ISLAMABAD, June 15: Chemistry scientists from different Islamic countries here on Tuesday called for investing in research and development of drugs against poor man’s diseases.
They were speaking at a three-day workshop on “Modern applications of combinatorial chemistry” organised by the OIC Ministerial Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (Comstech) in collaboration with the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) of Karachi University and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats).
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohammad Iqbal Chaudhry, Director HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry and the ICCBS; underlined the need to focus attention on poor man’s diseases in the developing countries and investment in research and development in this sector.
He said research on medicine by the advanced world was profit-centric and world’s pharmaceutical corporations were investing for production of drugs which mostly were not related to ailments prevailing in the developing countries.
“OIC and other developing countries must set up a fund for research and development of drugs to treat neglected tropical diseases like dengue, rabies and tuberculosis (TB),” Dr Chaudhry said, describing relevant research taking place at Karachi University’s Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, which he also heads. The centre is engaged in developing remedies for such tropical diseases prevalent mostly in South Asia.
“Just like food insecurity, we also confront drugs insecurity; therefore, our governments must prioritise the agenda for developing safe drugs and act to develop drugs targeting local diseases,” said Dr Chaudhry.
Poor man’s diseases include those caused by individual pathogens and groups of conditions caused by related microbial species. They are spread by animal hosts such as dogs, fish or by vectors such as mosquitoes, black flies, snails, bugs and common house flies.
Earlier, Comstech Adviser on Science Dr Anwar Nasim said a plan had been made to train 1,000 scientists of the OIC member states in applied fields of cutting-edge technologies as “we believe that economic prosperity of the Islamic nations is linked to excellence in science and technology.”
Through a competitive process, about 50 young scientists from different Islamic countries have been selected to train them in frontier technologies in different scientific fields for which we hire renowned trainers from within the Muslim world and from the advanced countries also such as United States, United Kingdom, he said.Dawn.