Gama Knife Facility inaugurated at Ojha Campus of Dow University Hospital

The modern facility would carry out 500 procedures a year for treatment of brain tumor and such other ailments

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah says each procedure costs Rs.250000 but free-of cost treatment will be provided at Gamma Knife facility

Karachi: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while inaugurating first ever public sector `Gamma Knife Facility’ at Down University Hospital, Ojha Campus, for the latest treatment of lesions in the brain announced to provide the treatment free of cost.

“This is a very expensive treatment and each procedure/ treatment costs Rs.250000 and around 500 procedures are adopted in a year, therefore the provincial government would bear its entire cost and the patients’ treatment would be made totally free.”

Gama-knife-Ojha-Sindh-Courier-1 (2)Minister health Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Siraj Soomro, Secretary Health Dr. Kazim Jatoi, Vice Chancellor Dow University Prof Saeed Qureshi and others were present on the occasion.

The chief minister said that he has been told that there are more than 400 units installed worldwide, and this was the first Gamma Knife installed in the Public Sector in Pakistan at Dow University Hospital which was something to be proud of. “We have established some remarkable facilities in health sector such as Cyber Knife at JPMC, Liver Transplantation Institute at Gambat, Gamma Knife at Down University Hospital,” he said.

Murad Ali Shah said that Gamma Knife radiosurgery was a very precise form of radiation therapy that focused intense beams of gamma rays with pinpoint accuracy to treat lesions in the brain. He added that despite its name, Gamma Knife surgery involved neither traditional surgery nor an actual knife. “Gamma Knife radiosurgery is called “surgery” because its outcome is similar to that of a surgical procedure,” he said.

It may be noted that Gamma Knife radiosurgery can be effective in treating tumors, blood vessel malformations and nerve conditions. The Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for tumor treatment works by damaging or destroying the DNA of tumor cells so that these cells cannot reproduce or grow. Over time, the brain tumor shrinks.

The CM said that our Gamma Knife Center was home to the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon, the latest Gamma Knife system. “This stationary unit delivers beams of highly focused gamma rays – it enables our neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists to provide world-class care,” he said and added Leksell Gamma Knife Icon because it was designed specifically for treating lesions in the brain and has the greatest precision and accuracy of any radiosurgery system to date.

Shah said, as he was told that Gamma Knife was Painless, bloodless and day care Treatment that was highly targeted and Precise Treatment.

The Gamma Knife radiosurgery is used to treat certain conditions of the brain, many of which could only be treated by open surgery had this option not become available. At the Gamma Knife Center, expert neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists will treat the brain conditions such as Primary brain tumors, in particular, Acoustic neuroma/Vestibular Schwannoma, Pituitary tumor, Craniopharyngioma, Glioma, Meningioma, Hemangioblastoma, Glomus jugulare tumor and additionally: Chordoma, Pediatric brain tumors, Arteriovenous malformation, Trigeminal neuralgia, Essential tremor, Epilepsy and Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The chief minister said that a Gamma Knife procedure was a single day treatment which meant the patient could go home the same day back to his daily routine.

Mr Shah said that he has directed the vice chancellor to carry out treatment of the patients free of cost and his government would bear all the expenditure.

Gama-knife-Ojha-Sindh-Courier-1 (3)Minister health Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, speaking on the occasion, said that another advantage of the Leksell Gamma Knife Icon is its superior ability to spare healthy brain tissue, as compared with other systems. She added that avoiding unnecessary radiation was particularly important for children, who may be more at risk than adults for late effects from radiation.

Later replying to a question by media persons about the KCR, the chief minister said that it was the need of the city and must be established. He added that its initial PC-1 was approved and hoped the federal government would complete it in time.

To a question about purchase of benches for schools, the chief minister said that a media group aired baseless news and tried to create an impression that his then education minister gave a statement against him. “I don’t care what you are airing but we believe in service delivery,” he said.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that he had helped journalist late Gulshan Shaikh when he was hospitalized one or two years back and again helped him when he was recently hospitalized at Ojha where he breathed his last.  Similarly, we helped Umer Sharif, a legendary actor. “We have never discriminated while serving our people and I think we should come out of it now,” he urged.


Sindh Courier

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