LAHORE/KARACHI: The former prime minister is expected to show signs of improvement in two to three days, said provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Thursday as doctors formally began Nawaz Sharif’s treatment after he was diagnosed with acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz expressed concerns over the deteriorating health of its party leader, requesting voters and supporters to pray for Nawaz’s quick recovery, especially after Friday prayers. On the other hand, the government claimed that Nawaz’s health was stable and out of danger, ruling out any need to fly him aboard.
According to the government, Nawaz was satisfied with his treatment and did not even once ask to be sent abroad.
“The government has flown in Dr Tariq Shami of the National Institute of Blood Disease, Karachi who has the most appropriate expertise regarding Nawaz’s ailment. He examined Nawaz, saw his reports and conducted tests to check whether his bone marrow was working properly or not,” said the provincial health minister. “If the test showed any signs of ill-functioning, we would have further gone for a PET scan and other relevant tests.”
She said as suspected earlier, Nawaz had an auto immune disorder also known as acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, adding that the auto immune disease could develop at any time in which the immune system antibodies destroy cells, which in this case were his platelets.
She said his treatment had started since Thursday morning after Dr Shami took his consent on the course of treatment. Subsequently he was given medication as per the prescription. “After a brief course of medication, he will be infused with platelets so the antibodies do not destroy platelets again,” she added. “We are continuing the treatment as per instructions of the doctors.”
She said on Thursday Dr Shami apprised Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar about Nawaz’s diagnoses and treatment plan, adding that Buzdar was also informed about Nawaz and his younger brother PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif giving their consent to the treatment plan.
She said they had requested Dr Shami to stay in Lahore for another two to three days, adding that Nawaz had multiple health issues; however, at the moment he was out of any danger and in stable condition.
“As per the report, his bone marrow was working properly meaning that his platelets were being made; however, antibodies were destroying his platelets which will be treated with medicine,” she said.
Regarding any need to fly Nawaz aboard, she said that his treatment was available in Pakistan and even Nawaz was satisfied with the course of treatment that doctors had proposed; however, they were free to send the report anywhere in the world for a second opinion.
Earlier in the day, PML-N Deputy General Secretary Atta Tarar said again Nawaz’s platelets had dropped precariously to 6,000. “The test and other reports have been sent abroad for a second opinion,” he added.
PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said the entire country was worried sick over Nawaz’s worsening health condition.
“The platelets in Nawaz’s blood have dropped to a critical level of 6,000,” said Iqbal, accusing the PTI government of constantly spreading disinformation about Nawaz’s health and continuing its blunders regarding his treatment.
He pointed out that top doctors had expressed dissatisfaction over Nawaz’s medical condition but after the rejection of the courts to provide any relief, Nawaz was left at the mercy of the vengeful PTI regime.
Ahsan said medicine and injections advised by the medical board in line with the medical investigations were being administered to the former PM.
Earlier, speaking to the media after a high-level meeting at the party president’s residence over Nawaz’s health and Azadi march, Iqbal said, “The government has shown its shallowness by forcing Maryam Nawaz to return to jail at midnight.”
PML-N’s Khawaja Asif said, “The schedule of Azadi march has not changed.”
He said Nawaz had given his full support for the march.
He vowed that the PML-N would continue fighting their case in the court of masses as well as the court of law.