–Neurologists stress urgent need to establish well-equipped stroke centres
LAHORE: Leading neurologists of the country on Tuesday highlighted the need to adopt preventive measures to avoid stroke – a very common and rapidly increasing medical condition in Pakistan.
Speaking at a seminar organised by Pakistan Stroke Society in connection with the World Stroke Day 2018, the neurologists were of the opinion that stroke was treatable if the patient reached a well-equipped trauma centre in the shortest span of time.
President of Pakistan Stroke Society and one of the leading neurologists of the country, Prof Dr Qasim Bashir, said that there was a need to establish well-equipped stroke centres as Pakistan was 20 years behind the western world in the treatment of the disease.
“Treating a stroke patient is not a one-man show as you need neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists and anaesthetists working under one roof and it is not possible without the support of government,” said Bashir, who is also a professor of neurology at CMH Lahore.
He added that stroke centres should be diversified at tehsil and district levels under the supervision of neurologists as it would reduce the workload on trauma centres established in major cities.
“There is also a need to work with Rescue 1122 for these stroke centres as rescuers are the first ones who attend the patients while shifting them to hospitals,” he said and added the first 4.5 hours were very much important for a patient suffering from a stroke and his or her life could be saved in this much time.
“We’ll arrange more awareness seminars and a stroke conference is also being planned for February 2019 due to the severity of the disease as there are 350-400 patients suffering from it in each population of 0.1 million,” he said.
Distinguished neurologist Prof Dr Naeem Qasuri, on the occasion, said that huge allocation of funds from the government was the only solution if stroke patients were to be treated as there were very qualified doctors in Pakistan but they lacked the funding and support from the government.
Guest of honour and noted neurologist Prof Dr Nusrullah was of the opinion that it was really unfortunate that stroke was the most poorly managed emergency in Pakistan unlike the foreign world, and more awareness should be given to people, especially to junior doctors attending stroke patients.
Addressing the participants, King Edward Medical University (KEMU) Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Masud Gondal said that there was a need to run a national awareness campaign on stroke and media could play a pivotal role in this regard.
“We must also remember late Prof Bashir Ahmad on this occasion who was the pioneer of neurosurgery in Punjab and now his son Dr Qasim Bashir is carrying his legacy forward by introducing latest and modern techniques,” said Gondal.
He was of the view that a new programme of stroke medicine at the postgraduate level should also be initiated.
President of Pakistan Society of Neurology and KEMU Department of Neurology Chairperson Prof Athar Javed, Pakistan Stroke Society General Secretary and Fatima Jinnah Medical University Department of Neurology Chairperson Dr Adnan Aslam, Prof Dr Ahsan Nauman of Punjab Institute of Neurological Sciences and Rescue 1122 DG Dr Rizwan Naseer were also present on the occasion.