Paediatric Dermatology in Pakistani Perspective


 Our Children deserve the best skin care

Paediatric Dermatology
in Pakistani Perspective

Dr. Amjad Khan
Consultant Paediatric Dermatologist, London, UK

Pakistan’s Health indicators fall short of the required levels. Pakistan also has the highest population growth among all SAARC countries. Pakistan has one of the lowest doctors to population ratio hence healthcare centralisation could help to deliver subspecialist care.

Dr. Amjad Khan

There is a National shortage of Qualified dermatologists and reportedly there are less than few hundred accredited adult Dermatologists in Pakistan. Dermatology encompasses training and practice in Clinical Dermatology, Paediatric Dermatology, Dermato surgery, Dermato pathology, and Cosmetic Dermatology.

In Pakistan, the Dermatologists are focusing more on Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dermatology. This has resulted in lack of expertise in Paediatric Dermatology with a growing Cohort of young children with poorly managed skin diseases. With a population of over 200 million, approximately 69 million are under 14 years old. In Children, Skin diseases and their management influences growth and development and has psychological effects.

After hearing presentations of Dr Shahid Sheikh from Faisalabad, Dr. Yasmeena Khan from Karachi at PADCON (Pakistan Association of Dermatologists Conference) in Karachi and Visiting National Institute of Child health (NICH), I strongly believe that a Fellowship in Paediatric Dermatology is immediately required for Pakistan. We should have at least two Paediatric Dermatologists in each Children Hospital of our country and one in each big town and District of Pakistan. 

I have been informed that Curriculum is already agreed and submitted to College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan from last three years. To help initiate the training, initially Adult Dermatologists can act as the training supervisors until our local first batch of Paediatric Dermatologists are produced. The Federal centre could be PIMS Hospital Islamabad along with the provincial centres of training based at Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta respectively. This five-year fellowship training could be ideal for those with MCPS in Paediatrics or Dermatology or FCPS in Paediatrics or dermatology can have further two years training in Dermatology or Paediatrics and vice versa. There should be wide entry base to help motivate and encourage trainee doctors to join from different aspects of medicine. A good read for getting introduced to the basics of the subject remains the textbook of Paediatric dermatology by Dr. Yasmeena Khan, which is available in most renowned medical book stores.

We are all respectable Pakistanis and we have to come together and rise to the occasion to serve our nation as ‘Our Children deserve the best skin care’.

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