Pakistani doctor’s quest for diabetes hospital bearing fruit

Dr. Asjad Hameed

ABU DHABI: For more than six years now, Abu-Dhabi-based diabetologist Dr. Asjad Hameed has religiously followed one routine: Five working days in the emirate and two days of weekend in Islamabad, Pakistan.
He travels there to oversee construction of his dream hospital and treat patients at a mobile clinic.
Helped by friends, Hameed is building the first ever diabetes hospital in South Asia that will provide free treatment and preventive education to poor patients. He has been pursuing this project for seven years now.
“Almost every day, dozens of blue-collar workers, especially taxi drivers, approach me in the mosque for medical advice,” Hameed told Arab News, adding that at least 90 percent of Pakistani taxi drivers in the UAE suffer from diabetes because of an unhealthy lifestyle, work and emotional stress. “It was an eye-opener for me.”
In 2001, he decided to take the plunge. During a winter morning walk near the corniche, he shared his idea of establishing such a hospital in Pakistan with two close friends. There has been no looking back since.
“We started the project with four close friends, and now we have a big team of Pakistani professionals working in the UAE,” he said.
“More than 72 percent of the hospital construction work has been completed. We’re hoping by the first quarter of 2018, the first phase of the hospital will be operational.”
It will have 12 departments to provide comprehensive care for patients suffering from the complexities of this deadly disease. The hospital…