No public awareness in Pakistan of a disease that afflicts over 6.3m globally

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KARACHI – The World Parkinson’s Day would be globally observed on Monday (today) to highlight the importance and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that has afflicted over 6.3 million people around the world.
A study conducted by the University of Rochester predicts that the number of people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease would double by 2030. However, there is no public awareness regarding the disease in Pakistan.
The Sindh Health Department has not organised any programmes to spread awareness among the masses regarding the disease.
However, the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) is organising a seminar titled ‘Parkinson’s disease and its management’ on Tuesday (tomorrow) to highlight the steps that need to be taken for managing the disease.
AKUH Consultant Neurologist and Section Head of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Dr Saad Shafqat; and Pakistan Parkinson’s Society Chairman Haroon Basheer among others would address the seminar.
“No proper cure has been discovered for complete recovery of the patients from this disease, but some medicines, therapies and their families’ care can make the life of the patients easy,” said Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed.
Ahmed said that many elderly people are victims of this disease, and in Pakistan, public awareness needs to be created on a massive scale to diagnose and cure Parkinson’s.
“The primary symptoms include trembling hands, arms, jaw, legs, and twitching in some parts of the face, which could make it difficult for the patients to talk and eat. Firmness of the limbs and postural instability are also a great concern. The media should play its role in highlighting these symptoms and asking the patients’ families to take care of them,” he added.
The minister said that the chronic disease could also cause neurological disorder, due to which the patients, mostly the elderly people, could be harsh in their behaviour. “A morning walk and odd works could also help reduce the effects of this disease on the patients,” he added.