THE TRUSTEES OF Beani Bazar Cancer and General Hospital (BBCGH), along with prominent members of the British community, tuned in to a Zoom event on 8th April to discuss community support for the hospital.
Channel S presenter and Head of Program Farhan Masood Khan conducted and hosted the evening’s event. It opened with Abu Kawser reciting the Surah Al-Layl (The Night) from the Holy Qur’an, with an English translation, and with a welcome from BBCGH Chair Al Haj Shams Uddin Khan.
Al Haj Shams Uddin Khan – a veteran politician, industrialist, social activist, educator and community leader – expressed his sincere gratitude to everyone for their support for the Hospital since its inception. He thanked everyone for working tirelessly to establish the hospital – adding that their support was still needed. He noted
that BBCGH is a charity that all British Bangladeshis should be proud of. “We believe you will be by our side as you have been in the past,” said Chair Shams Uddin Khan.
Shab Uddin, CEO of the Hospital, spoke about the current activities of the charity work which supports it. He said that from 2008 to 2021, British Bangladeshis have contributed to its activities. The hospital began operating in 2015, and the sixth anniversary of its opening was celebrated on 20th February this year. He thanked the trustees for their tireless work over those six years, saying, “We are currently providing general medical services as well as some cancer treatment.” The Hospital has a
He said that patients from anywhere in Bangladesh can have access to all services provided from the hospital. Patients can obtain information about services from the hospital help desk. A Poor Fund allows the Hospital to offer services to the destitute and disadvantaged. He concluded by thanking Britain’s Bangladeshi commuknity and all its media partners for their support in the UK.
Trustee Abdul Samad gave a short presentation on the services carried out by BBCGH in the past years. He said the establishment of the hospital began with a £25,000 donation by each trustee. Some 40,601 general patients had been seen at the hospital since it opened, including 1,063 patients who had been treated for cancer. During the Covid period alone, over 12,000 patients were treated at the hospital without charge. On behalf of the trustees, Abdul Samad expressed his gratitude to all the staff of BBCGH, the health service and all those engaged in the medical field – a sentiment backed by all at the meeting, who unmuted themselves and applauded.
Abdul Samad went onto say that these figures give everyone involved a real sense of achievement. The question now is how to build on this momentum by creating successful partnerships and community alliances to meet the charity’s hopes for the future and bring rewards to donors.
Dr Kabir Mahmood, Senior Medical Director of BBCGH, elaborated on the delivery of services, saying, “We have also taken practical steps to provide medical services to cancer patients.” Currently 18 cancer patients from different regions are waiting for services from BBCGH. Dr Mahmood said that the hospital has been providing services – are monitored directly from the UK – day and night since the beginning of the Covid period. He pledged that these will continue. He shared his own experiences of Covid: he ended up in intensive care as his vital organs had begun to fail. His speech was received with emotion and he vowed to continue his charitable work.
Forhad Hussain Tipu, Marketing Director of BBCGH, said, “We are grateful to be one of the iconic British Bangladeshi organisations. It may have been established in Beani Bazar upazila due to its location, however we should embrace the achievement and success to gain support and recognition as a hospital for all of Bangladesh established by British Bangladeshis.” He went on to say, “you will be happy to know that the first patient of the hospital and the first chemotherapy given to a patient were not from Beani Bazar area.”
Ahmed Us Samad Chowdhury JP, Chair of Channel S, began his speech by saying, “We heard a lot of criticism about 8 years ago – it is not possible.” He went on to say that it had indeed been possible to build the hospital, and he had himself witnessed how devoted the trustees were to the cause. He confirmed that Channel S had backed this hospital since its planning stages and will continue its support and affiliation with the hospital. He believed that the hospital’s reach may be seen as modest, given the expense of providing medical services – but, with support, the hospital will grow until it can reach the doorsteps of a larger population.
Pasha Khandaker, a business leader and former BCA president, told those present that BBCGH is a shining example for the British Bangladeshi community and a milestone achievement. He said it was important for Britain’s second and third generation to share responsibility for the hospital’s activities and plans for the future.
Prominent community organiser and journalist KM Abu Taher Chowdhury said the project is one of the best examples of community service in Bangladesh. This is a unique project, which will work for the welfare of the people of Bangladesh – and he asked those present to encourage everyone to get involved.
Zakir Khan, Associate Director of Community Affairs for the Canary Wharf Group, said, “It is important to involve our young British Bangladeshi generation to continue this legacy.” He assured everyone of his organisation’s continuing support and asked everyone to do the same.
Former Mayor of Brent Council, Councillor Parvez Ahmed, said that our family and people at all levels of the community should work to involve the new generation in raising awareness and funds – starting that night! He urged all parents present to draw in their children to supporting the hospital.
Syed Nahas Pasha, editor of The Weekly Janomath, thanked the Board of Directors for working to ensure the hospital is what it is today – despite the many people who were initially sceptical that this could be done. He believes that the way the hospital is working, especially during the Covid period, is exemplary.
Ohid Ahmed, former Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, cited the experience of a terminally ill cancer patient who had been treated at the BBCGH. He said the authorities had not only been sincere as they provided medical care but had also gone on to provide advanced treatment and care for the patient in every way. It was incredible to hear what had been done. He called upon everyone to come forward to support this humanitarian work.
Ahab Hossain, Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council, described the BBCGH as a shining example of human service and said that the example it has set will live on forever. This hospital is a hospital for everyone and if everyone comes together to support it, anything is possible.
Rahima Miah, Director, UKBBCI, expressed her support for the hospital and said that the co-operation of everyone is important to maintain the continuity of services the hospital provides. She emphasised the importance of involving British Bangladeshis, especially university students.
Mental and child health specialist and news broadcaster of Channel S Dr Rezwana Anwar assured those present of her support from her position as a doctor. She said that BBCGH is doing three unique things: primary health care, secondary care and special patient referral services. It was an exceptional hospital in the context of Bangladesh for this approach and for keeping services going during the Covid period.
Muhibur Rahman Muhib, President of the Jalalabad Association, said that BBCGH would one day be established as a full-fledged hospital. To this end, he pledged to work in unison with everyone in the community.
Channel S chief reporter Mohammad Jubair Ahmed highlighted BBCGH’s work with some of the country’s best doctors, which is a big challenge for many organisations.
Closing the event, Abdul Shafik, Fundraising Director of the hospital, thanked all the supporters and the partners of BBCGH and sought everyone’s co-operation in the future. He invited everyone to tune in to the charity fundraising programme on Channel S on 16th Ramadan – and to reach out to all their friends and family and their associations to join in too.
In his concluding remarks, Al Haj Shams Uddin Khan, Chair of BBCGH, thanked everyone for their contribution and requested for further co-operation in the future.
Also present at the meeting were Dr Hasnat M Hussain MBE; BCA Senior Presidents Jamal Uddin Maqdas, Manik Mia and Oli Khan MBE; Secretary General Mitu Chowdhury; BBCA Secretary General Tafazzul Mia and Chief Treasurer Matin Mia; Caterers Anna Mia; 52 Bangla Editor Anwarul Islam Ovi; Channel S Senior Reporter Ibrahim Khalil; Anupam News 24.com Editor and journalist Muhib Chowdhury, Organiser Afaz Uddin, Belal Badrul and Md. Chowdhury and others.
Among the trustees of BBCGH were Abdul Karim Nazim, Nasir Uddin, Ali Abdul Rofe, Manjurus Samad Chowdhury, Bazidur Rahman, Mohammad Azizur Rahman, Mesba Ahmed, Ohid Uddin, Nasir Uddin, Al Mamunur Rashid Hillary Sayesta Choudhury and Zahid Rahman.
●Read more stories about Beani Bazar and the Hospital:
●Watch East London’s weekly news magazine programme,
live at 10pm every Tuesday and on demand all week:
The Tuesday Show