KARACHI: Sindh Provincial Minister for Health and Population Welfare Azra Fazal Pechuho on Saturday announced that the government will set up a Sindh Serology and DNA Forensic lab at the Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD).
She said this after laying down the foundation stone of the Girls Hostel at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK) held at the ICCBS Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium.
The Sindh government has approved an initial investment of Rs55 mn to fund the project of the girls’ hostel that will be constructed on around 20,000 square feet of land.
UoK Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, former federal minister for the Science and Technology Departement and ex-chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Professor Dr Attaur-Rahman, Memorial Trust Chairperson Dr Panjwani, Ms Nadira Panjwani, ICCBS Director Professor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary and ICCBS Professor Dr Farzana Shaheen also expressed their views in the ceremony.
Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho maintained that the Sindh health ministry had also recognised the Industrial Analytical Center of the H. E. J. Research Institute as one of the key drug testing laboratories for pharmaceutical products. She hoped that both of these projects will help the provincial government to implement law and order as well as, rules and regulations on a concrete scientific basis.
Talking about another project, the health minister said that she was also working closely with the scientists of the ICCBS towards the establishment of a new centre for regenerative medicine, which would help in translating the existing stem cell research into clinical applications. “This first-ever regenerative medicine centre in Pakistan will have a large Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for the large-scale production of stem cells for the treatment of burn patients,” she added.
To a question, the minister said that they continue to work towards increasing access to health care, improving the quality of health care services, and aligning our research institutions to the national health care needs. “We are working hard to continue major programmes initiated in one decade by the provincial government,” she said.
Talking about the excellence of the ICCBS, she said, “I am really impressed by the quality of research infrastructure and high level of expertise of the scientists at the ICCBS.”
Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan said that the University of Karachi had been a big challenge for him and his administration. He observed that the University required the active involvement of the Sindh government so that the pace of progress at this largest national institution could be accelerated. He said that last year as many as 17,000 research papers of scholars from the University were published in national and international journals.
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman informed the participants that he had recently met with the new prime minister (PM) of Pakistan. He said that he presented the PM various recommendations for the promotion of higher education in the country, with a particular focus on science and technology. He said like Singapore and China, Pakistan needs to focus on developing its human resources in key areas. He pointed out that the development of human recourses in China had become the single most important engine for its economic growth.
“Pakistan needs to focus its endeavours, largely establishing a strong knowledge-based economy so that the country can enter a new phase of development,” he suggested.