Hospital 57357 welcomed the writer Omar Taher on a visit to the children with cancer where he toured the Hospital’s sections such as the clinical pharmacy, the recreation center, the labs and the daycare. He was welcomed by the head of Hospital 57357’s public relations. On his facebook page the writer wrote about his visit, “I have to confess that the visit which started as a duty, one that I was carrying out merely to clear my conscious, turned out unexpectedly to be an eye-opener and a revelation. We started with an instructive tour filled with statistics for recovered cases, number of patients,… etc. and information about the facility’s capabilities and all the expected typical details. I had one question about the nearby building under construction that I’ve been seeing for a while without progression. The answer came that construction work had stopped because there has been a 60% decline in the value of donations over the past years. This is a huge decline especially that I have been told that if this situation persists the Hospital’s bank accounts and deposits will only last 14 months at the maximum. The possibility of having this facility turned to an abandoned building struck me and made me concentrate on the details:
This is the only Hospital where you would find children running loudly and happily in its corridors while nobody is stopping them. At the door of the day-care,when Omar Khairat’s music was diffused in the air in sink with the gentle motion of hanging plastic birds from the ceiling representing a unique trophy in gratitude to one of our most generous donors, Sheikh Zayed, I saw the children gathered around this piece of art, mesmerized and watching closely. Glass walled rooms containing a group of painters with a group of volunteers aged between 16 and 18, talking and laughing in the recreation center which is full of children who looked like they were still receiving cancer treatment but nevertheless joyful and being nicely entertained.
The tour goes on: this room contains a traditional bread oven, that hall is a huge lab, this building is for the cyberknife radiation equipment which costs many millions, and this is the pharmacy which is equipped with a robot that stacks medications and prepares prescriptions using patients’ barcodes. A young Egyptian girl in her late twenties is overseeing the operation of the robot and monitoring it. At the medication and drug preparation center, a young pharmacist, Hossam, wanted to approach me but he looked hesitant. His colleagues told me that he was a patient here in the Hospital, and he recovered and came back to work after his graduation. At the research department, I met with doctors who have worked in Belgium, America and London and came back to work for 57357. I told them how daring was the decision to come back to Egypt, one of them replied, “we are researchers, which means we take decisions after looking well into them and this hospital offered us what we needed”.
Children were acting as if they were at home. The aspects of cleanliness and resources preservation delighted me.
I thought about the numerous challenges that face this institution and the repeated adverse campaigns against it. A hanged frame besides the CEOs’ office drew my attention: it exhibited the attorney general’s verdict in favor of the institution after thorough auditing of its documents and finances and I thought to myself that this must have been a rough battle for 57357 on all fronts. The Hospital staff hardly mentions this battle, obviously they took in the shock of false accusations and disloyalty and concentrated on their work.
I wonder what could be the charge against this place when everything is so clear and transparent. On corridor walls plaques are put up with donors names on them. Patients’ families are everywhere, accompanying their children who could be under treatment, completed treatment and recovered, or came to receive medications. In this place, daily life is organized in such a systematic manner that a corrupt person would shy away from because he would inevitably be discovered. The Hospital became the hub for a certain type of doctors, pharmacists and healthcare workers who exhibit enthusiasm and smiley faces which gives the impression that for them this is not just a work place but a place to which they belong and are intimately connected
Thanks to Hospital 57357 for the invitation and for giving me the honor to cooperate with them as a writer. Regarding the adverse campaigns against the place, I will say, as English people say, “success is intolerable”.