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AKU’s Research Symposium

Pakistan needs to establish integrated
emergency and trauma care systems

Emergency departments should aim to provide a
safe, committed, compassionate and caring service

KARACHI:The global Disease Control Priorities Project estimates that nearly half of deaths and over a third of disability in low- and middle-income countries can be addressed by the implementation of effective emergency care. “The solution is to establish integrated emergency and trauma care systems with pre- and post-emergency department care nationwide,. This was stated by Dr. Junaid Razzak, Director of the Center for Global Emergency Care and Professor of emergency medicine and international health at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was making a keynote presentation at the inaugural ceremony of the Aga Khan University’s 21st National Health Sciences Research Symposium. The theme for this year’s symposium is ‘emergency care: time and life matter’.

Dr. Junaid Razzak recalled how he played a vital role in the establishment of emergency medicine as a specialty in Pakistan and became the founding chair of the department of emergency medicine at AKU his alma mater in 2008. “Although College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan recognized emergency medicine as a specialty in 2011, there are not more than nine qualified emergency medicine specialists in the country today. Studies have also found significant gaps in the availability of essential resources, accessibility, patient-centricity and staff training,” Dr. Razzak stated.

“This is an alarming situation in the country with a population of over 220 million. The impact on saving lives can only be achieved through a health system that is sponsored by the state with support from public and private institutions. “He further stated that emergency care demands highly functional integrated health system, and complex and prompt care decisions. “We need a multi-prong strategy: predict the potential path of emergency care development if we follow the trajectory followed by the high income, more developed countries; and explore how new technologies such as telemedicine, artificial intelligence and machine learning can augment and impact the future of emergency care in low resource settings.”

He stressed that emergency departments should aim to provide a safe, committed, compassionate and caring service. “AKU and other academic institutions in Pakistan can play a significant role in developing and testing innovations for futuristic emergency care system,” he added.

The second keynote speaker was Dr. Scott Newton, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice programme and the vice president of Care Model Solutions. “Globally, emergency medicine is innovating to meet the demands of a growing population for care,” said Dr. Newton. “Increased demands do require an agile workforce ready for high-touch and high-tech practice.”

Earlier in his welcome address Dr. Asad Mian pointed out that “A well-established emergency care system can help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 3 on good health and well-being; Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities; and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions,” said Dr. Asad Mian, head of the organizing committee and the chair of AKU’s department of emergency medicine. “Overall, good emergency care can improve outcomes in no less than 10 SDG targets,” he said.

On the occasion, Dr. David Arthur, dean of AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed, interim dean of the Medical College; and Hans Kedzierski, chief executive officer of the Aga Khan University Hospital, also addressed the audience. Other topics which were discussed during the symposium included women in medicine, emergency medicine development in Pakistan, moral dilemmas in emergencies, ‘Ignite EM All’, and several other sessions. (PR)


Awareness seminar on Smog,
Dengue and Influenza at KEMU

LAHORE: An awareness seminar about the deleterious health effects and preventive measures against smog, dengue and influenza was held at the King Edward Medical University, Lahore under the chairmanship of Vice Chancellor, Prof. Khalid Masud Gondal, on 08th Nov 2018. The seminar was also attended by newly appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Ijaz Hussain, Registrar KEMU, Prof. Irshad Husain Qureshi, Professor of Medicine Dr. Sajid AbaidUllah, Director Quality Enhancement Cell Prof. Dr. Syed Asghar Naqi, Director Research Prof. Muhammad Saqib Saeed and MS Mayo Hospital, Dr. Tahir Khalil.

Addressing the participants the Vice Chancellor highlighted the importance of timely preventive measures to be under taken by the medical community to protect the public from the injurious effects of smog. He emphasized the importance and significance of the Prime Minister’s initiative for ‘Green Pakistan’ and highlighted the efforts of KEMU in this regard, particularly plantation of five thousand trees at the new campus.

In the scientific session which followed, Prof. Dr. Zahid Kamal Siddiqui delivered an informative talk on injurious effects of smog on the Eyes, Dr. Somia Iqtidar informed the audience about status and burden of dengue and influenza in the country and Dr. Asif Hanif shed light on the detrimental effects of smog on lung health. The seminar was attended by deans and faculty members from all departments as well as post graduate and under graduate students of the university. (PR)

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