islamabad - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday urged philanthropists to emulate the services of Al-Shifa Trust to serve the humanity.

PM Abbasi while announcing a donation of Rs200 million for the first Children Eye Hospital of the Al-Shifa Trust hoped it would be a source of inspiration for others who care for their fellow beings.

Addressing a gathering at the 27th Al-Shifa Trust Annual Day, the prime minister said the Trust hospitals had provided quality care to millions and its doctors and staff had set high standards of health care that not only need to be maintained but improved to cater to evolving needs.

The Rs1 billion hospital, one of its kind in entire Asia Pacific region aims at timely treatment of eye diseases and disorders in children, 80 percent of which are treatable and can prevent blindness.

The prime minister paid tributes to the founding father of the Trust late Lt General Jahandad Khan who “worked with a passion to bring out the people from darkness into the light”.

The prime minister proudly recalled that he and his late father Khaqan Abbasi were a witness to the meetings when the idea took fruition.

He said, he was pleased to note that the Al-Shifa today has four fully equipped modern hospitals, training facilities while work on Asia’s largest Children hospital was in progress.

Abbasi recalled that the missionary eye hospital in Taxila proved to be an inspiration for Gen Jahandad and he dedicated his life, till his death, to the cause and helped bring the precious gift of vision to the visually impaired.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was particularly appreciative of the contributions of late President General Zia ul Haq, Dr A Q Khan, Ahmed Dawood and others for putting in place a setup that has continued to serve the humanity. He also spoke high of all the Presidents, the Prime Ministers and the Chiefs of Armed forces for their unflinching support to the project, since its inception.

The prime minister lauded the President Al-Shifa Trust Lt. ( Retd) Gen Hamid Javaid who was not only taking the vision forward, but also making the hospital sustainable and expanding its reach.

Senator Mushahid Husain in his remarks recalled his role as media advisor to late General Jahandad when he was editor of The Muslim Daily and described him a “man of passion and humility”. Mushahid said the founding father believed in giving back to the society, and that’s what he did.

Lt. Gen (Retd) Hamid Javaid said Al-Shifa is today one of the leading eye hospital that treats over 0.8 million patients per year, besides conducting over 60,000 surgeries in its hospitals at Rawalpindi, Sukkur, Kohat and Muzaffarabad.

He said the hospital was providing free treatment to 70 percent of deserving patients, subsidized care to remaining 30 percent, besides screening of 300,000 school children annually.

He said the Rs1 billion Children hospital would undertake 50 operations daily, besides treating 500 children a day.

The event was attended by the members of the Board of Trustees, philanthropists, donors, doctors and staff.

Al-Shifa Trust is a non-political, non-governmental, and not-for-profit organization involved in the delivery of high quality eye care services since 1991.

The prime minister later distributed awards and certificates for outstanding performance. He was also awarded a commemorative shield.