Karachi- The two-day Karachi Con‘18, organized by Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), was the city’s biggest gathering, comprising of various medical professionals, researchers and students.
Over 2000 participants, belonging to both public and private health facilities, medical universities and research institutions became a part of this huge event. Various emerging issues and challenges faced by Pakistan’s Medical fraternity were duly discussed at the conference.
A number of public and private health organizations were awarded by the committee for excelling in Pakistan’s Health Sector by serving humanity. The organizations included, Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS), Al-Khidmat Foundation, Bait-ul-Sakoon Cancer Hospital, Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology, National Institute of Blood Diseases, Dua Foundation, Patient Aid Foundation, POB, Indus Hospital Transfusion Services, SINA Health Education Services and Omair Sana Foundation.
On the concluding day of the conference, Eminent Islamic Scholar, Mufti Taqi Usmani conducted a session, “End of Life and Palliative Care: An Islamic Perspective.”
Whilst addressing the audience, he stated that the Medical profession could become a mode of worshiping The Almighty, if the doctor succeeds in alleviating the patient’s suffering.
Furthermore, he added that putting patients through invasive procedures, when chances of recovery are unlikely, should be avoided. For instance, placing patients on ventilators or artificially supporting other organs. Such practices will only enhance the sufferings of a patient and its family.
He further clarified that getting treatment for any disease is a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Meanwhile, patients should not put themselves through pain by choosing difficult or strenuous treatment modalities, when chances of recovery and cure are minimal.
Mufti Taqi Usmani urged PIMA to educate doctors and stop them against adopting immoral practices of prescribing unnecessary medicines and investigations for monetary benefits.
He mentioned how Pakistan is rich in plants and herbs that contain miraculous
medicinal properties. He stressed upon conducting researches on such herbs and plants, to make best use of them in curing diseases and alleviating pain.
Upon answering queries, he stated that, Islam allows careful use of addictive substances like Opioids, to relieve pain and suffering, and not for recreational purposes.
Palliative Care Expert from Aga Khan University Hospital, Dr. Atif Waqar, also discussed about pain relieving drugs, such as Morphine and its use in facilitating cancer and other terminally ill patients.
Dr. Shamvil Ashraf, Chairman Karachi Con’18, also raised several issues regarding pain management and palliative care, use of limited resources on treatment of incurable patients and use of drugs to minimize the sufferings of patients.
Eminent Physician, Dr. Zakiuddin Ahmed, spoke regarding ‘Patient centric care’, where he mentioned that patients should be involved in decision making, in terms of their treatment.
According to him, October 2018 is the Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month, which demands physicians to give priority to the wellbeing of their patients.
He also shared statistics of US regarding medical errors being the 3rd largest cause of death; misuse of antibiotics was reported in up to 50 percent of cases and noticeably deteriorating quality of healthcare was seen, despite the investment of trillions of dollars.
Various other leading experts and physicians including Prof. Junaid Patel, Prof Hafeez ur Rehman, Dr. Ahmer Hamid, Prof. Sohail Akhtar, Dr. Atif Hafeez, Prof. Hafeez ur Rehman, Dr, Zeeshan Ansari, Dr. Azeemuddin, Dr. Kashif Shazlee, and others also spoke in different scientific sessions at the conference.