Growing up in Pakistan, I was accustomed to seeing poverty and sickness in various forms. I often wrote it off as the natural order of things without giving it much thought. Only after moving to North America and working in the Health industry did I appreciate the value of quality Healthcare as a necessity of daily life. Now as I glance back at Pakistan and compare its institutions to that of the West, it's a bleak landscape: a mismanaged public health system alongside an expensive private healthcare model, with a few bright spots in between. One of those bright spots is the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).
Founded four decades ago by Dr. Adibul Rizvi, the SIUT has expanded exclusively through a series of private donations and voluntary contributions to become a world-class kidney disease center in my hometown, Karachi. It has the distinction of performing the highest number of succesful renal transplants, dialysis sessions, and kidney stone treatments anywhere in the world. And it does so at a fraction of the cost of equivalent services in the US (keep in mind, the traditional model of health insurance has not yet caught on in Pakistan). For those who cannot afford to pay, the cost is waived entirely. It's like a Pakistani Mayo Clinic that never turns a patient away for financial reasons.
Chronic Kidney Disease is a rising health concern in South Asia, especially Pakistan, compounded by poor diet, sanitation, and health education. In addition to providing treatment, SIUT addresses the root cause by performing research, raising preventive care awareness, and serving as a "teaching hospital" to train physicians, specialists, and surgeons that go on to strengthen the country's medical core.
During the course of wedding planning, Daneen and I each independently came up with the idea of doing away with a registry. We realize how lucky and blessed we are to be in good physical and financial health. In lieu of that, we would love to use our platform to help out the SIUT in their noble cause. This wedding is a combination of two distinct cultures. And in keeping with that theme, we are hoping to merge the needs of one population with the financial resources of another, in order to achieve an affordable and feasible solution to a global problem.
If you have gotten this far through the wall of text above, we are very grateful for your time! All donations go through the SIUT's North American wing, which is an accredited 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in Houston, TX. Most US employers will match contributions made to the SIUT.
- Hasan & Daneen