHO-EMRO/ Cairo, Dr Qutubuddin Kakar, Focal Person NTDs, WHO-CO-Islamabad, and Dr. Sara Salman, Head of Office , WHO Sub-Office, Sindh visited the offices of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 to discuss WHO Mission on Neglected Tropical Diseases (Leishmaniasis, Trachoma, Filariasis, Leprosy and Soil Transmitted Helminths). Since Pakistan has the highest burden of STHs, Leishmaniasis and still have cases of Leprosy and Trachoma, this visit by the WHO team provided an opportunity to review the current situation of these ailments in Pakistan and discuss the New Strategic Options available in the context of WHO guidelines.
Seen in the picture (from left to right)
Dr. Ali Murtaza – Director Training & Community Development MALC, Mr. Savio Pereira – Director, HR/Admin MALC, Dr. Shahid Zafar – Coordinator Community Development MALC, Mr. Mervyn Lobo – Chief Executive Officer MALC, Dr. Ruth Pfau – Founder Member MALC, Dr. Qutubuddin Kakar, Focal Person NTDs, WHO-CO-Islamabad, Dr. Sara Salman – Head of Office, WHO Sub-Office, SINDH; Dr Albis-Francesco Gabrielli – Regional Adviser, NTDs, WHO-EMRO/ Cairo, and Dr. Mutaher Zia – Leprosy Specialist MALC.
INAUGURATION OF MNCH PROGRAM AND GENEXPERT BY EBM AT MALC – EBM HEALTH CENTRE
English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt) Ltd. (EBM) is one of the leading donors of MALC and has shown its support for over a decade. Once again, EBM has generously come forward in support of the cause and donated a GeneXpert machine, which will help in the treatment and diagnosis of Tuberculosis, as well as to formally launch the Mother and Child Healthcare program at the MALC-EBM Health Centre. An inauguration event was held at Landhi-Korangi where the Managing Director & CEO of EBM, Dr. Zeelaf Munir, graced the function as the Chief Guest. Other esteemed guests included members from i-Care Foundation, philanthropists and media personnel.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Zeelaf Munir, said the technology would lead to improved health-care for expecting mothers, as well as identify efficient preventative measures for growth and development of mother and the newborn. She emphasized the impact of Tuberculosis on maternal health, and the increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Dr. Ruth Pfau, Founder Member – MALC, who was also present at this event, was extremely thankful to EBM for their continued support and was encouraged by their interest in the welfare of the country.
DR. PFAU VISITS FAYSAL BANK TO ENCOURAGE SUPPORT FOR MALC ACTIVITIES
Faysal Bank Ltd, one of the long-time supporters of MALC, has continued their assistance to help the patients at MALC hospital. Their backing for the work done by MALC is overwhelming. Mr. Nauman Ansari (President & CEO, Faysal Bank) accompanied by Ms. Rabia Salahuddin (Head, HR Advisory, Learning & CSR/IC) had received Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC), Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC) and members of MALC’s upper management to Faysal House for a meeting. After pleasantries were shared, a discussion on MALC’s services was held and Faysal Bank appreciated the efforts made by MALC for the betterment of healthcare in Pakistan, especially for those living in extreme poverty. Following the discussion, Mr. Ansari then presented a cheque to Dr. Pfau, on behalf of Faysal Bank, for the continued treatment of Leprosy, Blindness and TB, as well as to offer other medical services to help the most deserving strata of our society. The management of MALC is extremely thankful to Faysal Bank for being supportive towards the cause of bringing an improvement to the healthcare system in Pakistan.
MALC CELEBRATES PAKISTAN’S INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH FLAG-HOISITING CEREMONY
On the auspicious occasion of the 69th Independence Day of Pakistan, MALC organized a small event at its hospital in Karachi, with staff and patients, to celebrate the birthday of our country. Dr. Pfau (Founder Member, MALC), in the presence of Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC) respectfully hoisted the national flag at the hospital with the national anthem being played. She also cut a cake in remembrance of the solemnity of the day and distributed it to all present.
The ceremony was symbolic as it displayed unity with the rest of the country. Hoisting the flag reminded the MALC family of the commitment they had to serve the most deserving and underprivileged classes of society in the country. MALC was initially founded to provide help to those affected by Leprosy but since its establishment in 1956, it has branched out its activities to include TB and Blindness Control, Community-Based Rehabilitation for Persons with Disabilities, Mother and Child Healthcare and Disaster Risk Reduction. Doing its utmost to help the Pakistani nation as much as possible, the MALC staff would continue to serve the country for many more years in the future.
ADAMGOTH SCHOOL CELEBRATES PAKISTAN’S INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH ZEAL
After a gap of 6 long years, the Adamgoth community school, managed by Rah-e-Najat and MALC, celebrated Independence Day with school children and community members. It was indeed a special occasion for the community as the students prepared for the celebration with overwhelming zeal and patriotism at very short notice. The teachers dutifully helped the children prepare for their dances and speeches, and gave their all to make this event a success. The school principal, Mrs. Josephine Jamshed, in her welcome speech, thanked one and all for their contributions and effort, whilst emphasizing to the audience how important it was to keep this school alive for the betterment of the community.
This event would not have been possible without assistance from some regular supporters of MALC as well. A very big “THANK YOU” go out to Ms. Ainee Shahzad (Chairman, MALC Fundraising Committee), Eternal Hope, McDonalds Pakistan (for providing the students and teachers with a hearty lunch), Hilal Sweets, EMI for the goody bags and a team of students from Karachi Grammar School (KGS) for joining hands with MALC to help give the community an event to remember. The KGS students also presented books to the school so that it may have its very own library. They also brought along their musical instruments and sang songs with the community school children to add more gloss to the event.
With the happiness evident on the faces of the community school children, it was clear to the organizers that such an event should be an annual one. It will provide the motivation for the students to attend classes regularly and would definitely boost the extra-curricular activities in the community.
MALC TANDO JAN MOHAMMAD CENTRE INAUGURATED BY DR. RUTH PFAU
The achievements of MALC continue to grow in number and another feather was added to the cap in the shape of the latest centre to be inaugurated. MALC is proud to announce that its newest centre in Tando Jan Mohammad has officially started working in the area for Leprosy, Blindness, TB, MCHC and those suffering from disabilities. Additionally, it would act as a mid-way facility for the Tharparkar region too. Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC) was the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony and proudly unveiled the plaque at the entrance of the centre. Distinguished guests included Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC), Dr. Khalid Memon (Coordinator, TB Control Programme), Dr. Fazal Rehman (MS Taluka Hospital HQ, Digri), Mr. Azam Azeem (Ex-DLC, Mirpurkhas), Mr. Qazi Faizullah (Ex. Taluka Nazim) and Mr. Ahsan Jarwar (Social Worker, Mirpurkhas).
Speaking on the occasion, each of the esteemed guests had words of praise for the work that MALC and Dr. Pfau had done for Pakistan and more importantly, the effect that this new centre would have in the region. Dr. Memon highlighted the strength of the MALC field staff and explained the importance of collaboration between MALC and the government in helping to minimize the effects of TB. Mr. Lobo, Dr. Rehman and Mr. Azeem echoed the same sentiments and ideas whilst also briefing the guests about their experiences with MALC. In her own words, Dr. Pfau was deeply appreciative of the work that the MALC staff were doing, and was encouraged by the fact that the local government was excited to work with the centre to bring some easily accessible healthcare to the communities.
MALC INAUGUARATES GENEXPERT MACHINE AT ORANGI CENTRE
MALC is taking a leap forward in TB control with its second GeneXpert being installed at its Orangi centre in Karachi. The machine was generously donated by Mr. Furrokh Captain, Chairman – iCare Foundation, and he was invited as the Chief Guest for this inauguration ceremony. Included in the list of guests were Mr. Ashraf Adamjee, Mr. Faisal Farooq Khan, Mrs. Ghazala Ahmed, Mrs. Ainee Shahzad, Ms. Ulli Raimann and Mrs. Claudia Villani. A very special thanks must go out to Mr. Aziz Ahmed Khan (Consultant, MALC) and the Resource Mobilization team for their dedicated efforts into making the acquisition of this machine possible.
GeneXpert is a recently introduced diagnostic test which can be performed in less time with better reliability (sensitivity equivalent to Culture S/R) and has brought hopes to improve TB diagnosis with better outcome. The new molecular test can be performed on site as it takes around two hours for the machine to give results with fairly high accuracy (equal to culture). It minimizes the chances of error as the machine carries out the whole process with very little human involvement. Besides, the test can detect Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in fewer numbers (unlike sputum microscopy) and bacteria resistant to Rifampicin. Therefore, the test is an excellent tool to diagnose TB patients in otherwise hidden cases and an early detection of drug resistant tuberculosis, for proper treatment at an early stage.
MCDONALDS AND ETERNAL HOPE TEAM VISIT MANGHOPIR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (MDP) TO DISTRIBUTE GIFTS
Mr. Jamil Ahmed Mughal (Director, Marketing & Development – McDonalds), Syed Abbas Ali (Manager Projects – McDonalds) and Mr. Shakeel Obaid (Asst. Manager Projects – McDonalds) along with Mr. Sameer Shehzad of Eternal Hope visited Manghopir’s Tatarko Yagangat School (TYS) and the Girls’ Hostel, a project of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre. This visit was facilitated by Ms. Ainee Shehzad (Chairperson, Fundraising Committee and Member, Governing Body MALC) and the MALC Resource Mobilization team. The guests were warmly welcomed by the students of TYS and residents of the Marie Adelaide Girls Hostel. For the McDonalds team, it was their first visit to Manghopir and they were given a tour of the facility to apprise them of the services offered to the students. On this occasion, the girls prepared and presented a variety program to welcome the guests. Mr. Sameer, of Eternal Hope, had worked tirelessly to raise funds for the Manghopir project and on this occasion, presented a number of recreational games to the children so that they may use these in their free time. This was not the first time that Eternal Hope had provided help for the Manghopir project. Mr. Sameer and his team were also responsible for setting up a small library at TYS to encourage the children to start reading. After a brief discussion with the MALC team, the guests promised to help in the facelift of TYS and the hostel so that the environment could further be enhanced for the children. The students, hostel residents and management of MALC & MDP are thankful for this joint effort of McDonalds and Eternal Hope and hope that many such supporters come forward and help them regularly.
MALC COMPLETES FLOOD REHABILITATION PROJECTS IN SINDH AND KPK
MALC has successfully completed its Flood Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Projects (FRRP), which started in 2011, meeting all its set targets of rehabilitating flood-affected families in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The project was funded by a Consortium of three major international partners: DAHW/GLRA Germany, Caritas St. Poelten and Caritas Austria, which concluded on 31st March 2016. Through various interventions, spread over 2 phases, 11,095 families have benefited (approx. 141,000 individuals). 3,548 families received one-room shelters, 914 families received livestock support, 553 families were supported in small income-generating activities, 5,904 families were helped with various water-scheme projects for drinking water and 20,998 patients received free treatment facility. In order to create a healthy environment, the project also facilitated communities with tree plantations (over 20,000 tree saplings planted in Sindh) which was carried out with full community participation. To deal with post-flood activities, MALC has opened two new centres, one in Tando Jan Mohammad and one in Badin, which will also cater to activities in Tharparkar. These activities will focus on aspects concerning Mother and Child Healthcare which is the utmost need of the area. In connection with this project, the MALC team participated in a final Consortium meeting and press conference held in St. Poelten in early June 2016 to explain in more detail the achievements from this massive project.
MALC VISITS HILL INTERNATIONAL TO INITIATE DIALOGUE ON FUTURE STRATEGY
On a recent official visit to Austria, the MALC team paid a visit to Hill International to discuss management strategies for MALC’s future. Hill International is a pioneer in Europe, offering full services in HR and management consultations, and is represented by 50 offices in over 30 countries. The purpose of this meeting was to share ideas and evaluate current business practices and discuss long-term strategy building. Mr. Othmar Hill, who is the founder of Hill International, visited Karachi in May 2016 to introduce his company to MALC and the visit sparked a dialogue between the two organizations. Relations between MALC and its Austrian supporters have been healthy over the years and collaborating with Hill International on future projects provides more reason for optimism for the MALC management and staff.
GETZ PHARMA PAYS GOODWILL VISIT TO MALC
Getz Pharma has been one of MALC’s very long-term supporters and their constant assistance to help patients is overwhelming. On a recent visit to MALC, Mr. Khalid Mahmood (Chief Executive Officer, Getz Pharma (Pvt.) Ltd.) and his team called on Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC) and Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC) and the upper management to see first-hand how MALC operated. This was Mr. Mahmood’s first visit to MALC and was very impressed with what he witnessed and learnt at the MALC hospital. Accompanying him on this visit, from Getz Pharma, were Mr. Aamer Naseer (Administrative Head) and Ms. Nadia Rehman (Associate Manager, Corporate Communications). This visit was facilitated by the Resource Mobilization Department at MALC and many thanks must be given to Mr. Aziz Ahmed Khan (Consultant, MALC) for making this meeting possible. During the course of the meeting, Mr. Khalid Mahmood stressed that Getz Pharma would continue to offer their services to MALC and would do its utmost to provide medicines for the cause that MALC was fighting for.
HABIB BANK FOUNDATION CONTINUES ITS SUPPORT OF EYE CAMPS IN BALOCHISTAN
A 3rd free eye camp was held with the help of Habib Bank Foundation (HBF) at District Headquarters Hospital at Chaman. Again, the MALC medical team was called into action and did a marvelous job where 1,949 patients were treated including 90 surgeries being performed by the surgeons. MALC has always been ready to help the deserving classes of society in Pakistan and is extremely thankful to HBF for joining hands to fight against blindness.
HABIB BANK FOUNDATION SPONSORS FREE EYE SURGICAL CAMP AT KILLA SAIFULLAH
Another great milestone in the treatment of eye diseases was recently achieved by MALC with the continuous support from Habib Bank Foundation. A free eye surgical eye camp was held by MALC at district Headquarters Hospital in Killa Saifullah in Balochistan. The MALC medical team treated 1,939 patients, performing 160 surgeries, including 17 minor surgeries. MALC’s mission to eliminate blindness and eye diseases will be strengthened by the continuous support of such donors and holding a medical camp in the region is a small step forward in the right direction.
MALC CONDUCTS FREE EYE SURGICAL CAMP AT ZHOB
We are extremely grateful to Habib Bank Foundation for their continued support to sponsor a free eye surgical camp at Zhob. The MALC team comprised of surgeons, technicians, and other medical staff. During this camp 2,891 eye patients were treated where 190 eye surgeries were conducted including 31 minor surgeries. The people of Zhob are very poor and the hope and happiness in their eyes after successful treatment was reward enough for the team involved.
NBP CONTINUES ITS UNWAVERING SUPPORT TO HELP THE NEEDY AT MALC
The management at MALC is extremely grateful to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for its continued support in adopting the female ward at the MALC Hospital in Karachi. Mr. Ovais Asad Khan (Executive Vice President, HR/Divisional Head – NBP) presented a cheque to Ms. Salwa Zainab (Manager Resource Mobilization, MALC) for the continued support in helping the patients admitted in the ward. With such an endeavor from NBP, the hospital will surely improve the quality of care provided to the patients suffering from Leprosy, TB & Eye complications. MALC values the strong bonds with its donors and hopes that such friendships, from trusted and committed donors, will continue in the future as well.
MALC CONCLUDES ITS MATCHBOX COMPETITION AFTER SUCCESSFUL AWARENESS DRIVE
MALC recently organized and managed its Matchbox Competition (MBC) with various schools in Karachi. The activity was primarily done with a focus on the work that MALC is doing in Pakistan and to encourage the students to raise funds to help the needy in receiving medical treatment. For this event, 5 schools in Karachi participated whole-heartedly and the response was overwhelming from the students and staff of St. Patrick’s High School, St. Paul’s High School, St. Lawrence’s School, Nasra School (both shifts) and City School PAF Chapter. City School PAF Chapter was declared the winner of this competition as it generated the highest contribution for needy patients.
An elaborate concluding ceremony at MALC Headquarters was arranged for all the schools and their representatives. Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC) was the Chief Guest at the occasion and was accompanied by Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC). Present at this event were also Mr. Savio Pereira (Director, HR / Admin), Dr. Ali Murtaza (Director, Training and Community Development), Ms. Salwa Zainab (Manager, Resource Mobilization), staff of MALC and the respective section heads and principals of the participating schools.
HABIB BANK FOUNDATION SPONSORS MALC EYE CAMP IN KHARAN
MALC, in association with Habib Bank Foundation (HBF), organized a free Eye surgical camp in Kharan (Balochistan) to provide relief to those patients with eye ailments in the region. On this occasion a group of Eye Specialists and medical representatives from MALC provided the patients with a comprehensive computerized eye examination as well as surgical procedures where needed. The MALC medical team treated 2,821 eye patients in total – 65 had cataract surgeries (including 12 Minor and 53 Major surgeries) and these were successfully performed.
MALC is extremely grateful for the continued support it receives from its donors on a regular basis. Through the continued provision of its medical services it will bring relief to those affected by medical issues. HBF and MALC has strengthened this growing friendship over the years through such a collaborative effort from both parties.
HIS EXCELLENCY, GHALEB MOUSSA ABDALLA BADER (APOSTOLIC NUNCIO), PAYS HISTORIC VISIT TO MALC
MALC was honoured by the visit of Most Rev. His Excellency, Ghaleb Moussa Abdalla Bader (Apostolic Nuncio) on 6th April 2016. He was accompanied by Msgr. Joseph Maramreddy, His Grace Archbishop Joseph Coutts and Rev. Fr. Saleh Diego.
His Excellency met with Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC), Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC) and Mr. Savio Pereira (Director, HR / Admin). A visit to the hospital wards followed the meeting where His Excellency met with the patients and inquired about their health.
MALC RECONSTITUTES GOVERNING BODY TO MEET ITS FUTURE OBJECTIVES
This is to inform all concerned that a new Governing Body of Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) has been constituted eff. April 15, 2016, consisting of the following members:
– Archbishop Joseph Coutts (Ex-Officio President)
– Dr. Ruth Pfau (Vice President)
– Sr. Jeannine Geuns (Patron)
– Mr. Rainer Schmiedchen (Ex-Officio Member, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany)
– Mr. Burkard Koemm (Ex-Officio Member, German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association)
– Mr. Ernst Hisch (Ex-Officio Member, German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association)
– Prof. Tasnim Ahsan (Member)
– Prof. Dr. Nabila Soomro (Member)
– Mrs. Ainee Shehzad (Member)
– Mr. Irshad Hussain (Member)
– Mr. Anwarul H. Haidri (Member)
– Mr. Mervyn Lobo (Chief Executive Officer, MALC)
MALC has diversified its activities to not only deal with medical issues related to Leprosy, Tuberculosis and Blindness Control but has ventured into Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and most recently, Mother and Child Healthcare (MNCH). A future strategy for Leprosy has been drafted in line with international standards, which will be discussed with various stakeholders, including the Department of Health (DoH) of respective provinces. Once the strategy is approved by all stakeholders, the same will be rolled out for implementation.
MEEZAN BANK CONTINUES ITS SUPPORT FOR MALC ACTIVITIES
Meezan Bank has always been a constant supporter of MALC over the years and has more than done its part in helping to control Leprosy, treat TB and control Blindness. On a recent visit to MALC, Meezan Bank’s Mr. Fayyaz-ur-Rehman Khan (Vice President, Special Projects & CSR) presented a cheque to Mr. Savio Pereira (Director, HR/Administration – MALC), who was accompanied by Ms. Salwa Zainab (Manager, Resource Mobilization – MALC). The friendship forged over the years between MALC and Meezan Bank has always been encouraging and long may this collaboration continue.
GENE XPERT MACHINE INAUGURATION CEREMONY HELD AT MALC
In a simple ceremony held at the MALC Head Office, Sardar Yaseen Malik, Chairman – Hilton Pharma (Pvt.) Ltd., inaugurated the GenXpert Module 4 machine which was very generously donated by him. The inclusion of this device will enhance the TB diagnostic facility of MALC. The event was well attended by long-term supporters and friends of MALC. The guests were welcomed by the management of MALC. Mr. Lobo (CEO, MALC) welcomed all the guests and thanked every single supporter for the help they have extended over the years. Dr. Ali Murtaza (Director, Training and Community Development) briefed the audience about the TB control activities of MALC across Pakistan through our 157 centres. He also elaborated on how the inclusion of GeneXpert Module 4 will enhance the diagnostic facility by providing results in less than 2 hours, as compared to the conventional sputum microscopy, which takes two days to produce the results. Sardar Yaseen Malik lauded the commendable work done by MALC for not only TB, but Leprosy and Blindness Control as well. Dr. Pfau, in her concluding remarks, thanked Sardar Yaseen Malik for his generous donation and appreciated the fact he felt the pain and trauma of the TB patients. Mr. Savio Pereira (Director, HR/Admin) presented the Vote of Thanks and appreciated the generous donation by Sardar Yasin Malik. Furthermore, he thanked everyone for attending this event and also applauded the perseverance and dedication of Mr. Aziz Khan (Consultant, MALC) and the MALC Resource Mobilization Department for bringing in the new technology.
HBL FOUNDATION SPONSORS 2 SURGICAL EYE CAMPS CONDUCTED IN SOHBAT PUR AND BHAAG (BALUCHISTAN)
Both camps were held in Baluchistan and registered an overwhelming response to the FREE OF CHARGE services on offer, proudly sponsored by HBL Foundation. During the camp at Sohbat Pur, a total number of 1,455 patients availed eye care services. 150 surgeries were conducted and among them 128 Cataract surgeries with IOL were performed (61 male & 67 female patients). Additionally, there were 18 minor surgeries performed as well (9 male & 9 female child patients).
In Bhaag, a total number of 824 patients availed of the eye care services where 113 surgeries were conducted this time. Among these services there were 103 Cataract surgeries performed with IOL (53 male & 50 female patients) as well as 8 minor surgeries on 4 male and 4 female children. These surgical eye camps provided some much needed relief to the people living in such hard-to-reach and remote areas of Baluchistan.
MALC CELEBRATES FOUNDERS DAY
Founders Day is celebrated each year to pay tribute to the women who laid the foundation of MALC: Dr. Ruth Pfau, Sr. Berenice Vargas, Sr. Jeannine Genus, Mother Doyle and Dr. Zarina Fazalbuoy. The day is dedicated to these women because of their commitment, vision and role that they played as founding members of MALC. On this occasion Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC), Ms. Salma Zaidi (Social Officer) and Mr. Fateh Muhammad (Regional Coordinator, South) paid rich tributes to each founder, especially Dr. Pfau, and how they learnt so much while working alongside her and the others. In her speech, Dr. Pfau stressed that the current workforce at MALC requires focus and needs to find their own objective, while keeping in mind the overall objective of MALC: The patient is the centre of our concern.
HUMQADAM COMMUNITY CLINIC LAUNCHED IN KHEWRA
Humqadam Community Clinic project is initiated to serve the children and women of Khewra with the support of ICI Foundation Pakistan. The centre started operations from Feb 2016, however, Mr. Asif Jooma (CEO, ICI Foundation) and Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC) jointly inaugurated the clinic in March 2016 and interacted with the community. The joint effort from each orgainization highlights the fact that MALC and ICI Foundation are working not only for Khewra but for the communities across Pakistan where both organizations are contributing. This will provide much needed relief in terms of Ambulance facility as the mobility from tertiary medical care facility was limited due to non-availability of an ambulance service in the Khewra region. This ambulance will be specifically used for women and children of the area.
Also present on the occasion were Mr. Sohail A. Khan (VP, Soda Ash/Polyester Business), Mr. Umer Mushtaq (Works Manager, Soda Ash), and Ms. Kamila Khan (General Counsel and Company secretary, ICI) along with her CSR team. MALC was represented by Mr. Uzair Kiani (Admin Coordinator, NRO), Dr. Jalal Khan (Medical Coordinator, NRO), Mr. Abdul Aziz (Asst. Manager, Accounts) and Ms. Salwa Zainab (Manager, Resource Mobilization).
63rd WORLD LEPROSY DAY CELEBRATED BY MALC IN KARACHI
Globally, the day is celebrated on the last Sunday of the year and it is dedicated to creating awareness about Leprosy as well as to generate feelings of togetherness for those affected by the disease. Additionally, the day is set aside to renew the commitment of those entrusted with the task of creating a Leprosy-free world.
Arts Council of Pakistan was the venue selected for the 63rd World Leprosy Day celebration by MALC. The event was held on 1st February 2016 and the Chief Guest for the occasion was Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC), accompanied by Ms. Claudia Villani, who arrived from Austria and was the Guest of Honour. The event also recognized those employees who had dedicated 25 years or more for service at MALC. It was a fitting tribute to them for their contributions towards Leprosy control in the country.
WOMEN’S DAY CELEBRATED AT MALC
MALC was founded by women and therefore, has always encouraged women to participate wholeheartedly in the day-to-day management of the organization. With this in mind, and the global significance of the day, MALC held a small event on its premises to celebrate the contributions made by the women over its 60-years history. All the female staff were invited to participate in the event where experiences were shared, roles were discussed and the significance of women empowerment was emphasized. The theme for the day was “Parity for All” and it meant that women were to be treated equally in all phases of life. Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC), in his address to the 50 female staff present at the event, highlighted the role that women had played in the establishment of MALC – the foundations of MALC were laid by five women who came together to fight Leprosy and its stigma. Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC) also supported the statements made by Mr. Lobo in her concluding remarks and acknowledged the contributions made by the female staff in making MALC into the organization it is today. Women have always been the backbone of the organization and the senior management was encouraged to add more and more female staff to the ranks of the organization.
MALC ORGANIZES SEMINAR ON LEPROSY TO CELEBRATE ITS 60th ANNIVERSARY
As part of the ongoing World Leprosy Day 2016 celebrations, a seminar on Leprosy was held at the Pak American Cultural Centre (PACC) to mark the 60th anniversary of MALC in Pakistan. The esteemed panel of speakers included Dr. Chris Schmotzer (Medical Director, Aid to Leprosy Patients), Prof. Rabia Hussain (HEC Distinguished National Professor, Professor of Microbiology, AKUH), Dr. Humaira Talat (Asst. Professor, DOW University of Medical Sciences), Dr. Mohammad Irfan Anwar (Asst. Professor of Dermatology, PNS Shifa), Dr. Manzoor Memon (Dermatologist, Sindh Institute of Skin Diseases) and Dr. Mutaher Zia (Leprosy Specialist, MALC).
The audience included doctors, paramedics and medical students from hospitals, universities and colleges across Karachi. Representatives from major pharmaceutical companies were also present for the event. The speakers presented topics that were relevant to the current developments in the field of Leprosy and were highly specific in their analysis pertaining to the present situation in Pakistan. Challenges, opportunities, breakthroughs, historical data and many other facets of Leprosy control were discussed at length to bring awareness to those in the audience.
The welcome address for the event was delivered by Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO, MALC) and the keynote address was given by Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC). Each of them had inspiring words for the various teams working to control and eventually, eliminate, Leprosy from the country. For the team at MALC in particular, it was heartening to hear that the services rendered by them over the past 60 years had been recognized and their efforts have been appreciated.
SSGC RENEWS ITS SUPPORT FOR GWADAR EYE CARE CENTRE AND MIRPURKHAS TRIPLE MERGER CENTRE
During a recent visit to MALC, Mr. Shahbaz Islam (AGM – Corporate Communications, SSGC) presented a cheque to Dr. Ruth Pfau (Founder Member, MALC) for the adoption of the MALC centres at Mirpurkhas and Gawadar for the year 2016. Mr. Islam was accompanied by Mr. Muhammad Ali Gohar (Chief Manager, SSGC) and MALC was represented by Mr. Mervyn Lobo (Chief Executive Officer, MALC), Dr. Ali Murtaza (Director, Training & Blindness Control Program) and Ms. Salwa Zainab (Manager, Resource Mobilization). MALC is extremely grateful to the management of SSGC for their continued support for to MALC by supporting two of its centers i.e. Gwadar Eye Care Centre and Mirpurkhas Triple Merger Centre. It has enabled the organization to continue to offer timely and quality services to the people of both regions.
FAYSAL BANK LTD CONTINUES ITS SUPPORT FOR TB CONTROL ACTIVITIES
Faysal Bank continues to support MALC in its fight against TB. In the spirit of this battle, Faysal Bank presented a cheque to MALC for the treatment of 400 TB patients, dispersed in five different Leprosy-TB centres spread across Gilgit Baltistan. This generous donation will ensure the regular supply of anti-TB medicines for deserving patients in various parts of Gilgit – Baltistan. The help by Faysal Bank enables our centre staff to provide medicines to the registered cases on time, absolutely FREE OF COST.
PRESTIGIOUS ‘STAUFER MEDAL’ CONFERRED UPON DR. RUTH PFAU BY GERMAN GOVERNMENT
For her selfless devotion and dedication towards the cause of controlling and, eventually, in the process of eliminating Leprosy in Pakistan, Dr. Ruth Pfau was honoured by the German Government for her work. At a simple, yet elaborate, ceremony held on 21st December 2015, to celebrate her services to some of the most marginalized segments of Pakistani society, the German Consul General presented Dr. Pfau with the ‘Staufer Medal’ in gold, the highest order of merit for services to the State.
His Excellency, the Consul General, Mr. Rainer Schmiedchen, presented the medal on behalf of the German government and was deeply in awe of the work done by Dr. Pfau and her team over the past 55 years. Mr. Schmiedchen spoke about how rarely the Staufer Medal is awarded in gold and is only awarded to very important personalities. Usually the medal is awarded in silver. He remarked, “This is an exceptional case because it was awarded by the Chief Minister of one of the most important German federal states, Baden-Wurttemberg, and this should underline Dr. Pfau’s exceptional achievements and commitment to public health.”
Dr. Pfau was accompanied to the event by members of the MALC staff including Mr. Mervyn Lobo (CEO), Dr. Ali Murtaza (Director, Training and Development) and Mr. Savio Pereira (Director, HR / Admin). The entire staff at MALC is privileged to have the honor of working with a legend as Dr. Pfau and feel extremely proud of her achievements in public health.
K-ELECTRIC RENEWS IT SUPPORT FOR MALC THROUGH ITS SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM
MALC highly appreciates the contribution of K-Electric for serving the unserved communities in Pakistan and its willingness to extend its undeniable support for MALC’s ongoing activities for the marginalized communities. Without the support of K-Electric, it would not have been possible to sustain the Leprosy programme. The savings which will be generated by MALC through the provision of subsidized K-Electric electricity units will help the organization to better serve the patients.
UNITED BANK LIMITED ADOPTS BAGH – BANNI PASSARI CENTRE IN AZAD JAMMU & KASHMIR
United Bank Limited, one of MALC’s regular supporters, has once again adopted the Bagh – Banni Passari (AJK) Triple-Merger Centre. MALC is extremely grateful to the management of UBL for their continued support by adopting this centre. Their assistance will help to further enhance the FREE services for treating patients suffering from Leprosy, TB & Eye diseases.
MALC CONDUCTS AND EYE SURGICAL CAMP IN USTA MUHAMMAD (BALUCHISTAN)
MALC, in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), held a FREE eye surgical camp in Usta Muhammad. In a series of four eye camps (all sponsored by SCB) to be held in Balochistan, this camp was the last to be executed during the third quarter of 2015. These eye camps are a necessity in Balochistan because of the urgent need to treat the many eye-related cases in the region. During the camp, a total of 2427 patients availed of FREE eye care services. 204 surgeries were conducted including 181 cataract surgeries with IOL and 23 other minor surgeries. Among those that had Cataract surgery, 73 were male and 108 were female. The response at this camp was overwhelming.