Muhammad Medical College held its 6th Annual Medical Symposium on 13th August 2008. The theme of this symposium was “Health policies for deprived regions of Pakistan – past, present and future”. District Coordinator Officer (DCO), Dr. Abdul Raheem Soomro was the Chief Guest.
The Chief Guest opened the proceedings officially by cutting the ribbon in the Exhibition Hall, which was decorated beautifully by various pharmaceutical companies and other organizations related to medical profession.They had various informative activities especially designed for young doctors. Dr. A. Raheem Soomro visited all these stalls and the proceeded to the Posters Hall. He viewed every single poster with interest and praised the quality and quantity of research work performed by senior medical students and junior doctors under guidance of senior medical student and junior doctors under guidance of senior consultants and professors of Muhammad Medical college and Hospital. He discussed then in some detailed with the authors, and instructed the accompanying Executive District Officer Health, Dr. Khadim Hussain Lakhir, to arrange meetings with some of them and make plans to use this valuable information for the betterment of the people of the region.
The official inauguration of symposium was held in Prof. Hssan Memon auditorium of which Dr. Jawaid Rajput was the stage secretary. Dr. Shams-ul-Arfeen recited verses from the Holy Quran. Prof. S. Razi Muhammad, the Managing Trustee of Muhammad Foundation Trust, in his welcome address concentrated on the theme of the symposium. He said that, all of the past policies have failed desperately in making a good impact on improving the dire situation regarding health of the deprived regions of Pakistan nor, he said, they reduced the urban – rural disparity in health sector. He said that, in Pakistan, health expenditure per capital is $ 85 per year of which $ 64 come from patients’ pocket whereas, in USA a staggering $14000 are spent on health of a citizen per year. Elaborating on rural – urban disparity, he mentioned that $ 22 per year are spent on health of Pakistan living in relatively better off urban region and only $ 24 per year on a Pakistani living on rural region. He explained that for 70% rural Pakistan’s, only 20% of health budget, 15% doctors and 18% hospital beds are available. There does not seem to be a central policy for rural health. Recently formed Task Force for health issues does not have any rural representation. He suggested at least 50% of the task force be comprised of qualified experts belonging to rural region. He also suggested a health policy at district level to concentrate on specific needs of the concerned district. He emphasized on seven key areas that must be addressed should the health conditions of rural Pakistan are to improve. He said that those without any working experience in rural areas cannot make effective health policies for deprived regions despite most sincere and honest attempts. Chairman of Scientific Committee of Symposium, Prof. Dr. Syed Zafar Abbas then presented a summary of 47 research papers and 16 rare case reports that were being presented at the symposium by students and doctors of Muhammad Medical College and Hospital in the oral as well as poster form. He also mentioned over half a dozen full papers published in international journals on research done at Muhammad Medical Collage and Hospital within last year. The chief Guest in his speech, agreed with Prof. S. Razi Muhammad in the need of establishing health policy on district level and invited Dr. Razi Muhammad and his colleagues to work with district administration in this regard. He appreciated the relevance and importance of research work done at Muhammad Medical College and Hospital and thanked the college for that. He praised Prof. Syed Razi Muhammad for getting so many renowned senior professors together in the region. He said that, there were weaknesses and flaws within the government system and many opportunists were taking advantage of that. As a result, there was no significant output despite spending a huge sum of resources in district. He hoped that with the help of teachers of Muhammad Medical College and Hospital, his administration will be able to change that in the near future. Later Prof. Dr. Syed Razi Muhammad presented the traditional “Ajrak” to the honourable chief guest and also the symposium shield. In addition, same was presented to Prof. Mumtaz Memon of LUMHS by Prof. Ghulam Ali Memon of MMC and to Dr. Abdul Majeed Memon by Prof Noor Muhammad Memon of MMC and to Dr. Khadim Hussain Lakhir EDO – Health, by Prof. Amna Memon of MMC. Prof. Ghulam Ali Memon presented the vote of thanks. This was followed by a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the 61st Independence Day of Pakistan.
Dr. S. Qamar Abbas, Deputy Director St. Clare Hospital, UK and Senior Lecturer, Cambridge University, delivered a state-of-art lecture on “Effective Communication Skills”. He discussed the importance of having a training to develop such skill, and the ways to improve them. He emphasized upon its importance and told audience that it was the best way to establish confidence in patients and their relatives, which in turn were of paramount importance to treat them. With historical references, he explained that this art was taught even in Hippocrates times and described the role of Ave Sena in developing its further. Dr. Qamar Abbas enlighted the audience on its newer concepts in western world and how could it be translated to local needs in Pakistan. Later the audience took part in a lively discussion on the topic. Prof. Noor Muhammad Memon decorated Dr. Qamar Abbas with “Ajrak” and Symposium shield.
Earlier on, a scientific session on free papers by students and junior doctors was held, presided over by Dr. Qamar Abbas, Dr. Rehmatullah Soomro was the stage secretary. Dr. Sheerin Khan presented her research on attitude of mothers on "Clef Lip and Clef Palate", and found that most of them were not given Folic acid in pregnancy, but blamed the Solar or Lunar eclipse for this problem. Final year student, Huma Shoukat presented her findings on the inappropriate uses of intravenous antibiotics, and told audience that not only it is not rare, but doctors of all grades and specialties were prescribing them without evidence of appropriate indications. Dr. Ayesha Majeed presented her paper on "frequency of Hepatitis B and C virus infection in patients undergoing surgical proceedings" and found that although this is found in over 11% of our patients, but almost all of them underwent surgery with no adverse effects. Dr. Wasfa Aijaz talked about her findings on "Hepatitis B vaccinations status in patients suffering from HCV, paramedical staff and hospital doctors", and found 85%, 44% and 13% of them respectively were not vaccinated. Final year student Minahil Haq attempted to find causes of infertility in this region and found it curable for a majority. Marvi Laghari, student of final year, compared the morbidity and mortality of Laproscopic vs Open cholecystectomy and found that the trend of key-hole surgery was on the rise, especially among female patients.
In the scientific session for senior doctors, Dr. Mujahid Khan from King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia, presented a talk on “Effective Medical Lecturing”. Dr. Hussain Kolachi of LUMHS presented his 20 year long study on “Snake bite in Thar”. Prof. Noor Muhammad Memon of Muhammad Medical College and Hospital spoke on issues surrounding "Ramadhan and Diabetes Mellitus". Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan of MMC presented his paper on "Aetiology of Acute Hepatitis in the region". Dr. Zulfiqar Shaikh of MMC presented results of his study on "DM in Gadap Town". Dr. Ghulam Rasool Bhurgri described the experience of running free T.B clinic at MMC. Following this session, Dr. Tayyab Memon, a consultant Anesthetist from United Kingdom, delivered a state-of-art lecture on CPR.
In the last session of symposium, awards were announced for best presentation. According to judges’ verdict, the best research poster was presented by Miss Minahil Haq of final year, second prize went to Mr. Faizan of 4th year and third prize was given to Mr. Atif Aziz of 4th year. Best Poster for case report was awarded to Dr. Mehwish Saleem, 2nd Prize was given to Miss Sana Asghar and Third to Miss Huma Shoukat of final year.
Best Oral presentation for junior doctors / senior medical students went to Dr. Ayesha Majeed, second to Dr. Wasfa Aijaz and Third to Dr. Sheerin Khan. Aong seniors, best oral presentation was judged to be those of Dr. Zulfiqar Shaikh and Prof. Faiz Muhammad Halepota, Second Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan and Nand Lal Kella, and Third Dr. Hussain Kolachi and Mahesh Kumar.
Prof. S. Razi Muhammad in his concluding remarks thanked all guests, student, faculty, administration and scientific committee, particularly its chairman Prof. Dr. S. Zafar Abbas for their roles in making this symposium successful and for keeping the tradition of holding symposia at MMC regularly an at high standards.
Finally, Professor Dr. S. Zafar Abbas, Chairman Scientific Committee thanked the audience and congratulated the auidience on Independence Day. He told the audience that the abstracts and photographs of this symposium are available on website of Muhammad Medical College at www.mmc.edu.pk. With this, the sixth Annual Medical Symposium come to an end.