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  1. Saleem Z, Hassali MA, Godman B, Hashmi FK, Saleem F
    Am J Infect Control, 2018 Nov 22.
    PMID: 30471976 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2018.09.025
    BACKGROUND: Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are seen as a global public health threat, leading to increased mortality and morbidity as well as costs. However, little is currently known about the prevalence of HAIs in Pakistan. Consequently, this multicenter prevalence survey of HAIs was conducted to assess the prevalence of HAIs in Pakistan.

    METHODS: We used the methodology employed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to assess the prevalence of HAIs in Punjab Province, Pakistan. Data were collected from 13 hospitals using a structured data collection tool.

    RESULTS: Out of 1,553 hospitalized patients, 130 (8.4%) had symptoms of HAIs. The most common HAI was surgical site infection (40.0%), followed by bloodstream infection (21.5%), and lower respiratory tract infection (14.6%). The prevalence of HAI was higher in private sector hospitals (25.0%) and among neonates (23.8%) and patients admitted to intensive care units (33.3%). Patients without HAIs were admitted mainly to public sector hospitals and adult medical and surgical wards.

    CONCLUSIONS: The study found a high rate of HAIs among hospitals in Pakistan, especially surgical site infections, bloodstream infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. This needs to be addressed to reduce morbidity, mortality, and costs in the future, and further research is planned.

  2. Hashmi FK, Hassali MA, Khalid A, Saleem F, Aljadhey H, Babar ZUD, et al.
    BMC Health Serv Res, 2017 07 19;17(1):500.
    PMID: 28724411 DOI: 10.1186/s12913-017-2442-6
    BACKGROUND: In recent decades, community pharmacies reported a change of business model, whereby a shift from traditional services to the provision of extended roles was observed. However, such delivery of extended pharmacy services (EPS) is reported from the developed world, and there is scarcity of information from the developing nations. Within this context, the present study was aimed to explore knowledge, perception and attitude of community pharmacists (CPs) about EPS and their readiness and acceptance for practice change in the city of Lahore, Pakistan.

    METHODS: A qualitative approach was used to gain an in-depth knowledge of the issues. By using a semi-structured interview guide, 12 CPs practicing in the city of Lahore, Pakistan were conveniently selected. All interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and were then analyzed for thematic contents by the standard content analysis framework.

    RESULTS: Thematic content analysis yielded five major themes. (1) Familiarity with EPS, (2) current practice of EPS, (3) training needed to provide EPS, (4) acceptance of EPS and (5) barriers toward EPS. Majority of the CPs were unaware of EPS and only a handful had the concept of extended services. Although majority of our study respondents were unaware of pharmaceutical care, they were ready to accept practice change if provided with the required skills and training. Lack of personal knowledge, poor public awareness, inadequate physician-pharmacist collaboration and deprived salary structures were reported as barriers towards the provision of EPS at the practice settings.

    CONCLUSION: Although the study reported poor awareness towards EPS, the findings indicated a number of key themes that can be used in establishing the concept of EPS in Pakistan. Over all, CPs reported a positive attitude toward practice change provided to the support and facilitation of health and community based agencies in Pakistan.

  3. Asif U, Saleem Z, Yousaf M, Saeed H, Hashmi FK, Islam M, et al.
    Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract, 2018 Sep;22(3):177-183.
    PMID: 29082784 DOI: 10.1080/13651501.2017.1395055
    OBJECTIVE: The study was aimed to evaluate the gender specific response to adherence and occurrence of side effects among schizophrenic patients in Lahore, Pakistan.

    METHODS: A prospective study was performed for a period of 1 year among 180 newly diagnosed schizophrenics, aged 20-60 years to observe the symptoms, medication adherence and side effects. Morisky-Green-Levine Scale was used to evaluate medication adherence, LUNSER for side effects and PANSS to measure positive and negative symptoms. Data were analyzed using SPSS.

    RESULTS: Positive symptoms (Male: Baseline 36.14 vs. endpoint 23.58, Female: 35.29 vs. 23.74) and negative symptoms (Males 27.9 vs. 20.05, Females 28.41 vs. 20.2) of schizophrenia were equally reduced after a follow up of 1 year in both the genders. Male population suffered more accumulative side effects (11.4 in males vs. 6.40 in females), extrapyramidal symptoms such as tardive dyskinesia and tremors (1.21 in males vs. 0.57 in females) and other side effects as compared to women (p ≤ .005). Males were found poorly adherent to antipsychotic treatment than females (93.3% in males vs. 6.7% in females (p ≤ .005).

    CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing practices should not overlook sex specific factors like hormonal changes, altered brain morphology and socioeconomic factors that may be responsible for the difference in the response to the course of schizophrenia.

  4. Saleem Z, Hassali MA, Versporten A, Godman B, Hashmi FK, Goossens H, et al.
    PMID: 30755077 DOI: 10.1080/14787210.2019.1581063
    OBJECTIVES: In line with the recent global action plan for antimicrobial resistance, this is the first time such a comprehensive survey has been undertaken in Pakistan, sixth most populous country.

    METHODS: This point prevalence survey (PPS) was conducted in 13 hospitals among 7 different cities of Pakistan. The survey included all inpatients receiving an antibiotic on the day of PPS. A web-based application was used for data entry, validation, and reporting as designed by the University of Antwerp.

    RESULTS: Out of 1954 patients, 1516 (77.6%) were treated with antibiotics. The top three most reported indications for antibiotic use were prophylaxis for obstetrics or gynaecological indications (16.5%), gastrointestinal indications (12.6%) and lower respiratory tract infections (12.0%). The top three most commonly prescribed antibiotics were ceftriaxone (35.0%), metronidazole (16.0%) and ciprofloxacin (6.0%). Out of the total indications, 34.2% of antibiotics were prescribed for community-acquired infections (CAI), 5.9% for healthcare-associated infections (HAI), and 57.4% for either surgical or medical prophylaxis. Of the total surgical prophylaxis, 97.4% of antibiotics were given for more than one day.

    CONCLUSIONS: Study concluded that unnecessary prophylactic antibiotic use is extremely high, and broad-spectrum prescribing is common. There is a considerable need to work on a national action plan of Pakistan on antibiotic resistance.

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