LAHORE - Leading neurologists of the country laid emphasis on adopting preventive measures to avoid stroke that is common and increasing rapidly in Pakistan.

They were speaking at a seminar organised by the Pakistan Stroke Society on Tuesday in connection with the World Stroke Day.

The neurologists said: “Stroke is treatable if the patient reaches a well-equipped trauma centre timely.”

Pakistan Stroke Society President and one of the leading neurologists of the country Prof Dr Qasim Bashir said: “We need to establish well-equipped stroke centers as Pakistan is 20 years behind the western world in the treatment of this disease.

Treating a stroke patient is not a one-man show as you need a team work to establish well-equipped stroke units having neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists and anesthetists working under one roof and it is not possible without the support of government.”

Dr Qasim Bashir, who is professor of Neurology at CMH Lahore, further added that these stroke centers should be diversified at tehsil and district levels under the supervision of neurologists as it would reduce the workload on trauma centers established in major cities.

There is also a need to work with the Rescue 1122 for these stroke centers as rescuers are the first ones who attend the patients while shifting them to hospitals, he added. “First four hours are very crucial for a patient suffering from stroke and we can save the patient if rescuers are imparted some basic training to deal with a stroke patients because sometimes it took hours for ambulance to shift the patient to the trauma centre,” said Bashir.

Distinguished neurologist Prof Dr Naeem Qasuri said that huge allocation of funds from the government is the only solution if we actually want to treat the stroke patients as there are very qualified doctors here in Pakistan but they only lack the funding and support from the government.

Guest of honor and noted neurologist Prof Dr Nusrullah was of the opinion that it is really unfortunate that stroke is the most poorly managed emergency in Pakistan unlike the foreign world and more awareness should be given to people and especially to our junior doctors attending the stroke patients.

Addressing the participants, King Edward Medical University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Masud Gondal said that there is a need to run a national awareness campaign on stroke and media can play very important 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 program of stroke medicine at post graduate level should also be initiated and KEMU should take the lead being the oldest institution in this regard.

President of Pakistan Society of Neurology and Chairperson department of Neurology KEMU Prof Athar Javed, General Secretary Pakistan Stroke Society and Chairperson Department of Neurology Fatima Jinnah Medical University Dr Adnan Aslam, Prof Dr Ahsan Nauman of Punjab Institute of Neurological Sciences and DG Rescue 1122 Dr Rizwan Naseer were also present on the occasion.