Experts, students converge on PDA’s dental congress

The event featured lectures and workshops and a trade fair consisting of 180 stalls.


Our Correspondent March 24, 2012

KARACHI: The inaugural ceremony of the Pakistan Dental Association’s (PDA) 10th International & 30th National Dental Congress took place at the Expo Centre on Friday, which brought together dentists from all parts of the country and abroad. The congress is jointly organised by Sindh and Karachi chapters of the PDA.

Dr Wasif Altaf, a dental surgeon from Lahore, said that he used to perform basic dental procedures while he practiced in the Mazang area, but he gets bleaching requests on weekly basis now that he’s moved to the posh locality of Garden Town.

Experts at the event said that dentistry is a lucrative profession in Pakistan, but doctors and dentists who are employed by the government would not agree with that assertion. Dr Omair Sheikh, who is a member of the faculty of dental surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and an assistant professor at Jinnah Medical and Dental College (JMDC), said that chances for dental surgeons working for the government to be promoted or being able to pursue further education were fairly limited.

“Perhaps that is why our government lags behind in providing awareness about oral hygiene to a greater part of the population,” said Ramla, who is a third year student at Baqai Medical College.

President of PDA’s Sindh chapter, and patron of the congress, Dr Mahmood Shah, brought up the issue with provincial health minister, Dr Sagheer Ahmed. He also pointed out that medical practices opened up by “quacks,” or fake doctors, contribute to people getting infected with diseases like hepatitis B and C.

The minister, however, was quick to respond that he had introduced timescale and promotions for both doctors and dentists in the province, and added that the bill for controlling quackery has been awaiting approval of the Chief Minister for the last two years.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Shah said that the dental congress would attract more than 2,500 delegates. Dr Navid Rashid Qureshi, who is the chairman of the congress and principal of Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry (LCMD), said that the congress would include lectures and workshops and a trade fair, consisting of 180 stalls, would be set up. Experts from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Turkey, Netherlands, Germany, United Arab Emirates, among others, will also speak during the course of the event.

Students from various medical and dental colleges in the province, including Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan Institute of Oral Health Sciences, were also present at the occasion.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.

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