Seminar on
Alzheimer’s Disease

LAHORE: Alzheimer’s Pakistan organized a Seminar on Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias at Lahore on May 13, 2017. The speakers included Dr. Yasmin Raashid, Dr. Hussain Jafri, Dr. Ali Hashmi, Dr. Yasmin Ehsan and Dr. Shahdia Batoo.

The speakers pointed out that Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of Dementia in the world. Alzheimer’s is a progressive Neuro Degenerative Disease which affects memory, thinking, emotions and personality. The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is three percent in the 65 years age cohort and 15 percent in the 85 percent age cohort. Currently 48 Million People are living with Dementia in the world and this figure is projected to triple by 2050. Only ten percent of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s are diagnosed by a clinician; in the developing world. The estimated numbers of people living with Dementia in Pakistan was about one Million. This demands that we must train medical practitioners and the paramedics on how to identify symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, on how to manage Dementia and the care and respite services available for People Living with Dementia in Pakistan.(PR)

PIMA says reduction in 
Tobacco Taxes is a disaster

KARACHI: PIMA President Dr. Abdul Malik in a statement has stated that the reason for the reduction on tobacco taxes given by Mr Haroon Akhtar Khan, special assistant to the prime minister on revenue, is ridiculous. He pleads that high taxes on cigarettes leads to their smuggling which in turn costs billions to the exchequer. Those in government concerned over increasing revenue by taxes should instead pay attention to bringing the big fishes in the tax net and bringing the looted money of the country by politicians and establishment back to the country’s banks. Government should be ashamed that it is increasing the prices of basic commodities like bread, fruits, milk, petrol, electricity etc. and reducing the prices of unnecessary and dangerous items like tobacco.

He pointed out that Pakistan has one of the largest populations of tobacco users in the world, with over 22 million adults smoking cigarettes, huqqa or biri and millions more using smokeless tobacco products, including Gutka, Naswar, and Paan. One-third (32.4%) of men and 5.7% of women smoke tobacco. Over 100,000 deaths are attributed to tobacco use each year from lung and oral cancers, strokes, heart and respiratory diseases.

It is expected to increase the number of smokers, thereby increasing the disease and death burden caused by tobacco. Research has shown that increase in tobacco prices leads to a decrease in number of smokers in a given community, one of the most effective of many strategies to curb tobacco use.

PIMA President further said that, a research study on tobacco taxation in Pakistan, conducted jointly by FBR, World Bank, University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University, University of Illinois at Chicago and the Beacon house National University, concluded that a uniform specific excise tax of Rs. 31.2 per pack of 20 cigarettes, could reduce overall cigarette consumption by 7.5 per cent, increase tax revenues by Rs 27.2 billion, leading to over half a million users quitting and reducing premature deaths among current adult smokers by over 180,000, while also preventing 725,000 youth from taking up smoking.(PR)

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