Islamabad - The Society for Treatment and Study of Pain (STSP) Pakistan has taken up the challenge to fight to reduce human suffering due to pain that is the prime duty of the medical profession.

A three-day conference of pain management doctors kicked off on Friday that is bringing together world’s leading practitioners engaged in this new medical discipline. Held from 13 to 15 February 2015, the conference theme is “Evidence Based Strategies for Pain Management”.

The conference titled “PAINCON 2015”, is the first of its kind in Pakistan, and is being participated by leading national and international faculty to deliver in hands-on workshops and a comprehensive program of scientific lectures.

Pain management is a relatively new discipline of medicine. In this field it is important that doctors are listening to patients’ “stories”. Their feelings, habits, fears, beliefs and concerns can play a role in illness or injury and are scientifically proved to affect the perception of pain and treatment outcomes, explained, Dr Asif Kayani, President, STSP-Pakistan.

Treating chronic (long-lasting) pain is a special skill that requires a different approach from acute pain. It may need to be managed in specialised pain clinics, of which there is only one now in Rawalpindi, and more are expected to come up soon in other cities, he added.

The pain management discipline emphasizes to treat the specific site of pain by blocking the nerves instead of treating the whole body with painkillers that has side effects. And, using this technique painless deliveries have been taking place and cancer patients are eased from chronic pain, said Dr Kayani.

Welcoming the participants of the conference, Dr Asif Gul Kayani emphasised that the Society has been organising regular national level Pain Medicine conferences, symposia and workshops during last two decades. This perpetual effort is now paying its dividends in the form of awareness amongst doctors, students, nurses, hospital administrators, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and general public.

Prof Amjad Iqbal, Convener of the conference, while welcoming participants to Islamabad, the seat of ancient Gandhara Civilization, highlighted that in the education and training of pain management in Pakistan there were two major qualifications now available for the training of doctors. A distant learning MSc degree is being awarded by Riphah International University Islamabad since 2005, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP) have approved Pain Medicine Fellowship Program since July 2014.

Participants of the inaugural day discussed ways and means to improve the existing educational and training activities with the contemporary evidence based concepts in order to provide a sound scientific basis for the rapidly upcoming discipline of Pain Medicine in Pakistan. Participants from Pakistan and abroad agreed that PAINCON 2015 will go a long way to achieve this objective through the participation of leading national and international faculty in hands-on workshops and a comprehensive scientific program based on the conference theme “Evidence Based Strategies for Pain Management”.

After a robust first day filled with four concurrent hands on skill building workshops, the next two days 14 and 15 February, will comprise of around 60 high quality lectures and plenary discussions. Prof Amjad Iqbal hoped that this event would be a major Continued Medical Education activity in this rapidly upcoming South Asian region for all those physicians who are genuinely excited about the concept of Pain Medicine and are committed to adopt it as career.