Syed Naeemul Hassan, N-51/Liaquat


Syed Naeemul Hassan - 2009

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif

Syed Naeemul Hassan, kit no. N-51/Liaquat House joined Cadet College Petaro in 1976 in 11th Class and left the college in 1978 after completing his Intermediate.

He was born on 9 February 1960 at Old Sukkur and got married to Mrs. Afshan Qamar on 18 February 1987. They have 3 children - Mohammed Ali, Farrukh Hassan, and Gul-e-Syeda.

Naeem belongs to an educated Syed family from UP. His grandfather was a Pesh Imam (a highly respected position in British India), while his profession was hikmat (traditional medicine).

His father migrated to Pakistan on 14 August 1947 under very difficult conditions along with his wife and Naeem's elder brother who was only 14 days old (this child became an Air Commodore in Pakistan Air Force). Naeem has a total of 5 brothers and two sisters. His father settled down in Old Sukkur and worked for Pakistan Railways.

After his two years at Petaro as an N-Cadet (1976-78), Naeem joined Pakistan Navy and got his commission in 1981. As a lieutenant, he chose to take early retirement and decided to go into private service. He joined Emba Corporation in Karachi to get into sales and marketing of electrical equipment. Subsequently, he moved on to Makkah in Saudi Arabia where he worked in the same field. During the course of his stay in Makkah, he had a slip disc which led to a state of immobility. He performed his last umrah on a wheelchair there before returning to Pakistan. He made a promise to Allah that he would enter into welfare work in Pakistan if the Almighty would bring him back on his feet.

This was the turning point in his life. As he recovered, Naeem kept his promise and joined LRBT (Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust) in 1990 - an important NGO in Pakistan providing free eye treatment to the poor - where he was exposed to charitable work and a greater desire to serve humanity. Naeem was part of a team that eventually built 7 purpose built hospitals at Korangi (Karachi), Tando Bago, Tando Adam, Gambat, Lahore Township, Akora Khattak and Kalakalay (Swat). LRBT now operates 16 such hospitals in the country in addition to 27 outreach facilities.

He then moved on to join Imran Khan's SKMT (Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust) as the General Manager for the Karachi region. Among his contributions to SKMT was the acquisition of a 20 acre piece of land to build a hospital in Karachi, and 2,275 sqyds of land from DHA as a donation to build a Diagnostic Centre. During his tenure, he raised over Rs. 2 billion from Karachiites for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital over a period of 10 years. This was a great learning period for him where hundreds and thousands of people suffering from cancer were treated. Truly the real cure comes from Allah alone. But at the same time, man must also make his own efforts and Allah rewards him for it.

While he worked for SKMT, he continued to support other charitable organizations as well. He worked for the following purely on a volunteer basis:

  • Adviser to the Islamic Mission Hospital Trust
  • Member Executive Committee of Eye Care Society of Pakistan (JPMC)
  • Adviser to Feroza Hashim Foundation
  • Adviser to Fundraisers for R.E.A.D. Foundation
  • Member, S.O.S. Villages
  • Adviser to the Petarian Foundation

Other philanthropists who sought out Naeem's services included the late legendary film star Mohammed Ali who wanted to establish a kidney transplant centre in Lahore, late Hakim Saeed who shared ideas on establishment of a Women's college in Madinat-ul-Hikmat. The Governor of Sindh recommended to the Sindh Health Dept to utilize Naeem's expertise for betterment of conditions of the poor in Sindh.

Naeem was thus blessed by Allah where he devoted himself to the service of mankind. After great thought and an internal desire to do even more, he made his next move. He left a very high paid job with SKMT to start an NGO that would aim to do a lot more for the poor children. Naeem established and started CHAEF - Children Health and Education Foundation in 2002.

The primary objective of CHAEF is to work in the fields of health and education. In this regard, within this short period of time, CHAEF has done wonders.

  • Providing free treatment for common diseases
  • Diagnosing deadly diseases at an early stage
  • Utilizing state of the art technology for early diagnosis
  • Providing medical consultation, medicines and laboratory tests free of charge
  • Establishment of vocational training centres for girls
  • Imparting free technical education to the under-privileged
  • Providing primary and secondary school education free of cost

Many prominent Pakistanis and companies have come forth to recognize his work and have provided monetary and other support to CHAEF.

Naeem's desire to set up an NGO on his own goes back to 1990 when he had approached the then Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Sharif, who appreciated the proposal and forwarded it to the concerned department. The instructions were not implemented and Naeem had to wait until 2002 to form CHAEF on his own.

The concept behind CHAEF was to build low cost primary healthcare facilities which would be built at a fraction of the cost of the large specialty hospitals which aim at managing or curing end-stage diseases. On the other hand, primary healthcare facilities can detect, prevent and treat the diseases at the early stage and save money and pain.

Naeem came to this conclusion over the 22 years of his experience with LRBT and SKMT. Blindness (primary target of LRBT) could have been prevented and cancer (primary target of SKMT) can be treated if it is detected at an early stage at extremely low cost at a primarly healthcare centre.  Convinced of this model, Naeem developed a vision to establish these much needed primary healthcare facilities all over Pakistan to provide free consultation, diagnosis, treatment and medication for common ailments. If these common diseases are left unattended at the early stages, it can lead to kidney failure, terminal cancer, blindness, heart disease and many other serious issues.

A unique model was also developed to use the same premises for educational activities in the morning, vocational training in the afternoon and healthcare in the evening.

The result has been phenomenal. CHAEF has set up 142 health and education centers or activities all over Pakistan - in Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab and KPK. Over 8,000 patients are treated every day at these centres, and in a short span of 9 years, over 9.5 million patients have benefited through treatment.

CHAEF provides free medical consultation, diagnostics tests, ultrasound facilities, and quality medication at these centres.

The schools established lay emphasis on computer training and English language skills in addition to basic education to children living in the katchi abadis of Pakistan.

Taking it to the next step, Naeem is in the process of setting up a Cancer Care and Research Centre. He signed an agreement with Dr. Shaharyar, FCPS and Head Department of Oncology at King Edward Medical College and Founder of Cancer Research Society, in this regard. A trust deed between the two parties was signed in April 2012 to establish the Cancer Research and Treatment Foundation. Syed Naeemul Hassan is the Chairman while Dr. Shaharyar is the President of this new Foundation.

This Cancer Research and Treatment Foundation will set up cancer care hospitals and research centres at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Quetta. These will be linked to the CHAEF primary healthcare centres all over Pakistan through computerized networking. The emphasis will be on detection of cancer at stage 1 at the primary healthcare centres in order to provide treatment before the disease becomes incurable. In case the disease has reached an incurable stage, the patient would be referred to a palliative care department of the hospital at Lahore which will be introduced for the first time in the country.

The primary objective of this new Foundation will be treat all types of cancer patients. The hospital will have facilities for treatment, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, laboratories and diagnostics centres, emergency services and out patient clinics. It will also cater to terminal patients for pain management through a palliative centre and hospice. This will be a great service for poor people who otherwise are forced to sell their jewelry and other household items to reduce the pain of their beloved ones.

Syed Naeemul Hassan received a shield of honour awarded by Amnesty International at a meeting held on August 22, 2006 at Rawalpindi in recognition of his enormous contribution in the filed of social welfare and society’s development. Ms. Latimer Hodgson, Regional Director, Amnesty International, Mr. Thomas Mcdernott, Representative UNICEF, Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman, Shaukat Khannum Memorial Trust, Mr. Saeed Ahmed Qureshi, Chairman, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Mr. Fayyaz ur Rehman, President, Amnesty International-Pakistan were also present. Amnesty International also awarded their membership.

Among other services, Naeem also accepted to be the Chief Patron of Shaheen TB Foundation Lahore upon the request of its Chairman and Board. This was established by a group of Doctors and businessmen 15 years back. Naeem has helped them to raise funds and acquire a piece of land for Construction of a full fledged T.B. Hospital.

He has also been a very staunch Petarian, and has contributed greatly towards the growth of the Petarian Association and the Petarian Foundation.

Naeem is the brother-in-law of (late) Riaz Hamid Jafri, 489/Latif.

It is a real honour to have known Naeem and be associated with him.

For more information on CHAEF, please visit its website, or call Naeem at (0300) 820-2828.

Cadet Syed Naeemul Hassan - 1977

Lt. Syed Naeemul Hassan - 1981

Midshipman Syed Naeemul Hassan - 1978