Islamabad: Riphah Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, in collaboration with the Pakistan Association of Lifestyle Medicine, held its first international hybrid conference from December 2-5 on the theme “Role of Lifestyle Medicine in Improving Immunity In the main auditorium of campus I-14, Riphah International University.
Over 300 in-person delegates and over 100 virtually attended the conference. Dr Faisal Sultan, special envoy to the prime minister, said behavior modification, mental health and environmental science should be integrated into the medical system to manage the burden of disease in hospitals. He shared his perspective through a video message during the conference’s inaugural ceremony.
The conference brought together the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments of various specialties from different universities in Islamabad and Lahore. In her welcome message, Dr Shagufta Feroz, founder of the Lifestyle Medicine movement in Pakistan, explained the importance of embracing Lifestyle Medicine in our healthcare and its global movement.
Chancellor Riphah International University Hassan Muhammad Khan placed emphasis on the teaching of lifestyle medicine at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. He also stressed the importance of collaboration with all universities teaching medicine and paramedical sciences to urgently establish this science.
Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, vice chancellor of the Academy of Health Services, said the change in people’s psyche will lead to a change in their lifestyle and offered to collaborate on the lifestyle medicine movement with Riphah University.
Guest of honor, Dr. Gen. Masood Ur Rehman Kiani, President of PANAH, highlighted the importance of lifestyle modification in preventive cardiology. British Lifestyle Medicine Society Rob Lawson expressed his perspective on the importance of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention and management of disease.
The main guest, the chairman of the Pakistan Medical Commission, Dr Arshad Taqi, recognized the need for preventive medicine in the form of lifestyle medicine and asked Riphah to develop a plan for proceed to a greater level. The pre-conference virtual workshops focused on the psychology of happiness and the lifestyle of young people. The three days of the conference featured 75 scientific papers for oral presentations and posters. 25 international and national speakers shared evidence-based research on the role of unhealthy lifestyles in contributing to mortality and morbidity, especially noncommunicable diseases.
The first review of the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine of Pakistan for Physicians and Allied Health Professionals was associated with this conference. Another highlight of the conference was that the Andrew Weil Center at the University of Arizona partnered with the Pakistan Association for Lifestyle Medicine and offered free environmental medicine certifications to registered delegates.