Published On: Sun, Mar 23rd, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

Experts seek easy access to pain management drugs

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ISLAMABAD: Highlighting the alarming absence of acute and chronic pain management facilities in the country, experts sought an easy and prompt access to controlled analgesics, pain management drugs and urged the establishment of acute pain management services at all public and private hospitals.

They were addressing the first international pain conference organized by Shifa International Hospital (SIH).

Conference was attended by a number of anaesthesiologists, pain management consultants, doctors and medical faculty from across the region. Leading Anaesthesiologist and Pain Management Expert at Nottingham University Hospital UK Dr. Syed Zaki Hussain was the chief guest of the conference.

Director Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Consultant Anaesthesiologist SIH Prof. Brig. (Retd) Muhammad Zameer said morphine and other narcotics had a very crucial role in chronic — cancer pain — and acute pain — post-operative (post-op) pain and labour pain. He said access to controlled analgesics was now too hard for even hospitals and medical institutions. Millions of operations are performed every day but acute post-op pain remains widely untreated, he said.

Prof. Zameer said that the situation was even gloomier in chronic pain management. Quoting the 2009 study of World Health Organization, he underlined that eighty percent of world population was inadequately treated for moderate to severe pain. Five billion people live in the countries which have minimal or no access to controlled analgesics. “Given this enormous worldwide burden, pain represents a major global health concern, he said.” Yet pain management is neglected by the governments and international development organizations, he lamented.

Prof. Zameer further said that acute, chronic and cancer pain collectively indicated unreported and silent dimension of adult and paediatric morbidity and mortality. In 2010, he stated, 42 million grams of morphine was legally used worldwide, 78 percent of which went to six countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and USA while only 22 percent was consumed in the rest of the world. He stressed to streamline the process of an easy, prompt and uninterrupted access to morphine and other controlled analgesics especially to hospitals and medical institutions for admitted patients and cancer patients. Government should keep a check on misuse of morphine but it should be made available to the patients, he stated. This would decrease healthcare cost in the country, he added.

Dr. Syed Zaki Hussain highlighting the benefits of ozone therapy in pain management urged Pakistanis to explore ways to introduce ozone therapy in the country. He said ozone, a very powerful sterilant to kill bacteria and odors, could be used for pain relief. Although the number of people treated with ozone were small, the results were hundred percent, he stated.

Dr. Matloob Ashraf Shajar, Clinical Director Surgical ICU and Consultant Pain Specialist SIH, who organized the conference, said that Shifa has launched regular pain management program in the region. Patients with acute and chronic pain would be treated in inpatient areas in this program. We will enhance our support to the community and other institutions for capacity building in the future, he added.

Head of Anaesthesia Department at CMH Rawalpindi Maj. Gen. Dr. Amjad Iqbal said that College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan has approved FCPS in pain management as subspecialty of anaesthesia. The program would be introduced after formal notification, he added. He termed it a big breakthrough in developing this very important area in Pakistan.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);