Heart Surgery in Pakistan: An Interview with Abdul Qadeer Khan



Editor’s Note:

This is part 1 of an introduction from Abdul Qadeer Khan, and his experiences as a perfusionist in Pakistan.  It is a very nice, well written letter and I want to thank you personally Mr. Khan, for you kindness and the time you took to share this with the rest of us 🙂


Abdul Qadeer Khan

It would be a pleasure and honor for me to be interviewed by your reputable website.

Firstly I would rightfully express my happiness and gratitude for your commendable efforts in managing such a website, uniting people related to our profession all over the world.

Now here’s a brief introduction about who I am.

My name is Abdul Qadeer Khan ( and I’m not a …….. J ). On 13th March 1975 I was born in Hyderabad, a historical city of Pakistan. I received education from my native town and, in 1994 I came to Karachi and got my training as Scrub Nurse and remained affiliated with various hospitals including Civil Hospital Karachi.

As you are aware of the fact that Pakistan being a third world country is in stage of striving to make itself stand among the developed nations of the world. We are lacking in resources. Therefore when a society named FRIENDS OF CARDIAC SURGERY decided to open a facility in Civil Hospital Karachi, that was to be the first one in Pakistan to provide Free of Cost Cardiac Surgery, I became a part of it. There is a long story of hard work and perseverance after that. I worked in all departments including administration in this ward, right from the initial days. In the meanwhile, I did a 6 months training course in cardiac bypass perfusion at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and started working in this capacity in the department of Cardiac Surgery at CHK. Here at our department we do procedures like CABG, valvular replacements, ASD closures etc. I am also involved and responsible for IABP, and post operative management of surgical patients with the surgeon. Till date I am proudly associated with the same department as Chief Cardiac Perfusionist. My duties also involve day to day management related to perfusion, and matters related to ward. I am also working as Executive officer in Friends of Cardiac Surgery.

Later, with the help and collaboration of senior and junior colleagues, the first ever platform came into existence over which perfusionists of Pakistan could gather, namely Pakistan Society of Clinical Perfusionists, and I am proud to say that I was a part of it.

The society has worked greatly for the progress and development of this field in Pakistan. The biggest milestone that it has achieved in my opinion is that Bachelor degree programs in perfusion sciences have been started at various universities now.

Later in 2010, I became affiliated with Indus Hospital Karachi, as a cardiac Perfusionist. This hospital is yet another facility giving free of cost services in all sort of medical fields. Currently I’m working in various hospitals as independent perfusion manager.

In all these years I’ve worked for the development of cardiac surgery in Pakistan and especially in terms of education in the various related fields. I have been associated with giving training in perfusion at Civil Hospital Karachi which is affiliated with Dow University of Health Sciences and also at Ziauddin Medical University. I am currently working with the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Sindh, as a manager for Cardiac Services and also helping them to improve their hospital setup.

One of my great desires is that I want to design a platform where work can be done to bring all kinds of advancement in field of development of hospitals in terms of Architecture, Technical facilities, Data Management, Teaching and Training of hospital personnel etc. I want to devise it on the basis of international guidelines and start it from Sindh and later involve all of the country. Recently as a first step to gain information to implement my plan I’ve started attending various national and International conferences. Regarding my plan I have contacted Dr Thomas Pazella, a cardiothoracic surgeon involved in International Children Cardiac Fund to start a program named C.H.I.P.S ( Cardiac Health Improvement Program in Sindh), in Pakistan.

I’ve been associated with various research projects relating to cardiac surgery and have been helped greatly by my mentors Dr. Abdul Bari Khan, Dr.Raheel Hussain, Mr. Parvaiz and especially by Dr. Mudassir Iqbal Dar.

Other than this I’m a member of AmSECT and International Cardiac Perfusionist Association,USA.

In the end, I would say that people I know like Brayn Lich, Layana Ibesis, Carla, Ali Boroujerdi, yourself and many more have always been very helpful to me. Through this platform I would like to tell more people about the development projects I wish to start in my country, especially C.H.I.P.S and the one I would be starting at GIMS. I would like to propagate my message, share my ideas, request for help that I need from international community in terms of any informative document or fund. We don’t have many ECMO trained people here in Pakistan. We are not doing advanced cardiac surgeries or cardiac transplant here. This was to name few of the many issues that we are facing here. I would be more than glad to share my experiences of life and work with all my friends and colleagues out there, through the platform of your website.

Thanks again for the honor.