Pakistan’s ailing ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s health improves

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Lahore: Pakistan’s ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s health on Wednesday showed signs of improvement as his platelet count stabilised and blood pressure reported normal, according to a medical board.

Sharif, 69, was admitted to the Services Hospital on Monday night from Pakistan’s anti-graft body’s custody after his platelets dropped to a critical low level of 2,000.

A court on Tuesday suspended his sentence for eight weeks in a corruption case, paving way for his release on bail as his condition deteriorated after the drastic drop in his blood platelet count.

“The condition of Nawaz Sharif improved today. His platelet count stabilised. It increased from 28,000 to 35,000,” Services Hospital Principal Dr Mahmood Ayaz, who is heading the 10-member medical board, told reporters.

“Sharif’s blood pressure is under control and he had a dental treatment today and he also walked. We are positive that his condition will improve with the passage of time,” he said, adding the doctors are treating complications related to the patient’s heart, kidney, low platelet among others.

Sharif was shifted to the hospital from the anti-graft body’s custody some 10 days ago after his personal physician Dr Adnan Khan raised an alarm that former premier’s condition was serious as his platelet count dropped to a critically low level.

Initially, Sharif was reluctant to go to hospital. However, he agreed to get treated at the Services Hospital when his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif persuaded him.

During his treatment, the medical board treating Sharif said the patient has lost some eight kgs of weight during his week-long treatment.

Earlier, Dr Adnan said Sharif’s condition was “very serious” and he was fighting the battle for his health and life.

“(Doctors) are in a paradoxical catch-22 situation regarding establishing a definitive diagnosis. Subsequent management poses considerable risk to his fragile and unstable health.

“Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) and NSTEMI (heart attack) is further complicated by deteriorating kidney functions. Poor blood sugar and blood pressure control is taking its toll,” Dr Khan said.

After Tuesday’s bail, Nawaz Sharif is now a free man as he had already secured bail in the money laundering case of Chaudhry Sugar Mills from the Lahore High Court.

Regarding shifting him to London for better treatment, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal said that the first and foremost effort of doctors is to stabilise his condition and “once his condition is stabilised, the question of his going abroad will arise and be decided”.

Another PML-N leader and former foreign minister Khwaja Asif said Sharif will decide on his own whether he wants to be treated abroad or not.

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