Design: Ibrahim Yahya

'Clinical trials discover treatment of infectious diseases'

AKU hosts media roundtable discussion on 'Covid-19 and the Significance of Clinical Trials'

Our Correspondent September 17, 2023

Professor Dr Faisal Mehmood, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Aga Khan University, emphasised the challenges inherent in conducting clinical trials, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). He was speaking during a media roundtable discussion titled "Covid-19 and the Significance of Clinical Trials."

Dr. Mehmood highlighted the specific hurdles faced in LMICs, with a particular focus on Pakistan. He underscored the pivotal role of clinical trials in advancing medical progress by validating and developing new treatments, therapies, and healthcare practices.

Dr. Sadia Asim, the Director of the Clinical Trials Site and CRO at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), elaborated on the ethical and regulatory dimensions of clinical trials. She stressed that clinical trials in Pakistan adhere to the guidelines set by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to protect human rights during the research process.

Dr Saima Saeed, a Consultant Pulmonologist and Director of Lungs Health at Indus Hospital and Health Network highlighted the essential nature of clinical trials in healthcare. She emphasised that systematic and ethical research has been instrumental in developing medications like antibiotics, saving countless lives from infections. Dr Saeed also cited the example of clinical trials in discovering effective treatments for tuberculosis and their potential to reduce COVID-19 symptoms in hospitalised individuals.

Dr. Muniba A Syed, the Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Sindh Infectious Diseases Hospital and Research Centre, DUHS, further elucidated the steps involved in clinical trials. She described clinical trials as research that examines new tests, treatments, and methods, evaluating their safety and efficacy in improving human health.


Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2023.


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