Showing posts with label Health Matters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Matters. Show all posts

Friday, February 7, 2014

GDM Advocacy Board convenes first meeting

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The first meeting of the Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) Advocacy Board was held to have an overview of the GDM in Pakistan. The Board has been constituted under the project “Gestational Diabetes Millitis Prevention and Control Program – Pakistan.’ 

The idea was approved and supported by the Baqai Medical University. Dr Shabeen Naz Masood, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and M.S of Sobhraj Maternity Hospital, has been actively involved in proposing and initiating the project. 

The proposal was approved by the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF). It is a WDF funded project. The project has guidance and mentorship of Prof Zahida Baqai, Vice chancellor of Baqai Medical University and Prof Noor Jehan Samad. The project has now collaboration and support of professional colleagues from across the country. 

The GDM is a severe and neglected threat to maternal and child health in Pakistan and Women with GDM become the ideal group for primary prevention of diabetes, as women with GDM are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as are their children. 

The diagnosis of GDM offers a unique opportunity in identifying individuals who will be benefited by early therapeutic intervention with diet and exercise to delay or even possibly prevent the onset of diabetes. Large scale studies on GDM have not been conducted in Pakistan. However smaller studies have reported a prevalence of 3.3 % 3 - 8%. Globally, fifteen per cent of pregnant women have GDM. A prevalence, as high as 9.9% - 17.8% has been reported from Tamil Nadu, India. 

Considering the ethnic commonalities and similarities between Pakistani and Indian populations, it would not be unjustifiable to believe that actual prevalence of GDM in Pakistani women may be much higher than reported. Moreover, Type 2 diabetes is now occurring at much younger age, in our population which also indicates towards a higher prevalence of GDM. 

Above all, we do not have a recent data on the prevalence of GDM in Pakistani population. Moreover, complication rates in Pakistani GDM subjects have been found to be higher , as compared to their Western counterparts, possibly due to poorer glycaemic control1.Maternal complications included pre-eclampsia (19%), polyhydramnios (4.6%), and threatened abortion (3.4%) while fetal complications included macrosomia (13.1%), intrauterine growth retardation (7.1%) and intrauterine deaths (5.3%).

The meeting was informed that the government allocates a very limited annual budget for health sector. This allocation becomes further meagre when women and child health is involved. The limitation of resources is the major hindrance to the formulation and implementation of wide range health policies. 

It was observed that eradication and control of infectious diseases is the foremost priority in government health policies. Non-communicable diseases including diabetes and GDM are yet very low on the priority list with no structured national policies or strategies regarding GDM care or prevention. There are no GDM action plans in the country as a whole while GDM was mostly managed by the individual physicians or institutions in the public or private health sector. 

The meeting was told that viewing the current status of GDM care in Pakistan and realizing an immediate need for initiating efforts for its improvement, the GDM project was thought of. It was informed that main objectives of this 3 years project are to create awareness in the community, regarding GDM, to train health care professionals in prevention, screening, diagnosis and management of GDM, to institutionalize GDM screening and to organize integrated GDM services. 

The meeting was briefed about planned project activities and their outcome and views and suggestions of the participants obtained. It was informed that the Public Awareness Programs on GDM includes educating 5400 women; public Awareness Campaign on GDM through print and electronic media, sensitizing further 100,000 people; Development of awareness literature on GDM; Training courses in GDM for doctors, Midwives and paramedics involved in obstetric care, training 1620 health care professionals in GDM care; establishment of three major GDM centres and 30 minor GDM clinics; Screening of 13050 pregnant women for GDM. Estimated identification of nearly 1696 women as having GDM (at an expected prevalence rate of 13% in South Asians) 

The programme also involves dietary and educational counseling, management and monitoring of identified GDM cases and establishment of the GDM Advocacy Board, consisting of eminent obstetricians, diabetologists, and leaders of public opinion in the very context. It was informed that efforts for institutionalizing the routine screening for GDM among pregnant and development of “GDM Reference Manual” will a major constituent of the program. 

The meeting was informed about the strategies and approach for the prevention and management of GDM, The meeting noted the barriers and challenges to early detection of GDM in the wake of Unawareness, particularly in the female population; lack of training of health care professionals; Non- affordability on the part of people; Resource constraint in the society and non-involvement of health authorities.

In her remarks, the chairperson Dr Zajida Baqai, Vice-Chancellor, Baqai Medical University called forDevelopment of multidisciplinary approach for screening and management of GDM in Pakistan with frequent communication and close collaboration between Diabetologists and Obstetricians. 

For achieving national coherence and collaboration for improving GDM care in Pakistan it was agreed on involving obstetricians and diabetologists from across the country, Involving primary care physicians, besides involving journalists from print and electronic media, philanthropists , pharmaceutical industry, initiating more and more joint GDM projects in the country with the support of international bodies.

The meeting was informed about developing “National GDM Guidelines” for the healthcare professionals and recommendations to the health authorities.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Experts reckon most of diabetes related leg amputations as preventable

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Foot complications are among the most serious and costly complications of diabetes and in Pakistan about 10% of the diabetics suffer from foot problems, many of which lead to leg amputation, Prof Dr Abdul Basit, Chairman Pakistan Working Group on Diabetic Food (PWGDF), stated.

In a recent interview he disclosed that currently there are over 400,000 people with foot ulcers in the country.

He described diabetic foot a source of huge economic burden as  the direct cost of treating a diabetic foot ulcer comes to Rs 3500-61000,  which is more than 10 times the average health expenditure of a Pakistani and added that to treat all the people with foot ulcers an amount double the total health budget of Pakistan, is needed.

Prof Dr Abdul Basit said that unawareness, shortage of trained health care professionals and scarcity of foot care facilities are major causes of diabetes related leg amputations, 45-89% of which are preventable through timely and efficient foot care.

“We have been conducting nation wide training programs and have established 115 diabetic foot clinics However further 1700 such clinics are required,” he stated,

He recalled that PWGDF, in collaboration with Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology, had organized a symposium on diabetic as part of efforts to create greater awareness against this serious problem.

Dr Zahid Miyan, Chairman of Organizing Committee emphasized the need to discuss the current practices in Diabetic Foot management, to provide hands-on skills.

He pointed out that the symposium organized in this regard at the end of last month, encompassed a wide horizon of diabetic foot problem, including prevention and early diagnosis, clinical & surgical management and recent advances in targeted therapies for diabetic foot.

He said over 200 health care professionals from across the country including subject specialists and eminent experts shared their diversified experience in this area.

Dr Zafar Iqbal Abbasi, Symposium Secretary, stated that the event proved a great leaning opportunity for doctors, family physicians and health care professionals.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Free Medical Camp at Usman Memorial Hospital on Sunday

The Usman Memorial Hospital is organizing a free medical camp at Hospital premises Plot # ST-12, Block-1, Hussainabad, Federal "B" Area, on Sunday, 31st January 2010 at 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Dr. Abdul Ghaffar Bilo, Professor of Paediatric, Aga Khan University Hospital and Dr. Muhammad Tufail, Medical Director, Patel Hospital will inaugurate medical camp.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases to start OPD service on 24/7 basis

On the directive of City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal Health Department of City District Government Karachi has decided to open the OPD at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases on 24 hour basis and without any gap. The department has also decided to implement the directives of City Nazim regarding availability of specialist doctors at each department of ASH and KIHD and stationing a fleet of CDGK ambulance service 1122 at Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases.
Earlier City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal had directed EDO Health Services Dr. Shahab Imam to take immediate measures for provision of better and on time health care services to citizens. He said that the opening of 24 hour OPD at ASH and KIHD would ensure availability of better medical facilities to people while the presence of specialist doctors and ambulance service 1122 would also facilitate the patients in critical moments.

Nazim Karachi said that city government has spent billions of rupees on the provision of better health care services to citizens and therefore they should avail the benefits of measures taken by city government for their convenience.

Friday, December 25, 2009


The Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases has launched training in cardiac technology under three year diploma program after its recognition from the College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan. Earlier a special team of CPSP comprising of senior cardiologists inspected KIHD and declared it an appropriate institute for cardiac teaching in cardiac technology. The institute will also be equipped with a cardiac nursing institute.

This was stated by the executive director of KIHD Dr. Abdus Samad while addressing the launching ceremony of diploma in cardiac technology. Those who attended the program included renowned cardiologist Professor S.M. Rab, City Nazim’s Coordinator for Health Affairs Masood Naqi, Principal KMDC Dr. Waqar Kazmi, EDO Health Dr. A.D Sajnani, members of governing body of KIHD and city government health committee. Executive Director Dr. Abdus Samad said that within a short period of three and half years KIHD has been transformed into a well standard cardiac institute of the city and all credit for this goes to City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal who has taken special interest in its up gradation from a small clinic to a medical complex. He said that a nursing institute will soon be added in the present set up of KIHD while the medical and surgical wards will also be started soon.

Speaking on the occasion EDO Health Dr. A.D. Sajnani said that it has been an honor for KIHD and City District Government Karachi that the institute has been recognized for cardiac teaching. This is the result of continuous efforts by City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal who had taken unprecedented steps for improvement in health sector during last four years. He said that despite of facing worst financial constraints City Government has managed to fulfill all requirements of its hospitals and medical institutes. Principal KMDC Dr. Waqar Kazmi said that the establishment of a well standard cardiac institute was a big achievement of city government. He said that the institute has been equipped with such a latest machinery that was not available at even private hospitals in Pakistan.

Renowned cardiologist Professor S.M. Rab in his address said that Karachi is a big city and the only cardiovascular institute had proved not enough for the requirement of the heart patients from every nook and corner of the city. He said that the institute was in fact like a dream come true for the people and it would surely serve the ailing humanity in a big way. He advised the students to take their studies seriously and set up new examples of excellence in this profession. He said that present was an era of latest technology and must have to equip ourselves with the latest technology. City Nazim Coordinator for Health Affairs Masood Naqi said that the present city government has taken exemplary steps in the health sector during last four years. The completion of second phase of KIHD has so far cost Rs600million.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rs 250m required to run facility: Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in dire need of funds

By Irfan Aligi

KARACHI: The City District Government Karachi’s (CDGK) largest public health facility, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH), is in dire need of funds.

The ASH is currently facing the worst financial crunch ever and needs at least Rs 250 million; if the funds are not acquired urgently, everything at the ASH will come to a halt, sources in the CDGK Health Group of Offices told Daily Times.

A well-placed officer of the EDO Health Group of Offices told Daily Times that the ASH has an urgent need of Rs 250 million. The gravity of the matter can be gauged from the fact that the EDO Health Group of Offices has not purchased any medicine this year and it is purely through the city nazim’s efforts that the ASH is still functional.

City Nazim Mustafa Kamal has spent Rs 600 million from CDGK’s resources for the upgradation of ASH and has been keeping a keen eye on ASH’s affairs, even opting to stay at the ASH twice a week, said the officer. Replying to a question, the officer said that the city nazim has now learnt of all conspiracies that were being hatched to sabotage his efforts and, presently, is battling to keep the major public health facility under CDGK’s control. He has also increased ASH’s annual budget from Rs 40 million to Rs 110 million.

Health Group of Offices EDO Dr A D Sanjnani has taken over the procurement of medicines and other technical equipment for the hospital. Actually, the EDO, as per the law, has the power to procure medicines and technical equipment using 75 percent of the entire budget, while the medical superintendents are legally authorised to use the remaining 25 percent. However, this is not happening and Sanjnani is managing all procurements, claimed the officer.

CDGK Finance Group of Offices Executive Director Munawwar Imam told Daily Times that all the liabilities for the year 2007-08 were cleared from the budgetary allocations of the year 2008-09. This problem emerged due to the late opening of tenders for the procurement of medicines and other technical equipment by the EDO Health Group of Offices. The tenders for the procurement of medicines and other technical equipment for the fiscal years 2007-08 were invited in May 2007, which was very late. The approval of tenders took a couple of months and then orders were placed. This resulted in a delay and the new fiscal year had already started. Therefore, liabilities for the year 2007-08 were cleared from the budget 2008-09, commented Imam.

A week ago, Mustafa Kamal had asked the CDGK Finance Group of Offices to arrange for Rs 150 million, so that the previous year’s liabilities could be cleared. The funds have been arranged and liabilities up to Rs 110.25 million have been cleared till date. The remaining liabilities would also be cleared in a few weeks time, said Imam.

Last years situation will be repeated, as the tenders for the year 2008-09 have still not been invited, he added.

Talking to Daily Times, Dr Sanjnani sounded agitated as he said that the finance minister could not deliver the required funds to the CDGK on a phone call. Replying to a question, he said that there are thousands of patients admitted at the ASH and they all get free medicines. The fund generation for providing the medicines free of cost is our headache, he added.

This scribe observed that the patients reporting at the ASH were not given medicines owing to the lack of funds. The patients admitted in various medical and surgical departments are spending money out of their own pockets for medicines, as the ASH is presently providing them with beds and attending doctors.

The ASH A&E Department, Nephrology Department and Dialysis Unit, Medical ICU, Surgical ICU, Gynaecology Department and Paediatric Department are the worst hit by the financial crisis. There are around 2,000 personnel working in the ASH, including doctors, paramedics, technical and non-technical staffers, while the A&E OPD receives around 1,000 patients daily and the general OPD sees around 5,000 patients daily. (DT)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Patients diagnosed at last stages of cancers

Cancer Patients in Pakistan are mostly diagnosed at last stages thus minimizing recovery chances as there are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment. Most of the cancers can be cured and controlled at the expense of bitter side effects.

Studies are already underway that examine the use of immunotherapy in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy to increase the effectiveness of patient responses. Let us hope that these therapies leads into a new dawn that is full of promise.

These views were expressed by Professors and Doctors of Ziauddin University and AKU in a seminar on “Current Developments in Management of Cancer”, held at Dr. Ziauddin University and Hospitals, North Nazimabad Campus.

The Seminar was organized and conducted by Dr. Imtiaz Khalid Assist. Prof., Dept of Medicine. It was very informative and followed by an interactive session. It was well attended by renowned consultants like Professor Dr. Zaidi, Naeem Jaffery, Sadiqua Jaffery and Postgraduates.

Dr. Ejaz Ahmed Vohra, Dean Postgraduate, Head of Dept. of Medicine, Ziauddin University said Cancer is an additional scourge for 3rd world downtrodden masses who are already suffering from poverty, malnutrition and poor sanitation. However, there is a great potential to prevent cancer in Pakistan, provided strong will is there. Use of tobacco and beetle nut should be discouraged.

Talking on “Cancer Immunology” Dr. Mohiuddin Alamgir, Associate Prof. Dept. of Pathology, Ziauddin University told that every cancer starts with a single cell that has been unleashed from the growth restraints placed on all normal cells. He spoke on the Immunosurveillance of cancer, immunosuppressant, and Immunotherapy and Therapeutic cancer vaccines. In the future, cancer immunotherapies are expected to become a treatment option for cancer alongside the traditional methods such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Used in combination with these three traditional methods, immunotherapies may increase the likelihood of long-term remissions for cancer patient.