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 THANKS TO CAMILLE AND TO MAHMOOD ZIA

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MessageSujet: THANKS TO CAMILLE AND TO MAHMOOD ZIA   Ven 7 Nov 2008 - 22:27

Around the World - Khalid Zia, Pakistan
by Debbie Marshall

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Khalid Zia, PakistanKhalid Zia has done so much for myasthenics in his home country of Pakistan, as well as around the world, that it’s hard to know where to start. From hurrying to the remote areas affected by Pakistan’s recent earthquake to providing Mestinon to a desperate patient in Africa, Khalid is always finding ways to aid those with MG.

Diagnosed with generalized MG when he was 24, Khalid then gave up his career as an engineer and devoted his life to helping other myasthenics in Pakistan and eventually the world.

Khalid, now 41, soon established the Pakistan Myasthenic Welfare OrganizationPakistan Myasthenic Welfare Organization www.myastheniagravispk.com. “I really enjoy to do work for the betterment of ailing humanity suffering in MG,” he says. “For this purpose I have established the PMWO. My organization is dedicated to provide free treatment to poor and indigent myasthenics in Pakistan and I am also trying to provide help to MG patients around the world.”

The PMWO has a myasthenic drug bank for free provision of medicines to poor patients. It also provides free plasmapheresis services (3,800 to date) to hospitals in the region around Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan where Khalid lives. About 7,000 MG patients have been diagnosed and treated.

In addition, the PMWO has done more than 8,000 EMGs and SFEMGs as well as nerve conduction studies at the Myasthenic Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Islamabad. Neurologists all over Pakistan refer MG patients to the PMWO, a non-government organization that is renowned for the diagnosis and treatment of MG.

Due to his outstanding work in the field of diagnosis and treatment of myasthenia gravis, Khalid received the Commonwealth Youth Asia Award for Excellence in Youth Work and Development in 1998.

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 countries. Its 1.8 billion citizens, about 30 percent of the world's population, are drawn from the broadest range of faiths, races, cultures and traditions. (For more information, visit www.thecommonwealth.org )

“I had generalized MG condition with difficulty in chewing and swallowing,” Khalid says. “Easy fatigability in walking and could not take steps upstairs.” He used Mestinon and prednisolone in small doses, then had a thymectomy in May 1989.

“After the thymectomy my MG condition much improved and I spent a few years without medicines and in complete remission,” Khalid says. MG symptoms returned in 1994 and were controlled with steroids and Mestinon.

He experienced another exacerbation last September, but quickly went into remission. That didn’t last long, because he responded immediately when a devastating earthquake hit Pakistan in October.

“I need to do a lot of work to manage the earthquake victims with crush injuries with mobile plasmapheresis to save them from the amputations,” Khalid says. “This difficult task completed with zeal and courage, but my MG condition again worst.”

Now his MG symptoms of drooping eyelids, double vision, limb weakness, difficulty walking and easy fatigability are well controlled with 20 mg prednisolone (a steroid in the same class as prednisone) on alternate days and 60 mg pyridostigmine (generic Mestinon) four times a day.

“I am using all my energies to develop this charity work for the myasthenics,” Khalid says of the PMWO. His organization, of which he is secretary general, has done a tremendous job of creating awareness about MG in Pakistan through publications, TV interviews and visits to medical colleges.

In big cities where neurologists are based there is no difficulty in getting a quick diagnosis, Khalid says, but in remote areas speedy identification of the problem is not assured.

Once referred to the PMWO, a patient can receive comprehensive treatment including medicines, plasmapheresis and thymectomy. IVIG also is considered in clinical management of some critical MG cases.

PMWO helps poor patients with the cooperation of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, a prominent 650-bed hospital in Islamabad.

Khalid and his wife, Kalsoom, have two daughters, Javeria Khalid, 10, and Noor Fatima, 2. The proud father reports that Javeria is a “very intelligent” fifth-grader.

Khalid suggests that positive thinking and doing some positive work for the care and welfare of others can help myasthenics improve. “We should join hands toward the cause anywhere in the world,” he says.

MG Around the World is a regular feature of the MGnet Connect Newsletter. We feature a person with MG each issue, traveling all over the globe via e-mail to interview him or her. If you know someone who would make a good subject, please contact Kathleen Knorr, irishkathleen2@yahoo.com .

© Debbie Marshall

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