Minister Baligh ur Rehman attends Joint Pakistan US Workshop on strengthening and sustaining a Network of Public and Animal Health Clinical Laboratories in Pakistan

Islamabad, September 27, 2016 (PPI-OT):I am highly appreciative of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences for inviting me to attend this important event, said the State Minister. I also appreciate the vision of the Academy for addressing the issues of great national importance. As well all now, this event is related to the Health Issue. We know that many of the infectious diseases are critical in nature. The recent emergence of Congo virus is a salient example in this regard. It is gratifying to note that agenda of the Workshop covers a wide range of very important topics relating to safety and security of the clinical labs-both for humans and animals.

Minister of State said that there are concerns about the misuse of biological research and the concerned labs. Hence, there are calls for education, engagement and awareness about bio safety and bio security at international forums. The present situation, coupled with recent advancements in the Life Sciences, has placed today’s scientists in a position similar to that of the Atomic Physicists of the early 19th century. The research carried out in various areas of Life Sciences, and in Biotechnology in particular, can have profound impacts on generations to come. Thus, countries have to think above their security challenges and move together to cope with these issues, emphasized the Minister.

No matter how much we can do by ourselves on the national level, whether it is research of development, it is never enough. Do more in the spirit of true cooperation, we in this region of the world, need to nurture a society that is responsible in its conduct and is well aware about the recent trends in Life Sciences, stated the Minister.

We understand that it is an opportune time to renew contacts and discuss problems of mutual interest with delegates from a technologically advanced country. I expect that this workshop would augment our efforts to strengthen and sustain clinical laboratories in Pakistan through enhanced cooperation and coordination between the US and Pakistani experts, said the Minister.

It would also provide an opportunity to share knowledge on challenges affecting laboratory performance and to seek ideas for providing sustainable laboratory network systems and training of the scientists and clinicians in the country. Minister of State said that we at MOFEPT are striving to cope up with the challenges in education and striving for a sound synergetic interaction among all the stakeholders.

It is inspiring that the Pakistani scientists have identified novel genes for skin, deafness, intellectual disability and Primary Microcephaly, etc. The research from these laboratories is published in high impact journals around the world. These findings are helping in disease prevention, early disease risk assessment, accurate early the diseases effectively. With the growing fear of pandemic and epidemic infectious diseases, scientists are using biotechnology to develop new diagnostic tools for rapid and sensitive detection of pathogens. Biotechnology is also used extensively in the study of emerging infectious diseases.

At the end, I assure you full support and all our help to see Pakistani’s laboratories becoming more effective in a safe and secure manner. I wish to see their responsible conduct and doing their business by practicing sound ethical principles. Ceremony was attended by Dr. Anwar Nasim (President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences), Dr. Dave Franz from US National Academy of Sciences, Dr Zabta Shinwari and eminent experts from USA and Pakistan.

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