ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will utilise more than Rs2.2 billion over the next three to four years to promote research on health and medical sciences in the country.
The commission will provide funding to public-sector universities for research infrastructure development, establishment of hi-tech research labs and training of professionals in specialised areas. The research facilities will be established at Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar and the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, Karachi.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) approved HEC’s proposal in its meeting on September 23, informed a press release on Thursday.
“There is a need to conduct indigenous research on tropical and viral diseases that have been affecting the population,” the release stated.
HEC has also planned to develop a core team of researchers in allied health sciences. Under the scheme, existing research facilities at University of Karachi’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences will be strengthened by provision of modern research laboratory equipment. Similarly two research institutes, one in pancreatic surgery and translation and other in diabetic and endocrinology, will be established at KMU.
CDWP has also approved a scheme of Dow University of Health Sciences to enhance its capacity to enrol more research students in dental and oral health. Pakistan Medical and Dental Council statistics show that specialists in oral health are only 1,000 in Pakistan. PMDC data depict the acute shortage of graduate and specialists in dental and oral health sciences.
HEC Director General (Planning) Dr Mazhar Saeed said HEC is using a balanced approach to develop research infrastructure in universities to enhance their capacity to solve indigenous issues.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2014.