University Hospital Center of Central Lisbon: Speech Delivered By Mr. Firoz Rasul On The Donation Ceremony Of The Da Vinci Surgical System
His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, today inaugurated the cutting-edge technology of surgical robotics in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (hereditary spiritual guide). Shia Ismaili Muslims at the Curry Cabral Hospital in Lisbon, Portugal November 8, 2019.
The da Vinci Surgical System, the first of its kind, donated to Ismaili imado to the University Hospital Center of Central Lisbon in Lisbon. He was presented to the hospital in a ceremony in the presence of His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic, Marta Temido, Minister of Health of Portugal, government officials, diplomats and leaders of medicine, academic research and civil society. organizations
Mr. Firoz Rasul’s Speech
Bismillah-ir Rahman ir Rahim
His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic, Your Highness the Aga Khan,
Minister of Health, Ms. Marta Temido, Mrs. Rosa Valente Matos, president of the central hospitals of Lisbon,
Diplomatic representative of Imamate Ismaili in the Portuguese Republic, Commander, Nazim Ahmad,
Mr. João Pedro Antunes, member of the Portuguese delegation to the Joint Committee of the Headquarters Agreement, The leaders of the Aga Khan Development Network and Imamat Ismaili, Distinguished guests, On behalf of His Highness the Aga Khan, I would like to welcome you to this inauguration ceremony.
We are especially honored that His Excellency, the President, has joined us on this special occasion. Thank you, Excellency, not only for your presence, but also for the warm welcome and partnership that the Portuguese Republic has offered to Ismaili’s Imamat.
We meet today to celebrate a decisive step in the relationship between the magician of Ismaili and the Portuguese Republic: the donation of a Da Vinci surgical system to the Hospital of the Central University of Lisbon, which will be installed here, at the Curry Cabral Hospital. . It is a state-of-the-art robot-assisted technology that allows precision surgical procedures with minimal invasion. This is the first system of this type installed in a public hospital in Portugal and, therefore, available to benefit the entire population of the country.
However, although this technology is advanced and complex, its impact is easy to establish: it will expand access to high-quality surgical care for Portuguese with a wide range of diseases, which will allow them to lead a healthy life. As such, it will have a positive impact on thousands of people and their loved ones. This is really an event to celebrate, and we hope to see the positive impact of this technology on the quality of life through better results of challenging surgical procedures.
The donation of the Da Vinci system is further evidence of the strengthening of ties between Imamat Ismaili and the Portuguese Republic, as well as of their shared commitment to improve the quality of life in Portugal, in Portuguese-speaking African countries and beyond. .
The relationship between Portugal and Ismaili’s imamate has been around for a long time. We recall well the welcome that this country has given to the Ishmaelites who left Mozambique in the 1970s. And since the generous invitation of the government to establish the headquarters of the Imammate of Ismaili here in Lisbon in 2015, this link has continued to expand and deepen.
For example, the Aga Khan Development Network and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology have joined forces under the Knowledge for Development initiative. As part of this initiative, researchers from Portugal, Portuguese-speaking Africa and agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network are working to develop solutions to the critical challenges facing Africa. The first call awarded grants to 16 research projects. It included the development of crops that can cope with climate change and understand the rising levels of drug-resistant HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
Today we are witnessing one of the first fruits of the partnership between the University of Aga Khan and the Ministry of Health, another dimension of our strong relationship.
For those of you who don’t know about Aga Khan University, or AKU, as we call ourselves, we were founded in 1983 by our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan. We are the first private nonprofit university in Pakistan. We also have campuses, programs and hospitals in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.
Aga Khan University was recently ranked among the top 100 clinical medicine universities in the world by the ranking of world universities in Shanghai, the only university in Asia that achieved this distinction. By 2019, Aga Khan University and its counterparts in the Aga Khan Development Network will treat more than 6 million patients, many of them in hospitals and extension clinics accredited by organizations such as Joint Commission International and the College of American Pathologists in the U.S. For those of you who work in the health sector, you know that these are the gold standards.
As President of the University, I am pleased to thank Minister Marta Temido and her predecessor, Professor Adalberto Campos Fernandes, whom I am delighted to see here today, for your support of AKU as a partner. . Professor Fernandes and Cabral Curry highlighted Professor Eduardo Barroso, a recognized and recently retired professor who had retired, who emphasized the urgent need for a surgical robot at the National Public Reference Hospital. in Portugal. Marta Fear.
The relationship between AKU and the ministry is very promising. Our MOU foresees mutually beneficial collaborations in the areas of operating room management, emergency care, data analysis, research and many other areas.
When Professor Eduardo Barroso visited the AKU campus in Karachi, he proposed a collaboration on surgical specialties, including robot-assisted procedures. With the help of Professor Barroso and his team, AKU is committed to starting liver transplant operations in our hospitals in Karachi and Nairobi. This would be a great benefit for the people of Pakistan and East Africa.
At the same time, Aga Khan University is helping Portuguese medical schools develop their capacity to train doctors and nurses using virtual reality tools and cutting-edge simulation. As a delegation from the Ministry of Health discovered during its visit to the University of Aga Khan, our own Center for Innovation in Medical Education is unrivaled in this area.
And even more links are being developed between the Portuguese institutions and the institutions of Imamat Ismaili. The Aga Khan University now has active partnerships with the Catholic University of Portugal and the NOVA University in Lisbon. In June of this year, AKU and NOVA co-organized an international symposium in Lisbon on the ethics of stem cell research and regenerative medicine, which is the next phase of medical progress. The event brought together experts from seven countries and different denominations to discuss the latest issues in this rapidly evolving field and lay the groundwork for low-income countries to develop their own ethical and legal frameworks for these countries. New discoveries.
Aga Khan University and Catolica work together to create an online database of tens of thousands of documents stored in the Overseas Historical Archives in Lisbon, documents covering Portuguese activity in the region. Indian Ocean from the 16th to the 19th century. It is an exciting project that will allow academics from all over the world to deepen our understanding of centuries-old intercultural interactions and Portugal’s long reach and influence in history.
I am pleased to say that AKU also has emerging relationships with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Champalimaud Foundation. In the end, what makes these associations possible are the values we all share.
As the gift we celebrate today demonstrates, we all believe that every person should have access to exceptional medical care, no matter where they are born or what their financial resources are. That is the vision of our Chancellor, which is to ensure that everyone has access to the highest quality of care, regardless of their origin or financial situation.
So, whether you live in Portugal, Mozambique, Kenya or Pakistan, whether you are a patient in a public or private hospital, you should be able to benefit from the latest diagnoses, treatments and technologies.
We all believe in the power of the association to improve people’s lives and have a positive impact on institutions and societies. Associations are two way roads. Both parties must contribute and feed them. Mutual benefits arise from collective commitments of time, funds, knowledge, experience or equipment. The gift of the Da Vinci system reflects our commitment to the association between the Imamate of Ismaili and its institutions and Portugal.
He gives himself in the spirit of all true gifts: in recognition of all that we have already received, in recognition of all that we will gain, with all our heart and a feeling of gratitude. And he is also optimistic about the future and our collective ability to improve it.