Effective strategy needed to save the lives of the children – Experts

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Effective strategy needed to save the lives of the children – Experts

Pakistan is third among five countries including India, Nigeria, Congo and China that accounts almost half of deaths of under-five children worldwide. Respiratory Infections, Diarrhea, Neonatal causes, Vaccine preventable disease and Malnutrition are the major causes of mortality among children. Effective strategy is needed to save the lives of children. These views were expressed by Experts at a Symposium titled ‘Health 4 Kidz’ organized by Abbott Laboratories’ Paediatric Advisory Group in collaboration with Paediatric Research Academy at a hotel in Karachi. The Speakers includes Dr. Muhammad Arif Mateen Khan, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Salat, Dr. Tahir Ali and Dr. Shehnaz Ibrahim of Aga Khan University Hospital, Prof. Samina Shamim Abbas of Liaquat National Hospital Karachi and Dr. Ali Asghar Lanewala of SIUT.

Dr. M. Arif Mateen Khan, HoD & Associate Professor, Department of Paediatric Surgery, AKU speaking on Pain Management in Children said that Pain is a subjective experience which is probably the most bewildering and frightening experience kids face.  Pain in children should always be managed and may not be necessary to give your child medication to relieve their pain.

He further informed that opioid and non-opioid medicines are used to treat mild to moderate, moderate to severe pain, but these medicines should only be given to children under a doctor’s instructions. One of the most essential missions of health care providers should be the relief of pain and suffering.

Dr. Muhammad Sohail Salat, Associate Professor of Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, AKU spoke on Mortality in Children. He said that in Pakistan the number of deaths of children under 5-years of age children was 86.50 in 2010. According to Lancet a total of 424,377 under-five deaths occurred in 2010. Pakistan is third among five countries including India, Nigeria, Congo and China that accounted almost half of deaths in children under five worldwide and contributed to half of deaths from infections. Death of infant mortality rate is 61.27 deaths per 1,000 live births which includes 64.51 males and 57.88 deaths per life births.

He said that estimate shows that there were 8.795 million deaths in children worldwide in 2008, 68% from infectious diseases, 18% from pneumonia, 15% from diarrhea and 8% from Malaria. 41% of deaths occurred in neonates and the most important single causes were Preterm birth complications 12%, Birth asphyxia 9%, Sepsis 6%, Pneumonia 4%. 49% of child deaths occurred in five countries which include India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Respiratory infections, Diarrhea, Neonatal causes, Vaccine preventable conditions and Malnutrition are the major causes of mortality. Children of Pakistan are more vulnerable and under 1-year of age children are under greatest risk, therefore is need effective strategies to save the lives of the children.

Pakistan is a country of high morbidity and mortality of children. Prevention is a better strategy to save the lives of many children and Immunization is the cornerstone which is easy, economical, effective, safe and achievable.

Dr. Tahir Ali of AKU speaking on Primary Care Management of Acute Respiratory Infections in Children informed that ARIs are the most common causes of illness in children. Children under the age of 5 years suffer 3-6 episodes of ARI per year regardless of their economic situation. The proportion of mild to severe disease varies between high and low income countries. WHO estimate 2 million deaths occurs in Africa and Southeast Asia.  ARI represents the most frequent infections in children. It is easy to manage if the paediatricians are equipped with basic knowledge and clinical skills. Vaccines reduce the ARI related morbidity and mortality in children.

Dr. Shehnaz Ibrahim, Professor of Neurology, Aga Khan University Hospital delivered a lecture on Epilepsy. In the end, Dr. Sarmad Maqbool, Director Marketing, Abbott Laboratories Pakistan offered vote of thanks.

The lectures were followed by Interactive Workshops on Developmental Milestone Red Flags delivered by Prof. Samina Shamim Abbas, HOD Pediatrics, Liaquat National Hospital Karachi. The Second Workshop on Domestic Injuries and Poisonings- How to educate the parents was delivered by Prof. Arif Mateen and third Workshop on Nephrotic Syndrome-Early Diagnosis and Recognition in Primary Care Setting was delivered by Dr. Ali Asghar Lanewala, Associate Professor and HOD Pediatric Nephrology, SIUT.