Islamabad, 11 March 2022 (TDI): Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, the Coordinator-General COMSTECH, called on Dr. Palitha Mahipala, the country representative of WHO in Pakistan.

The meeting took place at the office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Islamabad. During the meeting, Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary underscored the role of COMSTECH in science, health, technology, higher education as well as the climate in OIC member states.

He enunciated that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the 2nd international organization after the United Nations consisting of 57 member states from four continents. Professor Choudhary informed that COMSTECH is conducting about four training sessions per month.

These sessions are arranged for 57 countries which include 22 countries located in the WHO/EMRO region. Internationally well-reputed experts give lectures on different Science & Technology fields including the health sector.

The Coordinator-General COMSTECH enunciated that COMSTECH is involved in the capacity building of OIC member states in the fields of science and technology. Along these lines,  COMSTECH has established a network of virology institutions.

These include Kayseri Erinyes University Turkey, Biofarma Indonesia, Turkey Parexel, UAE, NRC, Pasteur Institute of Iran, NIH as well as ICCBS Pakistan.

The Coordinator-General also deliberated upon potential avenues of COMSTECH-WHO joint initiatives. These initiatives will be related to the areas of disaster management, training in the health sector, along primary diagnostic surveillance.

Dr. Palitha Mahipala on his part lauded the efforts of Professor Choudhry for capacity building of the EMRO region including Pakistan in the field of healthcare. The EMRO region is the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

He stated that WHO and COMSTECH can collaborate in the realm of telemedicine with respect to maternal and child health. Moreover, he suggested that COMSTECH can initiate a program of telemedicine for health.

The program can be expanded to the private sector for teleconsultation. Dr. Mahipala proposed that patient safety, research in primary healthcare, and strengthening of operational research are the areas where both organizations can collaborate.

During the meeting, it was also discussed that the Pakistan Chapter of WHO (Pakistan) will work towards the recognition of COMSTECH as a WHO collaborating center in coming years.

Additionally, the resumption of the COMSTECH-WHO/EMRO research grant program which was started in 2004 was also deliberated upon. Both sides acquiesced to organizing a five-day training course with the collaboration of WHO, HSA, and COMSTECH, in May 2022.

It is pertinent to mention here that Consultant (Health Initiatives), COMSTECH, Dr. Abdur Rashid, was also present during the meeting with Dr. Palitha Mahipala.