By Amin H. Karim MD
The VICTORIA OR THE JUBILEE BLOCK Civil Hospital Karachi originally served as the living quarters for the Nursing Superintendent of the hospital. An additional building was constructed after the partition to accommodate out of city female nursing staff and the whole complex came to be known as the Nurses’ Mess. in about 2000, when it was discovered that one of the walls in the Victoria block bore the commemorative plaque which Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India unveiled in the year 1900 to mark the platinum jubilee of Queen Victoria, the building was declared heritage-protected by the provincial Department of Culture. Subsequently the resident nursing staff was made to vacate the Nurses’ Mess and the whole block was handed over to a private concern (Patient’s Welfare Society) that transformed it into a Burns Center. Work on the construction of the present Burns Center was completed in December 2004 at a cost of Rs. 100 million. Our forum member Prof. Shaista Effendi-Rais was the Head of Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit at Civil Hospital and Dow Medical College (1984-2006) She played a huge role in raising funds from the private sector and Government of Sindh and her efforts led to the creation of a state-of-the-art 60 bed burns unit complete with two Operation Theatres, one emergency operation theatre, skin grafting, intensive care unit and other necessities. She was also instrumental in forming the Pakistan Association of Plastic Surgeons, arranging undergraduate Plastic Surgery Examinations, introducing fine suture material and pain free dressings;
Photo courtesy of Dr. Ghulam Nabi Kazi.