KARACHI: Health experts at a seminar said that osteoporosis is a disease of older age but starts since childhood, and to avoid this disease, kids must be provided with a good dose of calcium and vitamin D, while use of black cold drink should be avoided.
“A glass of milk, meat, 20-minute sun bath and physical exercise in daily life can be very useful to keep away from osteoporosis, they said while delivering presentations and later talking to journalists during a seminar held at a local hotel. The seminar was organized by Pakistan Orthopedics Association (POA) and Pakistan Society of Rheumatology in connection with the World Osteoporosis Day. Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui was chief guest, while activist of Tehreek-e-Niswaan and Classical Dancer Sheema Kirmani, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Khushbakht Shujat were guests of honors.
Health experts included President POA and Head Orthopedic Department Dow University of Health Science Prof Dr Parwez Anjum, Dr Saliha Ishaq from Agha Khan University Hospital, Dr Masood Umer, Dr Shahid Noor of Liaquat National Hospital, Consultant Dr Mohammad Saeed, Dr Inayatullah Jokhio, Dr Intekhab Taufeeq and Dr Mehfooz Alam.
Experts said that calcium and vitamin D taken during childhood could remain in body till older age, so, newborn should be exclusively feed by mothers, as one glass of milk and vitamin D is very helpful for kids to grow healthy. “Kids should be given balanced diet with increased use of vegetables. Use of soup and water is very helpful. Physical activity under sunlight could fulfil need of vitamin D. Kids should be encouraged to run and play in grounds which will help to make their bones strong, the emphasized.”
Doctors said that in cities, people usually don’t get sun exposure and remain indoors. Kids are also kept at homes and not allowed to even play outside in grounds or streets due to poor law and order situation. Everyone should get at least 20-minute sun exposure as a daily routine. People should go for a walk in early morning or before sunset, they advised.
Health experts lamented that black colored cold drinks are available in all canteens of educational institutions including colleges and schools which should be replaced with fresh milk and juices. Use of black cold drink should be avoided as it destroys minerals in bones. Food should be fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Bones pain with unexplained reasons should not be ignored and a doctors be consulted as diseases like osteoporosis are difficult to diagnose. Patients should go immediately to a concerned doctor on initial symptoms, they added.
Experts were of the view that osteoporosis is not a disease of women alone but equally affects men as well after age of 50 years.
Responding to questions of audience and journalists, doctors said that diagnosis facilities of osteoporosis is hardly available in one or two government facilities which should be extended to all government hospitals to reduce burden of this disease. Government hospitals have robotic surgery machines worth of billions of rupees while such diagnosis facilities are not provided on other hand.
Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Sidiqi assured support of government to tackle this issue and said that he himself would take more steps to ensure provision of milk and meat to citizens on cheaper and affordable rates. Government will also implement and take actions according to recommendations of experts attending this seminar, he added.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement MNA Khushbakht Shujat also underlined the need to create awareness among general public ,specially in underprivileged or low income areas and slums, where females are totally unaware about these diseases. Such programs should be organized in such areas and dramas and documentaries should be screened there. Health education should be imparted to kids at college and schools levels and should be part of curriculum.
Another speaker Sheema Kirmani, a classical dancer, and activist of Tehreek-e-Niswaan, said that such diseases are directly linked to poverty as it is very difficult to offer one glass of milk and meat to children everyday. I will request all parents to ensure equality and equity to all of their kids. I will also produce dramas on such topics, she concluded.
Guests were presented shields in the closing ceremony of the seminar.
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