KARACHI: The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) on Tuesday opened its 12th chest pain unit (CPU) in the city — in Orangi Town No 5 — to follow the Sindh government’s plan to provide basic healthcare to patients suffering from cardiac issues at the nearest location available.

Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Law barrister Murtaza Wahab inaugurated the NICVD-managed CPU in thickly populated Orangi Town.

On the occasion, he urged Mayor Wasim Akhtar to hand over the Karachi Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (KIHD), run by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, to the NICVD to get it transformed into a satellite centre of the country’s major heart care facility to provide state-of-the-art treatment to people.

Executive director of NICVD Prof Nadeem Qamar, office in charge of NICVD emergency services Dr Zair Hussain, cardiologists and local government representatives from the area attended the ceremony.

During the event doctors and staffers at the newly-opened CPU received 37 patients — a number of them who had suffered heart attacks — who were stabilised and referred to the NICVD for further treatment.

Plans for Lyari facility

Barrister Wahab said the NICVD’s CPU in Lyari was going to become the first satellite centre of the cardiac facility in Karachi in a couple of days where facilities of angiography and angioplasty would be available.

He added that some of the CPUs in the city could then be linked to the NICVD Lyari to lower the burden of patients on the main hospital.

“And if KIHD is handed over to the NICVD as well, we would be able to serve people of Karachi more efficiently,” he said.

“Now,” said Mr Wahab, “people from Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir are not the only ones who are availing the free facilities at the NICVD, but our facilities in Karachi and Sukkur are also receiving people from abroad.”

He said the Sindh government was financially supporting a network of state-of-the-art ambulance service in Karachi, Thatta and Badin, under which 65 ambulances were being used to help the people in distress.

He added Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was going to enhance the number of ambulances to 200 in southern regions of Sindh in coming months.

Prof Nadeem Qamar said the NICVD’s CPU network had examined over 260,275 patients in past two years, of whom 88,005 were cardiac patients and 6,626 suffered heart attacks, whose lives were saved by timely interventions at those CPUs.

Prof Qamar announced establishment of five more CPUs at other locations in Karachi, inviting the people and media to identify those locations.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2019