Research is an important weapon which should be used for benefit of human beings-Nasiruddin Azam Khan

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 Professional media has an important role and 
it must ensure ethics in publication

Research is an important weapon which
should be used for benefit of human
beings-Nasiruddin Azam Khan

Pakistan needs a National Commission on Biomedical
Sciences to identify types of research needed - Daud Khan

PM&DC is planning to frame new Terms of Reference for Evaluation
and Recognition 
of biomedical journals - Prof. Arshad Javed

PESHAWAR: Pakistan has made tremendous progress in the field of medical education and health services if we compare with what we had at the time of independence in 1947. We now have a galaxy of talent and our future is promising. Medical professionals must keep themselves update with latest developments in their respective fields and disseminate knowledge as it is an essential component of research and development. This was stated by Prof. Nasiruddin Azam Khan an eminent physician and former Principal of Khyber Medical College. He was speaking at the inaugural session of Fourth National Conference of Pakistan Association of Medical Editors (PAME) hosted by Khyber Medical University. The conference held from March 3-4th was very well attended by Editors of medical journals and members of the Editorial Board from all over Pakistan besides young researchers and a few postgraduates. The theme of the conference was “Visibility of Pakistani Journals in International Arena: A challenge”. The conference was dedicated to late Dr. Maqbool H. Jafary an eminent physician; founder Chief Editor of Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences and former President of Eastern Mediterranean Association of Medical Editors (EMAME) in recognition of his services to promote the discipline of Medical Journalism in the Region. This session was moderated by Prof. Akhtar Sherin, former President of PAME and Chief Editor of Khyber Medical University Journal.

The conference, Prof. Nasiruddin Azam Khan further stated will highlight the research activity in Pakistan and our accomplishments so far. Research, he opined, was an important weapon which can be used for the benefit of human beings. Professional media has great responsibilities; it must ensure that there are no malpractices which have crept into our professional institutions. Media can also be misused hence it is its responsibility not to publish information which is not useful for the community. It must uphold ethics in publication. He also disclosed that some time ago, he had stopped evaluating Dissertations of the CPSP because of some unethical practices which were noted. There is no doubt that we are faced with lot of difficulties and problems but we must face these challenges and find a solution to these problems, he remarked.

Prof. Daud Khan a noted ophthalmologist and founder Vice Chancellor of Khyber Medical University who was honoured by the organizers by making him Guest of Honour on this occasion commended the contributions of Chief Guest Prof. Nasiruddin Azam Khan who was one of the most devoted and dedicated teacher of Khyber Medical College in 1968-69. No one ever wanted to miss his lecture. He was an excellent teacher and a mentor. He was very tough but very kind, caring and passionate in examination. I worked as House Officer in his ward and he used to take three rounds daily, one early in the morning, then after attending the Out Patients and then before going home.

As Muslims, Prof.Daud Khan said, we must have Faith in God, and then we have to act on his Commands, preserve that faith and be kind to the community. Referring to the theme of the conference, Visibility of Pakistani medical journals in the international arena, he said, it was a great challenge. It is a gigantic task. Universities are supposed to be produce research which is useful for the local community. He recalled that when University of Baghdad was established, it was known as a House of Wisdom. Medical universities should promote medical education and keep on discovering more and more. Nature, Prof.Daud Khan said has created everything but we need to discover it, publicize it. For application of knowledge, its publication is important. Now we have one hundred seventeen medical colleges in the country. There used to be just one medical college in Khyber PK but now we have eighteen. We need to concentrate on Research and Development. Higher Education Commission has come up with guidelines. For research, access to resources is essential and we need to conduct research which is relevant to our needs. There should be no compromise on quality. He recalled that Gen.W.A.Burki when he was the Federal Health Minister established four institutions on one day i.e. Pakistan Medical & Dental Council, Pakistan Medical Research Council, College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. However, our contributions to research is very disappointing. What we need is a National Commission on Biomedical Sciences which should identify the area of research keeping in view our problems, current population and the future population. We are going to have tremendous increase in elderly population which will have lot of problems; hence we need to look after their healthcare needs. With dedication, devotion and hard work the dream of good quality manuscripts being published in Pakistani medical journals to come at par with the international standards can be realized, he added.

Prof. Nasir Khokhar President of PAME in his address said that we the doctors have too many roles but we need not forget research and medical writing. It is a part of our professional obligations which is also important for our professional development. We can raise our country’s name as well by producing good quality research and Publications. He suggested that we need to involve young doctors in these fields so that they can take over the responsibilities in the days to come.

Prof. Arshad Javed Vice Chancellor of Khyber Medical University addressing the participants said that Khyber Medical University Journal has completed Ten Years of its successful publication. When I was told that PAME plans to hold its National Conference, I suggested that it will be a good idea to celebrate our Tenth Anniversary of the KMU Journal by hosting the PAME conference. Members of PAME, Prof.Arshad Javed remarked are a group of selfless professionals. They are doing a commendable job and it will strengthen the research culture in Pakistan.

Speaking about the role of regulatory bodies like the PM&DC and the HEC, Prof. Arshad Javed said that most of the editors of medical journals are not happy. Now the PM&DC is going through transformation and at the recent Council meeting while Committee Chairpersons were being selected, I opted to chair the Journals and Curriculum Committees. We have provision to co-opt more members. We plan to frame the new Terms of Reference for evaluation and recognition of journals bringing it at par with Higher Education Commission. We wish to improve their standards and look into the possibilities how to train the editors to improve the quality of manuscripts accepted for publication as well as improving the standard of the Journals.

The scientific programme of the conference was spread over four sessions which were devoted to “Starting a New Journal and Maintaining Quality of Publication” moderated by Dr. Jamshed Akhtar, Peer Review Challenges and Publication Misconduct moderated by Dr. Muhammad Irfan, Free paper sessions which was moderated by Dr. Zohaib Khan and “Open House Session: Challenges for Pakistani Journals” which was moderated by Prof. Saira Afzal Editor of Annals of King Edward Medical University. On Day–2 of the conference four workshops were organized on Epidemiology Study Designs and Basic Biostatistics, Essential of Scientific Manuscript Submission to Medical Journals, Online Journal Management System, and Peer Review: Theory and Application.

General Body Meeting

Prof.Nasir Khokhar outgoing President of PAME chaired the General Body Meeting. Dr. Irfan presented the secretary’s report while Mr.Shaukat Ali Jawaid presented the Treasurer’s report. All the office bearers were elected unanimously. Dr. Jamshed Akhtar took over as the new President while Dr. Irfan and Dr.Sina Aziz were elected as President-elect and General Secretary. Prof. Nazeer Khan was elected as Joint Secretary/Treasurer. Prof. Col.Alamgir Khan, Prof.Saira Afzal, Dr.Masood Jawaid were elected as members of the Executive Council. Prof. Ayub’s name was also proposed for the Executive.

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