WONCA Conference in Prague
WHO assures to pay more attention to
Primary Health Care & Family Medicine

Governments urged to promote the specialty of Family Medicine

By Dr. Aziz Khan Tank

PRAGUE: The Council Meeting of World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) was held from 21st June to 24th June 2013 which in which United State North, Iberian & North Region, Europe, Africa, South Asia, Asia Pacific and South America participated. The triennial meeting was held at Prague (Czech Republic) followed by Scientific program and workshops in which 108 countries were represented. College of Family Medicine Czech Republic was the host and they had made excellent arrangements for the conference.

A group photograph of delegates from Pakistan who attended the
WONCA World Congress of Family Physicians recently held at Prague.

WONCA council meeting which was held from 21-24 June 2013 discussed at length various problems and progress regarding the Family Doctors all over the World. They also discussed the strategy to be adopted for Primary Health Care to promote Family Medicine in their respected regions. In the South East Asia regions member countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka and Nepal while Maldives and Bhutan are expected to join the region very soon. Election for President and President elect were held in the presence of Prof. Richard Robert and President Elect Prof. Michael Kidd. Dr. Partab Parkash from Nepal and Dr. Aziz Khan Tank from Pakistan were elected as President and President elect for the South Asia Region.
On the last day of the council meeting Prof. Michael Kidd President elect took over as President and for President elect, the election was held which was contested by Dr. Preethi of Srilanka and Dr. Ionhowa of UK, unfortunately Dr. Preethi lost the contest and Prof. Ionhowa was declared the President elect of WONCA. General opinions of all these countries who participated was that promotion of Family Medicine was the only solution to overcome the problems of healthcare and the governments were urged to allocate more funding for primary healthcare.
Pakistani delegation to WONCA meeting consisted of Dr. Aziz Khan Tank, Dr. (Col.) Rashid Iqbal, Prof. Waris Qidwai, Dr. Sameena Shah & Dr. Kiran Abdul Sattar from AKU, Dr. Ijaz from Faisalabad, Dr. David Sohail from Sialkot and Dr. Shahab from Lahore. Prof. Waris Qidwai was again elected as Chairman Research Committee of WONCA. Dr. Aziz Khan Tank was elected as member of Membership Committee. Dr. Rashid Iqbal was elected as member of Equity Committee, Dr. Sameena Shah in Women Health Committee and Dr. Ijaz in the committee of Rural Health.
During the conference Prof. Margret Cham Director General of WHO also addressed the gathering comprising 3700 delegates from all over the World in which she accepted the role of Family Doctors in Primary Health Care as well as Role of Family Doctors in healthcare. She also promised that WHO will pay more attention to Primary Care and Family Doctors for better care of the common man and will advise every Govt. to provide the proper budget for Primary Health Care or Family Medicine and devise the methods for raising the standard, incentives and other health issues by Family Doctors which vary from country to country. Next Meeting of WONCA will be held in Brazil in 2016 and Korea will host the conferences in 2018.

Prof. Sadik Memon speaks on
Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Obesity related fatty liver disease has surpassed other disorder to become the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the united state and a major indication for liver transplantation. This was stated by Prof. Muhammad Sadik Memon while addressing a CME meeting held at Digri in Mirpur Khas, Sindh, , on 15 June 2013. This CME was organized by Pakistan Society for Study of Liver Diseases (PSSLD) and Asian Institute of Medical Sciences (Aims).
He further added that annual prevalence of NAFLD is more than 7 million individuals registered with the veteran’s administration system USA. Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increased from less than 1% 10 years ago to 8.5% in 2011. Recognition that (NAFLD) is a major health burden for patient of all ages is increasing throughout the world. Despite these high prevalence rates investigators identified gaps in the evaluation and management of NAFLD. The long term sequences of NAFLD are increased morbidity and mortality both cardio vascular and hepatic compared to control population.
Prof. Memon who is also the General secretary of PSSLD also focused on new theories regarding the etiopathogenesis of fatty liver disease. He stated that the theory of “ALTERED GUT-MICROBIOTA” the presumed cause of production of toxic metabolites accumulates in liver and cause oxidative stress to liver. Hepatic ultra sonography is the imaging modality most commonly used to screen for steatosis. However it requires expert interpretation and fails to liver evaluate the degree of liver injury. He quoted various abstracts presented in DDW (Digestive Disease Week) 2013 regarding quantification of statics and degree of fibrosis. Role of sonoelastograpy, MR etastography, CT Scan and liver biopsy were discussed. Various guidelines (AASLD, ACG and AGA) were also discussed regarding management of disease. Ten percent weight reductions from baseline is the key step in treatment of fatty liver disease. Vitamin “E” has been studied in non-diabetes NAFLD with promise. He concluded that the information presented in DDW 2013 offered new insights into mechanisms of fatty liver disease and perhaps some new direction for diagnosis and management. What is missing, of course is a reliable and effective treatment approach. This emphasizes the important role of prevention of hepatic steatosis. We must promote healthy eating and consistent physical activity to forestall obesity and its complications, he remarked.(PR)