Open House Attendees Eager to Participate in AKU Flood Relief Campaign

Open House Attendees Eager to Participate in AKU Flood Relief Campaign 

September 6, 2010

Over a hundred applicants gathered at the Open House for Flood Relief Campaign at AKU Stadium Road campus, Karachi, this past Saturday in response to a public appeal made by the University over the previous weekend. They included medical, nursing and allied health professionals from NGOs and health care institutions from both Pakistan and abroad.

The diverse group was drawn to the Open House for a variety of reasons, some of them highly personal. Dr Farrukh, from Khairpur, said that he was forced to flee the floods with his family and move in with a relative in Karachi. “[My family and I] spent two nights on the road with no camp and no food. I have seen myself… the pain and helplessness so I want to do something for them [flood affectees].  All I have left now is my profession so I decided to serve through my profession.”

Dr Ram Chand, a general physician from Jacobabad who runs a social clinic, narrated a similar ordeal. “My city is all under water; we evacuated to a nearby area and my family is living in camps along with many other families. Since I myself [am] in medical practice, when I saw the situation that was most horrifying I decided to serve all my skills for flood victims [sic].”

A large number of the applicants have already been involved in relief work through various channels, and expressed hope that AKU’s relief initiatives would provide them a better-resourced and more professional environment to continue their work. “My friends [and I] are working with small group of MBBS students in Sindh. But through AKU, I would like to work professionally, learn and enhance my skills and serve my country and people,” said Dr Iqbal, a recent graduate of a government medical college in Karachi.

Zaraat Bin Khalid, a nursing professional, recently returned from the field and said he was eager to return as part of an AKU team. “While I was there I saw most of the people eating leaves from the trees… I want to go there for the second time through AKU’s proper hiring system so that I can help people with full resources.”

All those present said they were deeply affected by the scenes of suffering and are eager to aid their  affected countrymen. Dr Shahid, a paediatrician living in Saudi Arabia, was in Pakistan on vacation when he decided to apply to work with AKU’s flood relief efforts. “When I saw the situation I planned to extend my vacation and am now looking forward to being there [in the field]. I would love to be a part of AKU relief team to save the people who are in terrible condition.”

Dr Habib Ahmed summed up his reasons for being there simply: “I want to go in affected areas and play my role in helping to save my brothers and sisters in this time of crisis.”