Cardio Metabolic Forum of Pakistan formed to focus on NCDs


 Cardio Metabolic Forum of Pakistan
formed to focus on NCDs

Main objective of this experts group is to liaison with different
bodies working on management of Non-Communicable Diseases

KARACHI: A meeting of eminent cardiologists and diabetologist held at Karachi on Sunday November 8th discussed the possibilities of forming a Forum to liaison with different bodies working in the management of Non-Communicable Diseases.  The initiative was taken by Prof. Abdul Basit an eminent diabetologist and Director of Baqai Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology (BIDE) affiliated with Baqai Medical University and Prof. Mohammad Ishaq from Pakistan Hypertension League. Prof. Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry President of Pakistan Hypertension League was also present on this occasion.  The meeting was attended by  diabetologist and cardiac physicians from Karachi, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Quetta, Azad Kashmir, Faisalabad,  Multan, Lahore and , Islamabad. After a brainstorming session it was unanimously decided to form Cardio Metabolic Forum of Pakistan which will work just as an Expert Group and it will not be another Society or Association.

In his introductory remarks Prof. M. Ishaq said that Non-communicable disease are increasing in this part of the world. We see myocardial infarction at a much younger age, peripheral vascular disease, renal failure, diabetes, hypertension and obesity.  We should look into these issues and decide how well we can tackle these problems.


Participants to the first meeting of Cardio Metabolic Forum of Pakistan photographed along with
Prof. Abdul Basit Director BIDE and Prof. M. Ishaq GS PHL who initiated this move.
President of PHL Prof. Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry is also seen in the picture.

Prof. Abdul Basit said that there are seven million diabetics in Pakistan. A study conducted by them in Layari showed the prevalence of 44% metabolic syndrome, 60% obesity. Similarly a study conducted in Hub in sixteen villages of people between the agesof 15-25 years showed that during ten years obesity had tripled, diabetes mellitus had doubled, smoking was increasing. Hence we need to do lot of work. We need local evidence to develop guidelines and also ensure their implementation. We will make sure that it is purely a scientific and academic forum, he remarked.

Prof. Zaman Sheikh from Karachi, Prof. Meetha Ram from Hyderabad,  Dr. Musarrat Riaz, Dr. Ashar Fawad and Prof. Yakoob Ahmedani  from BIDE  Karachi participating in the discussion stated that we must know what work has already been done in these fields. Lot of data is already available and it needs to be compiled. They emphasized the importance of collaboration between different organizations working in the field of NCDs and ensure early diagnosis which will result in better outcome. Prof. Yakoob Ahmedani said we must focus on young people and look at food services.

Prof.  Irshad Ahmad Khan from Quetta highlighted the importance of e learning programmes to educate the healthcare professionals. Many physicians are using beta blockers to treat hypertension and we all know that they result in early onset of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Prof. Froze Memon from Hyderabad advocated two pronged attack, educating the public and involving the family physicians in primary prevention of these diseases. We have started delivering lectures in schools and colleges on high blood pressure to educate the public, he remarked. Prof. Bilal Bin Younis from Lahore said that culture and eating habits of people are different in different regions within the country like South Punjab and interior of Sindh, hence there was a need to have regional guidelines for management of these diseases. Prof. Hafeez Chaudhry opined that we can have small chapters of Cardio Metabolic Forum in small cities as well and we should collaborate with other bodies.  Prof. Ishaq said that there won’t be any office bearers. Every one present is a convener and can work in this field. Prof. Abu Bakar Sheikh laid emphasis on professional ethics and working with institutions like BIDE and PHL which have overshadowed other professional societies.

Mr. Shaukat Ali Jawaid Chief Editor of Pulse International reminded all those present that it should not prove to be another body or platform which starts collectingfunds from the Pharma industry on one pretext of the other.  They must realize that the lunches and dinners served at the five star hotels during the medical conferences deprive millions of patients of their drug therapy. Pharma industry is in business and they pass on all this to the patients in the shape of more cost of drugs and medicines.  Ground realities in villages and rural areas, small towns are absolutely different than what they see and discuss sitting in Five Star Hotels in the cities. Pharma industry all over the world helps, supports CME activities but their support should be used judiciously for improving and expanding services, patient care and not to make money. Medical profession must go back to the lecture halls and auditoriums of medical institutions from the Banquet Halls of Five Star Hotels for their academic activities which will reduced the expenditures to a great extent.

Prof. Jamal Zafar from PIMS Islamabad, Prof. Altaf Ahmad Sheikh from Sukkur, Prof. Jamil Ahmad from Baqai University, Dr. Assad Abbas, Dr. Salma Tanveer from Nishter Medical College Multan, Dr. Waheed Iqbal from Azad Kashmir also participated in the discussion and emphasized the importance of health education, using the media effectively.In his concluding remarks Prof. Ishaq said that this Forum will educate the healthcare professionals, policy makers, review the situation from time to time. It is purely an academic body, will have a limited scope.

Prof. Abdul Basit assured all those present that they will uphold professional ethics in their working. He further stated that all those present must show commitment because without that there is no purpose in meeting. We must practice what we preach. We will define our objectives, BIDE has already done lot of work in this area and if the PHL and all others endorse it, we can start working on risk scoring for people with diabetes. We have already developed some scoring system, simply dietary measures and respect positive interventions. In future we will meet in medical institutions. All the participants were asked to send their suggestions to Prof. Ishaq or Prof. Abdul Basit.  They will prepare a brief and it will be sent to all the participants for their input. The meeting was sponsored by OBS Pharma.

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