We need to create awareness about chronic diseases for early diagnosis and treatment

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Diabetes and Ramada Conference by BIDE
We need to create awareness about chronic
diseases for early diagnosis and treatment
KEMU will plan Certificate Course in Diabetes for
GPs & Family Physicians-Khalid Masood Gondal
Prof. Basit offers help in curriculum development
and faculty for certificate course

Karachi: We have to use all possible means to create awareness about chronic diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension for their early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan used to offer Fellowship in 54 specialties which has now increased to 74 and it also includes Fellowship in Endocrinology. However, still the number of qualified diabetologists and endocrinologists is too few and keeping in view the disease burden we need to start a Certificate Course in Diabetes & Endocrinology for the General Practitioners and Family Physicians. This will enable them to identify the serious patients early and treat them or refer them to specialists. We at the King Edward Medical University will look into this possibility. This was stated by Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal Senior Vice President of CPSP who is also Vice Chancellor of King Edward Medical University. He was speaking in the inaugural session of the two days Diabetes & Ramada Conference organized by Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology in collaboration with BMU and IDF at CPSP. The conference held from 23-24th March 2019 was very well attended and it also attracted quite a few distinguished speakers from overseas.

Continuing Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal said that the topic selected for the conference is very important. It will help those fasting and disseminate knowledge among the participants who will help their patients guiding them on safe fasting. Fasting will not only help those who fast but will also reduce their diabetes, blood pressure besides offering numerous other benefits since this disease affects almost every organ of the body. Media can play an important role in educating the masses. CPSP & medical institutions should also play their role in training the physicians, he added.


Dr. Saif from BIDE is moderating the inaugural session of Diabetes and Ramadan Conference
organized by BIDE in collaboration with BMU and IDF at Karachi on 23-24th March 2019.
Sitting on the Dais from (L to R) are Prof. Yakoob Ahmedani, Dr. A. Samad Shera,
Prof.Khalid Masood Gondal (Chief Guest), Prof. Abdul Basit Dr. Muhammad Husnain.

Earlier Prof. Yakoob Ahmedani Chairperson of the Diabetes and Ramadan Study Group in his welcome address said that we will share the evidence based guidelines on fasting for those who suffer from diabetes and hypertension. We need to find answers to the questions asked by the patients related to fasting. We at BIDE took up this challenge about eleven years ago and started conducting research. So far we have published twenty research papers on this subject in various national and international peer reviewed journals. Since every fourth person in Pakistan is a diabetic, GPs and Family Physicians have to be trained to manage these patients. We have organized refresher courses and training for Family Physicians in seven cities so far and trained three thousand family physicians and we intend to organize similar training sessions in future as well. We provide safe fasting guidelines and advice and there is a need to have a weekly session for patients with diabetes.

Dr. Muhammad Husnain from Diabetes & Ramadan International Alliance speaking on the occasion said that safe fasting for diabetics has become an important issue for all of us. The world has now recognized it that something needs to be done. The issue is not to FAST or FAST but can the diabetics do it safely. Evidence is there but it is important that we go to the next level of strong evidence based medicine. As per surveys almost 26% of people in Pakistan suffer from diabetes and they need to be looked after, he added.

Dr. A. Samad Shera from IDF who is also Secretary of Diabetic Association of Pakistan in his speech emphasized the importance of starting the programme on time and congratulated the organizers for doing so. In IDF there are seven sections and Diabetes and Ramadan is also included. We wish to benefit from the knowledge and experience of distinguished speakers. It is also important that we impart correct knowledge, he remarked.

Prof. Abdul Basit Director BIDE in his speech offered to provide all help and assistance in designing curriculum for Certificate Course in Diabetes and Endocrinology besides providing the faculty to undertake training. Studies have showed that 50-80% of diabetics will still fast despite medical advice not to fast, hence we need to make fasting safe for these patients. Family Physicians can take care of these patients and refer those which require specialized care to the consultants and tertiary care centers. If we promote good primary healthcare, which is accessible, affordable, it will take care of the quackery as well. However, we have to ensure that the patients getting primary care are satisfied. He also pointed out that we need to recognize the services of allied healthcare professionals including Foot Care Assistants, Podiatrists and we can help in developing curriculum for their training. Prof. Basit also disclosed that after we started the diabetic foot clinic amputation at BIDE reduced from 27% to 3%. We have so far established one hundred fifteen Diabetic Foot Clinics all over Pakistan but we need to set up three thousand such clinics in the next ten years to help diabetics and save them from amputation. We have made considerable progress so far. We have made Seven Streams looking after different topics and they are preparing Guidelines. We have a Gestational Diabetes Stream working in Gestational Diabetes. He suggested that every pregnant women must be screened for GDM.

Scientific programme of the conference was spread over six sessions which included keynote presentations besides Debates. A special session with a Religious Scholar and case presentations were also part of the programme.