As many as 300 cyclists rode from Gulberg’s Main Market to Liberty Market on Sunday to raise awareness about treatment options for congenital heart disease.
The five-kilometre long ride was organised by the Pakistan Children Hearts Foundation (PCHF).
The participants included Gul Afshan, who has recently bicycled from Islamabad to Khunjrab pass. Speaking to The Express Tribune, she said there was very little awareness among the public about congenital heart diseases and its treatment. She said holding a rally was a great way to raise awareness about the matter.
She said the rally had attracted a large number of people.
The presence of government officers and civil society activists showed that people trusted the organisers and supported their cause.
PCHF director Farhan Ahmed said that around 40,000 children were born in Pakistan with congenital heart disease every year. He said most of them were born to income-poor households who could not afford to pay for their treatment.
Ahmed said his organisation intended to establish a hospital dedicated to the treatment of the disease and a training institute for healthcare professionals.
He said the hospital would cater to the treatment needs of children from income-poor families who were suffering from congenital heart disease.
Adviser to the Chief Minister on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique assured the organisers that he would consider their request for allotment of land for the establishment of the hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2016.