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Family Medicine Seminar at NUMS 

RAWALPINDI: The National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) conducted a half-day seminar on a proposed " NUMS 2 Years Family Medicine and Emergency Care Masters residency training program " on Friday, 9th September 2017. The program was attended by the Vice Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dean of Medicine, Dean of Academic Development and Research, Dean of Nursing, and Department Heads of Surgery/ Emergency Medicine and representatives of Armed Forces Post graduate Medical Institute and Departments of Obstetrics-Gynecology and Pediatrics from both Military Hospital and Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi.

Professor Riaz Qureshi, Founding Chair, Family Medicine and presently Professor and Consultant Outreach projects, Aga Khan University, Karachi was the guest speaker. He highlighted the challenges and opportunities in establishing Family Medicine training programs in Pakistan inclusive of both 2 years Masters and 4 years FCPS models and stressed on the national need for a strong Family Medicine / primary care based health care delivery system in Pakistan. He shared his national and international experiences with pioneering similar models in Saudi Arabian Armed Forces Hospitals and the MRCGP International program with the Royal College UK.

Professor Mujtaba Quadri, Dean Academic Development and Research, NUMS proposed a flexible semester system based blended two years Masters model utilizing structured onsite rotations, self-study modules on patient safety, preventive health, evidence based practice and quality audits, an academic half-day, longitudinal Family Medicine ambulatory experience and Emergency Room on call model. Professor Rafat Jan, Dean Nursing, National University of Medical Sciences introduced a structured competency based model of Advanced Nursing Practice developed by her in collaboration with international experts. 

This was followed by lively discussion chaired by the Vice Chancellor, Lt General Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed, HI(M) where key steps, opportunities and solutions to potential barriers in establishing Family Medicine at NUMS were addressed.  The two years Masters semester based model was supported as an indigenous solution for the University affiliated institutions' specific needs. 

A small group discussion followed with Professor Qureshi and inputs were solicited from Director Academics, Head of Surgery Department, CMH, Maj Gen Irfan Ali Sheikh, Associate Professor and Head of Community Health Sciences Dr. Saima Pervaiz Iqbal, guest faculty from Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University Islamabad and Dean Academic Development and Research. The team plans to refine curricular content and conform to HEC and PMDC requirements for a Maters program and to retain flexibility for candidates to progress to FCPS in Family Medicine. (PR)

Prof. Asad Aslam
honoured by IAPB

LAHORE: International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness has honoured Prof. Asad Aslam Khan from King Edward Medial University Lahore with an award of Eye Health Hero 2017 in recognition of his services in the field of prevention of blindness in Pakistan.

Tajamal Foundation to build
North Medical Ward of Mayo Hospital

LAHORE: Tajamal Foundation has taken the responsibility to build the State of the Art five story building of North Medial Ward of Mayo Hospital Lahore at a cost of Rs. 130 Million. It will have a covered area of forty thousand Sq. Ft.

Begum of Mian Tajamal Hussain unveiled the plaque of foundation stone of the building recently. Also present on the occasion were Mian Nusrat Hussain younger brother of Mian Tajamal Hussain and other family members, Medical Supdt. of Mayo Hospital, Prof. Awais, Dr. Tahir Khalil and technical consultants were also present on the occasion. The building will be completed in a year’s time.

Obesity may adversely
affect sperm quality

The journal Andologia has published the first report of abnormal sperm parameters in obese men based on computer aided sperm analysis. The findings suggest that clinicians may need to factor in paternal obesity prior to assisted reproduction. In the study of 1285 men, obesity was associated with lower volume of semen, sperm count, concentration, and motility, as well as greater sperm defects.

The health and reproductive performance of spermatozoa in obese men are more likely to be compromised both qualitatively and quantitatively, said Dr. Gottumukkala Ramaraju, lead author of the study. Results from our present dataset suggest that efforts focusing on male weight loss before conception are warranted for couples seeking infertility treatment.

Asthma medication may have
psychiatric side effects

In a Pharmacology Research & Perspectives study, the asthma medication montelukast (trade name Singulair) was linked with neuropsychiatric reactions such as depression and aggression, with nightmares being especially frequent in children.

For the study, investigators examined all adverse drug reactions on montelukast in children and adults reported to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Center Lareb and the WHO Global database, VigiBase until 2016.  Because of the high incidence of neuropsychiatric symptoms—especially nightmares—after using monteltelukast in both children and adults, the clinician should discuss the possibility of these adverse events with the patient and parents, said Meindina Haarman, lead author of the study.

Certain bone deficits may increase fracture
risk in individuals with diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased fracture risk despite normal or high bone mineral density. In a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, modest deficits in cortical bone—the dense outer surface of bone that forms a protective layer around the internal cavity—were demonstrated in older adults with type 2 diabetes compared with non-diabetics.

Additional studies are needed to determine if addressing structural deterioration of cortical bone may reduce the risk of fracture in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Fracture in older adults with type 2 diabetes is a highly important public health problem and will only increase with the aging of the population and growing epidemic of diabetes, said Dr. Elizabeth Samelson, lead author of the study. Our findings identify skeletal deficits that may contribute to excess fracture risk in older adults with diabetes and may ultimately lead to new approaches to improve prevention and treatment.

Radavirsen performs well
in early influenza trial

A phase 1 clinical trial published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that radavirsen—an antisense oligomer that inhibits the production of certain influenza proteins—is safe and well-tolerated in healthy individuals. Additional studies on radavirsen potential as a treatment for influenza are warranted

In the 56-participant trial, pharmacokinetic analyses indicated that at 8mg/kg, radavirsen is expected to be effective in the treatment of influenza. This is the first demonstration of the safety and tolerability and pharmacokinetics of an antisense oligonucleotide for the treatment of influenza wrote the authors of the study.

PTSD Linked with
increased lupus risk

In a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in civilian women were strongly associated with increased risk of developing lupus, an autoimmune disease.

In the study of 54,763 women, investigators found a nearly three-fold elevated risk of lupus among women with probable PTSD and more than two-fold higher risk of lupus among women who had experienced any traumatic event compared with women not exposed to trauma. The findings contribute to growing evidence that psychosocial trauma and associated stress responses may lead to autoimmune disease.

We were surprised that exposure to trauma was so strongly associated with risk of lupus—trauma was a stronger predictor of developing lupus than smoking, said Dr. Andrea Roberts, lead author of the study. Our results add to considerable scientific evidence that our mental health substantially affects our physical health, making access to mental health care even more urgent.

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