The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) organised a second fundraising Iftar dinner in the city on Thursday as part of its ongoing Zakat campaign. Chairman Board of Governors of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Imran Khan, was present as the chief guest at the event. A large number of donors and supporters also attended this Iftar where Rs200 million were collected. On this occasion, Dr Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, Chief Medical Officer of SKMCH&RC, gave an overview of the ongoing projects of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, “Over the past twenty-seven years, the unstinting support of generous donors has meant that we have been able to provide financially supported treatment worth Rs63 billion to deserving cancer patients. At SKMCH&RC, we have always taken all possible steps to ensure that the utilisation of Zakat complies with Islamic injunctions regarding utilisation for Zakat-eligible patients. Zakat funds are used for the medical treatment of deserving patients, and not for other expenses such as construction. SKMCH&RC has received Shariah compliance certification confirming that its Zakat processes are in line with Islamic principles.” Highlighting the impact of charity over the last year, Dr Aasim Yusuf said, “In 2021, we recorded 63,725 chemotherapy sessions, 19,128 surgical procedures and 77,809 radiation treatments at all our facilities. The generous support of our donors enabled us to provide financially supported treatment worth Rs9.7 billion to deserving cancer patients and the proportion of Zakat collections in this was approximately Rs5.1 billion, which reaffirms that Zakat funds are completely exhausted on providing direct patient care within the same year they are collected.” Addressing the distinguished guests, Imran Khan said that cancer treatment is very expensive and the majority of our people cannot afford it. For more than 27 years, SKMCH&RC has been collecting Zakat and providing financially supported treatment to over 75% of all patients. He said that SKMCH&RC is of huge benefit not only for deserving cancer patients but also for those who can afford to pay because they are provided treatment according to international standards at much lower costs than countries like the UK or USA. He said that for a population of over 220 million, we need more cancer hospitals and for this reason, the second SKMCH&RC was constructed in Peshawar in 2015 and the third and largest SKMCH&RC is expected to open in Karachi in 2023. He added, “As a nation, we united in the cause of trying to eradicate the scourge of cancer from our country, and we made equitable access to quality cancer care a reality in Pakistan. For the year 2022, we have a budget of Rs28 billon and as in past years, we hope to collect a major portion of this through your Zakat and donations. Ramazan is the month of giving and in this month, I would like to urge everyone to open their hearts and donate generously to support our mission of providing equitable access to quality healthcare to thousands of cancer patients from around the country and beyond.” It may be recalled that the first fundraising Iftar in Lahore was organised on April 15th this year when Rs15 crores were collected, demonstrating the trust of people in the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust as a credible charitable institution.