Pakistan needs 2000 adult and 800 Paediatric rheumatologists-Prof. Sumaira Farman


 Rheumatology Conference

Pakistan needs 2000 adult and 800 Paediatric
rheumatologists - Prof. Sumaira Farman

Urges Government to increase health
allocations to 6% of GDP

KARACHI: Musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases are among the top three causes of ‘Years of Healthy Life Lost’ due to disability in the developing countries. Of the approximately 6-7 million children affected worldwide, almost 70% are in developing nations. Hence as per international standards, we need over two thousand adult and over 800 Pediatric Rheumatologists whereas we have just over sixty with only a handful having been trained on Paediatric Rheumatology. This was stated by Prof. Sumaira Farman, President of Pakistan Society of Rheumatology while speaking at the inaugural session of 23rd International Conference organized by PSR here from 14-17th, March 2019. Dr. Arif Alvi President of Pakistan was the chief guest on this occasion. Prof. Abdul Bari Khan from Indus Hospital was also present on this occasion. The conference attracted a large number of rheumatologists from all over the country besides numerous invited guest speakers from overseas.

Prof. Sumaira Farman Raja

Continuing Prof. Sumaira Farman said that we have an ever growing population, decreasing resources & inadequate human development. Our population has more than doubled in the last thirty years from approximately 92 million to over two hundred million. According to various surveys, one in two adults suffer from a Musculoskeletal (MSK) disorder. Amongst these the Rheumatic diseases can affect any part of the body, and if not recognized or treated in time, they go on to cripple, blind, paralyze, maim or cause kidney and other organ failure across all age groups. This disease does not differentiate between gender & socioeconomic background, sparing neither the rich nor the very young, including children, she remarked.

She made a passionate appeal to the Government to increase financial allocations for health in general and rheumatic diseases in particular. The GDP percentage spending on health from 0.5 – 0.8% over last decade as per 2017 Pakistan Economic Survey must increase to be closer to the WHO requirement of 6% as the aim of a successful and effective health system should not be just to decrease mortality but also to improve the quality of life.

We, as health providers, Prof. Sumaira Farman said must also strive at our individual level and contribute whatever we can to improve the situation taking care of the ailing humanity. The pioneers of Pakistan Society of Rheumatology, she stated, have followed this principle and all of us have tried to do our best under the prevailing circumstances. She commended the efforts of the organizing committee for preparing an excellent scientific program for the conference providing an opportunity to the participants to share their knowledge and experience with the experts from all over the world.

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