Al-Shifa Trust held its first international research conference regarding the results of the Clinical Trial of the third and final phase of COVID-19.
Government of Pakistan has selected six hospitals for trials and the Al-Shifa Trust Hospital Research Centre completed trials 2,700 volunteers, maximum number of trials among all the hospitals.
Now, Pakistan has become a dependable country for clinical trials as its results were better than the other eight countries and it has become an important part of global research to combat the pandemic, experts said.
They noted that Pakistan turned the pandemic problem into an opportunity for research and according to the participants of the conference, now Pakistan is being studied as a model in dealing with COVID-19.
WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that Al-Shifa has helped the global effort against pandemic and noted that health and research facilities in Pakistan have rapidly transformed to cope with the challenge.
Pakistani institutions should actively participate in local, regional and national clinical trials testing new therapies for COVID-19 and the country could earn around 150 million dollars annually from the Clinical Trials, said Mahipala.
Chinese representative Miss Maria Song said that leading Chinese pharma companies are very encouraged by the response of Pakistani authorities and dedicated efforts of health and research facilities and the outcome of trials are also very promising.
Al-Shifa Trust President Major General Rehmat Khan (Retd) said, “I want to thank everyone who participated in our clinical trials.”
He said that in the beginning, we were in a state of fear and people were also scared but we accepted the challenge of clinical trials to play role in providing the best vaccine to the nation.
At the time when the healthcare research is experiencing fundamental transformation under pressing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference organised by trust has encouraged a dialogue between stakeholders that kept participants engaged in learning and sharing the latest research insights, he added.
Dr. Zahid A. Butt, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo, Canada, Maj Gen Aamer Ikram, ED, National Institute of Health, Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan, VC, Health Services Academy, Islamabad, Prof. Dr. Saira Afzal, Dean Preventive Medicine, Prof. Dr. Saira Afzal, Dean Preventive Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Prof. Dr. Tanvir Khaliq, VC, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Dr. Abdur Rasheed, Director DRAP, Dr. Jawad Gill, Head of Clinical Operations DRK Pharma, Prof. Dr Wajid Ali Khan, Chief of Medical Services, Al-Shifa Trust, and Dr. Ume Sughra, Principal Investigator, Al-Shifa Trust were among the keynote speakers.