Pakistan and Afghanistan should have close collaboration in different fields including Health services - Governor Baluchistan

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Cholesterol Awareness Society holds its conference
as Peace returns to Quetta

Pakistan and Afghanistan should have close
collaboration in different fields including
Health services - Governor Baluchistan

NICVD and AFIC has done a commendable job in promoting
 cardiac care and training of healthcare professionals

Ministries of Education, Health and Information should
join hands to promote health education-Dr. Haqdad Tareen

QUETTA: It was after many years that Quetta hosted a medical conference and it was the initiative taken by Prof. Munaf Tareen and Dr. Haqdad Tareen and their team who took up this challenge and their efforts, hard work bore fruits when Cholesterol Awareness Society of Pakistan organized its 5th Preventive Cardiology Conference here from August 9-10th 2014. It was very well attended despite the cancellation of some flights from other cities and it did attract delegates from Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi as well. An important highlight of this conference was that over a dozen cardiologists from Afghanistan also came to participate in the conference. Mr. Muhammad Khan Achakzai Governor of Baluchistan was the chief guest in the inaugural session.


Maj. Gen. Azhar Kiani President, Cholesterol Awareness Society of
Pakistan presenting mementoe to Governor Baluchistan Muhammad Khan
Achakzai who was the chief guest at the Preventive Cardiology conference held at Quetta.

Appreciating the holding of the conference in Quetta, he felt happy that it became possible since they have been able to bring peace to the province of Baluchistan in general and Quetta in particular. The improvement in the security situation encouraged the doctors from other provinces to come and participate in the conference. He particularly welcomed the delegation from Afghanistan and called for more collaboration and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan in all fields.

Speaking about the cardiovascular diseases, Mr. Muhammad Khan Achakzai said that there are regional differences in culture and our eating habits are also different. We consume lot of red meat; there is lot stress, pollution in the cities. We are fond of fast food and doctors are reluctant to serve in rural areas. If patients get early treatment, the outcome can be better. If there is least damage to the heart during the first heart attack, the survival chances are also better. We should educate the public to avoid red meat and fatty foods. Obese people have more chances of developing cardiovascular diseases hence public must be educated to reduce weight , use healthy diet and have regular exercise. NICVD and AFIC the two major and oldest tertiary cardiac care healthcare facilities, he said, have done a commendable job in promoting cardiac care and training of healthcare professionals to look after the heart patients all over the country. By now they must have accumulated lot of data which needs to be analyzed and published. The Mission Hospital Quetta, he stated, has also been playing a vital role in looking after the patients for many years. Recognizing the dedicated and devoted services of this institution and its staff, we have recommended that Mission Hospital Quetta should be presented some Award. Apart from providing ophthalmic care, many treatment protocols, he said, were developed in this institution which was later accepted internationally.

Governor Baluchistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai presenting mementoes to Prof. Abdus Samad,
Dr. Haqdad Tareen and Dr.Jalaluddin Achakzai in the inaugural session at the
preventive cardiology conference held at Quetta recently.

Prof. Abdus Samad in his speech on this occasion said that Pakistan has comparatively younger population and our life style is conducive for developing atherosclerosis. However, if we change our life style we can prevent atherosclerotic heart diseases. We need to act at primary prevention, change our eating habits, and avoid smoking and alcohol. Now risk stratification scales have been developed which can be used effectively. However, we cannot do anything unless we have the requisite tools and train the personnel.

Maj. Gen. (Retd) Azhar Kiani President of Cholesterol Awareness Society of Pakistan in his address said that in Pakistan we see young patients with heart disease. The reasons are poor life style, poor dietary habits and no education. Treatment is expensive but prevention is quite economical. We are able to help the Government of Baluchistan and the healthcare professionals to train them in skills development at Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology so that doctors here are able to treat cardiac emergencies in small and big cities in the province. Baluchistan in fact can take a lead and set an example for other provinces to follow, he remarked.

Earlier Prof. Munaf Tareen Patron of the conference in his address said that we see heart diseases in our patients ten years earlier as compared to the West. We have young patients because of coronary artery disease which is preventable by ensuring healthy diet, regular exercise. He hoped that by successfully organizing this conference in Quetta we have sent a message to other professional specialty organizations that it is quite safe to organize their conferences here as the security situation has improved a lot.

Dr. Haqdad Tareen Chairperson of the organizing committee emphasized the importance of increasing awareness among the public about the heart diseases and initiating the preventive measures. It will also help update the knowledge of our General Practitioners who are attending this conference from all over the province. Risk of heart diseases, he said, is often underestimated in women. We need coordinated efforts of all the stake holders. Ministries of Education, Health and Information can join hands to promote public health education while local governments can play an important role in developing parks and playgrounds. Religious scholars can also do a lot in creating awareness among the masses about heart diseases and how to prevent them, he remarked.

At the end of the inaugural session which was moderated by Dr. Jalaludidn Achakzai Secretary of the organizing committee, the Governor of Baluchistan presented conference mementos among the organizers and a representative of the Afghan delegation attending the conference. The conference dinner was followed by a cultural programme wherein local culture was presented. M/s PharmEvo played a key role in helping the conference organizes to hold this academic activity in a befitting manner.