ISLAMABAD, Sep 24 (APP):President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said to address the country’s high burden of diseases, the health researchers need to focus more on preventive healthcare instead of curative system.
Addressing at the inaugural session of first Annual Health and Research Conference organized by Pakistan Health Research Council here, the President said prevention of a disease could cost much low as compared to the medical treatment.
President Dr Alvi said after four-decades-long service in the field of health as a dentist, he had the firm belief that health mechanism could not cater to the on-ground requirements if lacked research component.
“Making evidence-based policies through health research is important to combat the challenges of health sector,” he said.
President Alvi mentioned that since his first Masters thesis done in 1975 in Michigan, USA and as a Dean of the Faculty of Orthodontics of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, he always championed the need of research for the medical graduates.
Emphasizing on the need for applied research, he said the research conducted in ‘ivory towers’ was of no benefit to the country due to the academic pursuit disconnected from the practical concerns.
He said the copyright restrictions were limiting the transfer of research knowledge from developed countries and added that open source lectures could be a great investment in medical education for the developing countries including Pakistan.
Dr Alvi stressed that 90 percent of general diseases could be prevented from proper brushing of teeth and also by washing hands. He also mentioned that avoiding Gutka and Paan could prevent developing of mouth cancers.
The President said Pakistan stood committed to the global fraternity to honour the pledges made a better health of humanity in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr Alvi assured Minister for National Health Services and Regulations Amir Mehmood Kiyani of working along with him to bring improvement in health services and suggested him to collaborate with the Information Minister to allocate five percent compulsory air time for public health messages.
He mentioned that drug addiction and stunted growth were two major health-related issues that needed to be addressed on priority to save the country’s future generations.
Health Minister Amir Mehmood Kiyani said it was encouraging that Pakistan Health Research Council was supporting a culture of scholarly discussion, generation of indigenous scientific knowledge and sharing of skills by way of organizing the Conference.
He regretted that only 0.6 percent of the national budget was allocated for health and said devolution of this subject to provinces after the 18th amendment had also made things difficult.
CEO Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospitals Dr Faisal Sultan gave a presentation on infectious diseases and the integrated approach. He also called the need for addressing maternal and infant mortality rate, and controlling the specific epidemics including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.
Earlier, Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Regulations Capt (retd) Zahid Saeed in his welcome address gave salient features of the Conference.