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‘Country has only 120 neurologists’

December 29, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: There are only 120 qualified neurologists in Pakistan for the population of 180 million hence the ratio comes to 1:1.5 million people.

This was stated by consultant neurologist Dr Arsalan Ahmad while addressing the media session in the 13th International Neurology Update Conference organised by Pakistan International Neuroscience Society (PINS) at a local hospital on Saturday.

A large number of leading neurologists from Pakistan, North America, Middle East and Europe and postgraduate trainees attended the conference.

The conference addressed important neurological disorders including headaches, migraines, movement disorders, stroke (brain hemorrhage), dementias, Parkinson and epilepsy.

“We have to improve the field of neurology in Pakistan with special emphasis on postgraduate training in neurology.

“We have to fight against the neuro-phobia among medical students as there is a dire need to enhance postgraduate education in neurology to fill the gap,” Dr Arsalan said.

Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Alberta, Canada, Dr Khurshid Alam Khan discussed prevalence of stroke among youth.

He said stroke was responsible for significant disability and mortality worldwide.

“It attacked above 16 million people every year around the world and claimed a life every six seconds. The risk of stroke doubles with every decade after the age of 55.

“Around 15 per cent of all ‘Ischemic’ strokes affect young adults and adolescents,” he said.

Consultant neurologist and stroke specialist at King Abdul Aziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Dr Ismail Khatri said there was dire need to establish stroke inpatient units in Pakistan.

He said those stroke patients who received organised inpatient care in stroke units were more likely to live long and independent life at home one year after stroke.

He urged the government and Pakistan Stroke Society to work for enough neurologists and stroke units in public and private hospitalsaccording to international protocol modified for local use.

Dr Arsalan said that previously these conferences were organised in 2003 and 2008.

World renowned neuroscientist and neurologist from the US Professor Teepu Siddiqui specially traveled from America to attend the conference and discussed his research in neuro-degeneration.