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Prof. Samad highlights the contributions of late Col. M.H. Shah and Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Cardiac Society Hyderabad Chapter organized a meeting at a local hotel on September 29th to present Appreciation Certificates to cardiologists serving in Hyderabad and other districts in rural Sindh province to recognize their services. The meeting was organized by Prof. Feroz Memon and Prof. Fasih Hashmi and it was sponsored by M/s Atco Laboratories. Prof. Abdus Samad an eminent interventional cardiologist who served as Secretary of Pakistan Cardiac Society for many years and retired from NICVD was the Chief Guest while Prof. Zainab Samad from Aga Khan University was the guest speaker. The meeting was very well attended by cardiologists serving in the Sindh Province while Prof. Javed Akbar Sial President of PCS was the Guest of Honour.

Speaking at the occasion Prof. Abdus Samad traced the history of the revival of Pakistan Cardiac Society in 1976 after the 1970 crisis which resulted in separation of East Pakistan now Bangladesh. After the 1970 tragic events, PCS became dormant and there was no meeting or activity. Prof. Samad recalled that after returning from USA I joined NICVD as Assistant Professor while Prof. Shaukat Ali Syed, Prof. M. Sharif and Prof. S.H. Shafqat were professors of cardiology. I was not much known and most of the patients used to consult the above three professors and once in a while some patient will also come to me. Speaking in his typical style and humorous tone he also made some quite meaningful statements to convey the message. One day he said, I was sitting in the library that a tall man in blue suite and blue tie came to me and said, Dr Samad you take charge of Pakistan Cardiac Society. These seniors i.e. Prof. Syed, Sharif and Shafqat are useless people. They just concentrate on practice, earn some money and go home but have never bothered to organize a meeting of Pakistan Cardiac Society. I never knew this gentleman and I got frightened feeling that he is saying all this about our senior professors and I might lose my job and will have to return to USA. But when I went to see him off, I could see his car with protocol people all around thus realized that he must be some important person.

After few hours, Prof. S.H. Shafqat came to me and said Dr. Samad, Col Shah had come and he has ordered that the cabinet in my office should be transferred to your room. Please get it transferred. I said who is this Col. Shah, at which he asked me “ You do not know Col.M.H.Shah” and I replied No. Then he said that the gentleman who had just visited you was Col.M.H. Shah and that is what he has desired. We the Pushtun, Prof.Samad remarked don’t understand things easily while Prof. S.H. Shafqat who hails from Agra was very intelligent and he had realized what Col. Shah had stated. I did not know what to do. Hence I asked Prof. Ghaffar Jatoi that Col. Shah has asked that we should organize a meeting of Pakistan Cardiac Society, please help me how should we proceed. At this Prof. Ghaffar Jatoi suggested that I should contact Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry in Hyderabad. Seth Walibhoy of Rajputana Hospital will be glad to host the meeting at the hospital. I contacted Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry and Seth Walibhoy offered to host the meeting. Thus the first meeting was held at Rajputana Hospital in December 1976 organized by Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry which laid the sound foundations of Pakistan Cardiac Society. We must always remember and recognize the services and contributions of both late Col. M.H. Shah and late Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry for the Pakistan Cardiac Society. One can never ignore and forget these two eminent medical personalities and the city of Hyderabad while talking about Pakistan Cardiac Society. Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry also served as Editor of Pakistan Heart Journal for many years. Late Dr. Ali Muhammad Chaudhry later shifted to Lahore and passed away on April 20th 2016.

Referring to the massacre and genocide of Palestinians by Israel Prof. Samad remarked that Palestine belongs to Palestinians and not Jews. Many of our Prophets are buried there. Even the grandfather of King Hussain of Jordan who belongs to Hashmi tribe is buried in Palestine. He commended the services being rendered by young cardiologists. We need to encourage these young specialists. There was a time that not many postgraduates were interested in cardiology saying that it has just two drugs and two murmurs. Digitalis and Diuretics. Myself and Dr. Jamil Tajik were the two House Officers working with Prof. Rauf Yousuf at Mayo Hospital Lahore. Now cardiology is the most progressive specialty. Mortality has reduced from cardiovascular diseases and people with heart diseases are identified early. Patients suffering from congestive heart failure and acute myocardial infarction can be saved. LDL Prof. Samad opined was a disease and atherosclerosis develops because of high LDL. He then also referred to cardiac fibrosis, myocarditis inflammation, improved cardiac function, resistance to pathogens and stress recovery from injury. He also highlighted the beneficial changes of microbia.

Prof. Akhtar Khan, Prof. Samad stated was an excellent teacher. While teaching diabetes mellitus he used to invite one Chaudhry Sahib, make him sit in front of the students and ask him some questions. Replying to questions Chaudhry Sahib will say that he was being treated by Dr. Ellahi Bakhsh the famous physician. He told me that this disease of diabetes is not curable. It can be controlled. He asked me to walk at least two miles daily which I do regularly. When asked about the diet, he would say, I just eat one Chapatti of Wheat in the morning and use lot of diluted Lassi without fat. When asked about lunch and dinner, he would say that these are for the Babus working in offices. I just take meal when I feel hungry. That is the way Prof. Akhtar Khan used to teach us about diabetes mellitus. Speaking about its complications, he used to say that wherever the blood goes, there will be diabetes complications i.e. kidney, eyes, heart etc. People with diabetes were always advised to have regular exercise, use balanced healthy diet and life style modifications.

Improving cardiac health using available infrastructure

Prof. Zainab Samad in her presentation on improving cardiac health using available health infrastructure said that she came back to Pakistan in 2018. I have noted that prevalence of IHD has gone up, stress and prevalence of diabetes is also increasing. The known risk factors include smoking, systolic blood pressure, air pollution, high LDL, high blood glucose and stroke. We in Pakistan do not have enough doctors, nurses and human resources available. We do not have reliable data regarding Non-communicable diseases, birth and death records. Only 30% births and 40% deaths are registered. Hence we do not have data which is essential for planning. AKUH thirty years’ data of forty thousand patients showed that in-hospitality mortality has gone down. Women with STEMI has increased mortality. Most people in AKU come with AMI. Women have different symptoms when they come with chest pain. Ten years’ data shows that one in thirty or forty people have LDL of more than 190. We need to put them on Statins so that they should not get AMI. Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are the two main risk factors.

Prof. Javed Akbar Sial speaking on the occasion highlighted the activities of Pakistan Cardiac Society evresince he became President a year ago. We have been training healthcare professionals. We do not have data. At the NICVD network of hospitals and satellite units, we are providing round the clock facility of primary angioplasty he added. Prof. Nazir Memon opined that we need to give preference and importance to preventive cardiology. No government is interested in spending on prevention as its results come after many years. We have a Council of Preventive Cardiology headed by Prof. Khawar Kazmi and we need to highlight the preventive aspects, he remarked.


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