Four hundred children with eye cancer have been successfully treated at the Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital in one year. Every stage, from evaluation to chemotherapy, was carried out under one roof at the Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi. This facility is exclusive to it, said Dr. Tanzeela Farah, a paediatric oncologist. She informed a media team that the eye cancer centre has 1600 youngsters registered and that the number of patients is rising as more people become aware of the issue’s significance.
She said that Pakistan is seeing an alarming rise in pediatric eye cancer cases when compared to other nations in the area. She noted that the occurrence of eye cancer needs early detection, diagnosis, and proper treatment and added that almost 30 per cent of eye cancer patients are children, which is a big challenge for us.
Dr Tanzeela Farah said timely detection could save a child’s sight. However, in case of failure to consult an expert, most eye cancer patients may suffer vision loss or loss of an eye, or it may prove fatal in some cases. She added that the treatment of eye cancer is a lengthy and very costly process. Still, Al-Shifa is determined to treat poor patients free of charge with the help of experts and the latest apparatus.
After chemotherapy, follow-up sessions continue every six months; the patients are observed for 5 to 7 years, she said, adding that eye cancer is sometimes diagnosed at birth and that we are fully equipped to treat children from zero to 15 years old.
Dr Tanzeela Farah said that most of the children who have eye cancer belong to low-income families living in remote areas, and their parents are unaware of the specialised facilities needed to provide proper treatment. The eye cancer needs more time and effort to be treated, she said.
It is pertinent to mention that Al-Shifa Trust has set up a chain of five eye hospitals of international standard in the last three decades, including those in Rawalpindi, Kohat, Sukkur, Muzaffarabad, and Chakwal. Al-Shifa Rawalpindi is Asia’s biggest children’s eye hospital.
At its Rawalpindi location, Al-Shifa Trust also manages Asia’s largest children’s eye facility.