Over 1,100 People Die Daily in Pakistan From Heart Disease & The Health System is Not Turning the Crisis Around

According to eminent cardiologists and health experts, 50 Pakistani heart patients are dying every hour from heart attacks and other diseases around the nation as the health care system is incapable of caring for one-third of its patients with cardiovascular disease. Immediate collaborative responses must occur to stop the dying. A combination of lifestyle habits, a lack of disease prevention, and health system defects have created a dire national crisis.

What is the Problem?

Experts are reporting that people with heart disease are dying at alarming rates due to cardiovascular diseases in Pakistan. It is reported that over 1,100 people were dying every day due to heart attacks in Pakistan. An ever-growing problem of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes contribute to this crisis. Lifestyle choices, smoking, and other activities only intensify the problem.

Where did these Experts Report the Data?

The information was shared at the CardioPrevent 2019, a daylong national conference on preventive cardiology organized by the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Karachi in collaboration with a local pharmaceutical company, Getz Pharma, in connection with World Heart Day 2019.

Preventive Actions Key

Top Pakistani cardiologists from around the country descended on this conference to emphasize the urgent importance of preventive cardiology to lower the burden of heart patients from the healthcare system, reported The International News.

NICVD & Getz Pharma MOU

Both the National Institute of Cardiovascular Health (NICVD) and the Pakistani multinational pharma company Getz Pharma signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support (and fund?) the promotion of preventive cardiology, from the promotion of healthy lifestyle to other measures as part of a joint collaborative effort.

NICVD Acknowledges Not Only Failure but Lack of Capability to Treat the Problem

NICVD Executive Director Professor Nadeem Qamar noted that the government agency is treating as many as possible via its main facility and satellite centers but they have failed to reduce the vast and growing numbers of cardiovascular patients—the people are not changing the lifestyle choices that increase the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, Professor Qamar noted, “the number of patients with heart disease is alarmingly on the rise, but we are not capable of treating all of them.” Only a nationwide collaborative effort embracing all segments and sectors to proactively outreach, educate and change behaviors can this crisis turn around. For example, vast amounts of smoking alone greatly contribute to the health care crisis.

Participating Experts

Various Pakistani experts showed up to present and discuss what can be done, including:

  • Professor Khawar Abbas Kazmi, department head of NICVD and eminent cardiologist
  • Dr. Fawad Farooq & Dr. Nabila Soomro (discuss the need for exercise in daily life to reduce abdominal obesity)
  • Professor Javaid Khan, renowned pulmonologist (spoke of banning tobacco in all forms)
  • Dr. Bashir Hanif, Aga Khan University Hospital
  • Dr. Fateh Ali Tipoo Sultan, Aga Khan University Hospital
  • Professor Abdus Samad
  • Professor Khalida Soomro
  • Khalid Mahmood, CEO, Getz Pharma

Call to Action: It is interesting there were no European, Asian or American biopharmaceutical or academic medical center participants at this conference. There is a lot of knowledge that could be shared from global research centers not to mention biopharmaceutical companies. Perhaps there is a way for Pakistan to seek additional help as this crisis appears to be getting away from the national authorities.