There are some people whom you meet in life, though they seem to be ordinary but their work towards humanity speaks high of them. Dr. Muhammad Faizur Rehman Siddiqui is one of them. He is the Chairman of the Faiz Welfare Foundation (FWF) and a Consultant Physician (a Specialist of Heart Disease, Hypertension, and Diabetes Mellitus). FWF is a social organization which has started its work from last year (2010).
According to Dr. Siddiqui, the objective of this organization is to work on Hepatitis B and C patients specifically. It is a chronic disease which if not treated may cause cirrhosis (liver damage) after 15 years and ultimately after 20 years it may also lead to cancer. There is no vaccine for this infection whereas the tests and medicines are expensive which is out of reach for the poor people and even lower middle class cannot afford.
He shares the journey from being a Physician to the Chairman of FWF which in his own words ‘a long one’. He has worked at many places. After graduating from Dow Medical College in 1974, he went to Muscat where he started his professional career. He worked for two years as General Physician over there. Then he went to Abu Dhabi where he spent 26 years working at the Government Hospital for first ten years though later he started his own private practice. He also used to do a radio show in Abu Dhabi named as Radio Doctor where he used to answer the queries regarding health problems. He also participated in social activities arranged by Pakistan Culture Centre. He also did his practice in Government Hospital at Canada for five years. But after the death of his wife, he comes back to Karachi in April 2007. Presently he is working at different hospitals which include Indus Hospital, MediLink and Park Lane.
While working at Indus Hospital, he comes across many patients suffering from Hepatitis who have no money to pay for expensive tests. Therefore to utilize the alms money in right direction, the concept of FWF comes into existence to facilitate the poor for the treatment of one of the incurable disease. Hepatitis C is one of the wide-spread diseases in the Pakistan and at least 15-20% people are suffering from this infection.
He informs that now his foundation is treating 20 patients a month and after every one month, twenty more new patients are added. It is a six month course and we have started the treatment from December 2010, which will end in May 2011. After May, he says, “We will add 50 more patients every month for the treatment.”
Moreover, he explains that the procedure of the organization is to provide injections and medicines for whole month and after every one month, when these patients come for another round; they are being tested to see the results. But after the completion of six months, a special genotype test is conducted to see the benefits of the treatment and detect antibodies. However he is hopeful that the success rate will be 85%.
Dr. Siddiqui further reveals that the work of FWF has been evaluated by the Government of Pakistan; they have gone through the audit report of the organization after which Federal Board Revenue (FBR) has exempted the tax from the funds donated to the foundation in the form of charity. While inquiring about the expenses that foundation has to bear in the form of injections and other expenditures for which he replies that the miscellaneous costs are all paid by our pocket whereas, the donations are only used on patients.
The foundation is also supporting Indus Hospital and now seven more people are working under this organization. Though the plan of Dr. Faiz is to expand the organization into a medical centre and to start the ambulance services but due to limited resources, it is still under process. He has not only made the pilot project but also working on it.
He is clear about his intention; his vision is to work more on hepatitis B and C patients not only in the city but also to the rural areas. He is working to make specialized medical centre which will also do research on these infections by collecting data of Hep Band C patients from whole Pakistan. He says that by doing this, we will be able to recognize our work in the forum of World Health Organization. Though, recently in first half of this year, FWF has been granted license by Security and Exchange Comission of Pakistan as the non-profit organization.
Dr. Siddiqui believes that it is an obligation for the affluent people to work for those who are needy. He further says that he is not the kind of person who sits at home and be critical about the system, rather he believes in self-service.
The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step, an adage that says a lot for a person who in his own small ways is working for welfare of the people. Though he is not a celebrity or someone in power; he is an ordinary man with a big vision. As he says, “I am here to play my part and hoping that the efforts will not go vain.”