MUZAFFARABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Thursday highlighted the formulation of an effective strategy to benefit from the valuable human resource of the country’s doctors by promoting preventive medical treatment over the conventional curative method.
In his address to the convening of Muzaffarabad Medical College, he said doctors and health practitioners could play an important role in solving several neglected areas of health care, where awareness could make a difference.
He mentioned the challenges of overcrowding, female malnutrition, child stunting and obesity, and highlighted the active involvement of doctors to guide the population on preventive measures.
He expressed concern that about 10% of the country’s population suffered from hepatitis with an estimated cost of $3 billion to be incurred for treatment.
With preventive measures, he said, the number of patients could be significantly reduced.
The President also called for the development of a comprehensive policy to ensure maximum integration of female health professionals to meet growing health care needs.
He regretted that a large number of female doctors in the country quit their jobs after marriage and called it a great waste of national resources.
However, he stressed that it was not enough to simply encourage female physicians to pursue their profession and that a practical strategy was needed.
He suggested promoting the concept of telemedicine and medical consultation through virtual technology to ensure the continuity of female doctors in their profession, who usually quit their job to fulfill domestic responsibilities.
He mentioned that the country urgently needs 0.9 million nurses, compared to the current number of 0.2 million to meet the healthcare challenges.
The president urged medical graduates to keep the passion for humanity and compassion alive while pursuing their careers as doctors.
He stressed the importance of character building for young people in addition to their formal vocational training.
He advised medical graduates to regard their profession as a sacred mission and to repay their homeland in the form of aid to humanity. The medical profession was incomplete without caring about humanity, he added.
The President assured his full support for the request for the establishment of a University of Health Sciences and Medicine in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K).
He said Pakistan will always support Kashmiris and has constantly reminded the world of the broken promise made to the people of Kashmir.
He mentioned that Pakistan in the recent meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation also highlighted the plight of Kashmiris in illegally Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).
He said Muslims in India faced denial of basic human rights and mentioned a Genocide Watch report that minorities faced severe hatred as the government tried to change the demographics of the valley.
The President commended the successful graduates, teachers and parents for their immense efforts, saying strong family system of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir was the beauty of their society which kept the Diaspora linked to their homeland.