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Pakistan

Web Desk
March 13, 2019

President Arif Alvi to open int'l rheumatology conference with global experts in Karachi

Pakistan

Web Desk
Wed, Mar 13, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of qualified rheumatologists to treat diseases of joints, muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons, experts revealed at Karachi Press Club on Tuesday

During the presser, the expert panelists revealed that in a country where 15 to 20 percent of the population is suffering from rheumatic diseases, there are only 60 rheumatologists who are practicing in the major cities of the country at a few tertiary-care hospitals.

Dr. Syed Mahfooz Alam, consultant rheumatologist at Liaquat National Hospital (LNH) revealed during the conference: "Only one public hospital in Karachi that is Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) has just started rheumatology department while a couple of private hospitals offer treatment for related diseases where only well to do people of the society can afford treatment of their ailments.”

Giving details of the upcoming 23rd Annual International Conference of the Pakistan Society for Rheumatology (PSR), which is being organized from March 14 till March 17, 2019 at Karachi’s Regent Plaza, Dr. Mahfooz said further that they were striving to create awareness about rheumatic diseases and disorders since the past 22 years by annually holding these rheumatology conferences spread awareness.

“The 23rd Annual International Conference of the Pakistan Society for Rheumatology being held in Karachi from March 14 to 17 would provide a great platform to both national and international rheumatologists to discuss and share rheumatic diseases, their causes, prevention, treatment and advancements in their cure with local people”, said Dr. Mahfooz, who is also the Convener of the PSR-19 Conference.

Accompanied by Prof. Shakil Baig, Professor of Rheumatology at Baqai University Hospital, Dr. Amir Riaz, Consultant Rheumatologist at Liaquat National Hospital and Dr. Uzma Erum Fellow of Rheumatology at LNH, Dr. Syed Mahfooz Alam said women in Pakistan were more prone to rheumatological diseases for being over-weight, living a sedentary lifestyle and having an unhealthy and an unbalanced diet.

He informed that rheumatology is the medical specialty which deals with diseases of joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons and added that only very few people manage to approach trained and qualified rheumatologists for the treatment of their diseases. “Majority of people, especially poor people visit quacks, Hakeems and specialized practitioners, who give them medicines and supplements which result in progression of their diseases”, he deplored.

Dr. Alam said keeping in view the importance of this specialty, over 23 international rheumatologists, experts and researchers from different countries of the Europe including United Kingdom, Norway, and other countries as well as from Middle and Norway had confirmed their participation in the conference, which was big achievement in promotion of rheumatology in Pakistan.

“President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi has consented to be the chief guest at its inauguration on March 15 in Karachi”, Dr. Mahfooz said.

Another consultant rheumatologist Prof. Shakil Baig said only three public hospitals in Punjab and one in Karachi had rheumatology departments while a few private hospitals were offering rheumatology treatment services, which was not enough for a country with a population of over 220million.

“There is a need for promotion of this specialty at the public sector so that poor people could be provided quality treatment free of charge as at the moment, only the affluent visit rheumatologists for treatment of their diseases”, Prof. Biag added.

According to him, only 10 percent of children in Pakistan drink at least two glass milk which is required to provide one gram of calcium to them for healthy bones and joints and urged the media to promote importance of healthy diet for children as well as women and elderly so that they could prevent themselves from rheumatic disorders.

Consultant Rheumatologist Dr. Amir Riaz and Dr. Uzma Amir also spoke on the occasion and shared details of the public awareness session to be held on the first day of the conference on Thursday at 2:00 pm on March 14 at Regent Plaza.