PESHAWAR: Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad has said that HEC shall always support such activities which look into solution of local problems and creating opportunities for research, he was addressing the audience as chief guest on the inauguration of the three day research conference themed as “Nutrition policy to practice in Pakistan: exploring the challenges and research opportunities” hosted by Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar at a local hotel in Islamabad.
Prof. Mukhtar Ahmad stated that HEC appreciates research initiative to improve nutritional status of Pakistan and this unique activity will have much desirable effect on improving our nutritional status, leading to better national health, resulting in better physical and intellectual productivity and enhanced per capita earning. He said, this research conference provides a platform for scholars from UK and Pakistan to interact exploring the challenges and research opportunities in nutrition. KMU is worth all the praise for conceiving this novel idea and winning research grant from British Council and Higher Education Commission, he added.
Mr. Mushtaq Jadoon, Secretary Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa welcomed the guests and appreciated the efforts of organizers to hold international conference on a vitally important topic. He offered all out support for evaluating the report and implementing the recommendations in true spirit besides supporting research activities of the university.
Prof. Dr. Mohammad Hafizullah, Vice Chancellor of KMU, appreciated the organizers for a well-coordinated program and highlighted the achievements of the university in the fields of academic and research. He dilated on the recently held well attended 6th Annual Research Symposium organized by ORIC of KMU and informed the attendees about establishment of research institutes of non-communicable diseases and Hepatology with facilities for Liver Transplant by the university with the help of HEC.
Prof Nicola M Lowe, the lead from UK explained the rationale and background of the workshop. She explained that her involvement with Abaseen Foundation, spanning over a decade, offered her opportunities to work in poor settings and was cognizant of the poor nutritional status of children and females. She said that this research meeting was being convened to look into development of a research agenda to answer some fundamental questions.
Prof. Dr. Mukhtiar Zaman, the lead from Pakistan, Director Research ORIC of KMU enlightened the audience that 17 research scholars from universities of Central Lancashire, Glasgow, Chester, Aberdeen, Nottingham and Warwick were representing UK and similar number were chosen from Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi, Khyber Medical University Peshawar, Noor Foundation Lahore, Micro Nutrient Initiative etc. He elaborated that the program included plenary lectures, original research presentation and group discussion over the next three days. Participants were excited to be part of the activity to improve nutritional status of down trodden people and promote research in resource constrained environment.
Prof. Dr. Nilofer Fatimi Safdar from Dow University threw light on the poor nutritional status of children and adult population that correlated with poor intellectual development and hence social status. Dr Tauseef Janjua explained different initiatives taken by Micronutrient Initiative of Pakistan.