My month trip to Pakistan has ended last week, shortly before attending our annual ICG retreat (23-24th May,2019) in Parin, Germany. On April 16, I took a flight from Hamburg, Germany to Islamabad, Pakistan. After landing at Islamabad airport, I took a cab from the airport and reached home, which is located in the northwest part of Pakistan. Next days, I flew from Peshawar to Karachi to visit our collaborative institute, National Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD). This was my first official visit for a week since our collaboration. I had a couple of meetings with Prof. Dr. Zahid Jamal and his team. I also presented my project and then we had a discussion on the complex molecular basis of many familial cardiac conditions, and the possibilities of routine gene testing in clinical practice. It was wonderful to meet with other clinicians at NICVD. I enjoyed speaking with them. I was very impressed that all cardiac health care facilities are free of cost there. In 2018, they have received more than 1,356,926 patients with heart problems, performing around 14,588 major surgeries. It is regarded one of world largest centre for primary angioplasties or heart attack angioplasties. The most interesting part of the visit was being able to visit our research patients and meet them at their homes. Aside from my work-related travels I also had a chance to visit Mohatta Palace, Port Grand and enjoyed Clifton sea view. Most especially, I am grateful to Dr. Asad Aslam for his hospitality and support in Karachi.
After spending a week in Karachi, I went to Faisalabad to visit our second collaborative group, Human Molecular Genetics Laboratory (HMGL), National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), headed by Prof. Shahid Mahmood Baig. On day first, we discussed our ongoing collaborative projects. Next day I left for Sargodha, Chiniot and surrounding areas with Dr. Tariq Khan to see individuals and families affected by inherited heart conditions or sudden cardiac death. I had also briefly presented my project to Dr. Abdul Razaq Mughal (Paediatric Cardiologist at Faisalabad Institute of Cardiology) who is working closely on familial cardiac cases with NIBGE.
After spending a few days there, I headed toward Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before ended my trip on 17th May 2019. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province of Pakistan inhibited by Pashtuns, having more scenic valleys and touristic havens. In nutshell, my visit to Pakistan was immensely beneficial and enjoyed all my scientific discussion, meetings with clinicians, food and sightseeing tours.
Everything went perfectly well. My overall impression is that a platform is always important that can connect researchers and treating physicians to better understand the diseases pathomechanism and to improve clinical outcome.