Experts urge government patronage to fight neurological diseases

Experts urge government patronage to fight neurological diseases | PakistanTribeISLAMABAD – Leading Consultant Neurologist at Shifa International Hospital Dr. Arsalan Ahmad said that there were only 120 qualified neurologists in Pakistan for the population of 180 million.

It was very alarming situation as there was only one neurologist for 1.5 million people in the country. He was addressing the specially organized media session in the 13th International Neurology Update & 6th Biennial Stroke Conference on Saturday. The three-day conference is jointly organized by Shifa International Hospital and Pakistan International Neuroscience Society (PINS).

A large number of leading neurologists from Pakistan, North America, Middle East and Europe and postgraduate trainees attended the conference. The conference addressed important neurological disorders including headaches, migraines, movement disorders, stroke, dementias, Parkinson, and epilepsy. Various scientific, general and teaching sessions were held during the conference. Dr. Arsalan informed that previously these conferences were organized in 2003 and 2008. World renowned Neuroscientist and Neurologist from USA Professor Teepu Siddiqui specially traveled from America to attend the conference and discussed his research in neuro-degeneration.

The speakers stressed to improve the field of neurology in Pakistan with special emphasis on postgraduate training in neurology. “We have to fight against the neuro-phobia among medical students as there is dire need to enhance postgraduate education in neurology to fill the gap,” stated Dr. Sardar M. Alam, President, Pakistan Society of Neurology.

The speakers said stroke was preventable yet an increasing disorder around the globe. Dr. Khurshid Alam Khan, Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Alberta, Canada, discussed prevalence of stroke among youth. He said stroke was responsible for significant disability and mortality worldwide. It attacked above 16 million people every year around the world and claimed a life every six seconds. The risk of stroke doubles with every decade after the age of 55. Around fifteen percent of all ischemic strokes affect young adults and adolescents, he said. He observed that a young stroke victim was relatively more adversely impacted due to early loss of productivity.

Dr. Ismail Khatri, Consultant Neurologist and Stroke Specialist at King Abdul Aziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said there was dire need to establish stroke inpatient units in Pakistan. He said those stroke patients who receive organized inpatient care in stroke units are more likely to live long, independent life at home one year after stroke. He urged the government and Pakistan Stroke Society to work for enough neurologists and stroke units in public and private hospitals according to international protocol modified for local use. The conference will be concluded today (December 29).

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