Meet Our Staff: Dr Haroon Hafeez
Dr Hafeez: “[Our Hospital Schooling] programme encourages young patients and their parents about a future beyond cancer and gives them hope that they will get better and return to school.”
Dr Haroon Hafeez is a Consultant Physician at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, but he wears many hats. Not only is he a Consultant Physician for Internal and Palliative Medicine and Director of our Quality & Patient Safety Department, but he has also been instrumental in launching our Hospital Schooling Programme. We asked him to tell us more about this unique programme for our child patients.
Thank you for chatting with us about the Hospital Schooling Programme, Dr Hafeez. Can you tell us when this programme was started?
“Our Hospital Schooling Programme formally started around 2015 and more than 700 students have graduated since then.”
What was the motivation to launch the Hospital Schooling Programme?
“The idea for this programme started forming after a personal experience when my nephew was undergoing treatment for blood cancer. He was very worried about missing school and getting behind in class. We spoke to his school principal who was very encouraging and eventually, he managed to stay on par with his classmates. This made me think of other children in similar situations, undergoing treatment at our hospitals. For kids already in school, we started writing letters to their school principals, asking about course work, and we began helping our paediatric patients cover that work during treatment.”
And what about the patients who weren’t at school before coming to our hospitals?
“For other children who never went to school, we developed a workbook with the help of private school teachers. Completing this workbook would help children learn English, Urdu, and Math at class 1 level. But that’s not all. Along with education, we also offer play therapy to our admitted paediatric patients. Activities like these help them focus on constructive work, diverting their attention away from their illness. Most importantly, they can help in developing a positive response to treatment.”
That’s a good point. We often forget that being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease can really affect people emotionally and mentally. Particularly children.
“Yes. This programme encourages young patients and their parents about a future beyond cancer and gives them hope that they will get better and return to school.”
Our founder has dedicated his life to improving the welfare of ordinary Pakistanis. He is unable to make an appeal for Shaukat Khanum Hospitals this year, but in his absence, we hope you will continue supporting our patients and show that we still stand together in the fight against cancer.Pay Zakat Give Sadaqah BUILD KARACHI HOSPITAL
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