CBEC becomes WHO’s first collaborative Centre in Bioethics in EMR

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 CBEC becomes WHO’s first collaborative
Centre in Bioethics in EMR

KARACHI: Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture (CBEC) at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation has become the first WHO collaborative centre for Bioethics in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. To celebrate this international recognition, CBEC organized a ceremony on April 25th which was also attended by Dr. Mohammad Assai Ardakani the head of WHO Country office in Pakistan besides Dr. Alois Reis Technical Officer in the Global Health Ethics Team in Research, Ethics and Knowledge Management Unit of the Dept. of Innovation Evidence and Research at Geneva Switzerland.

Speaking at the occasion Prof. Adib Rizvi Director of SIUT said that they were delighted at this recognition by WHO. We at CBEC are trying to help each other and beyond the EMRO region. This is the only centre to be recognized by WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. We have planned many things from the centre. We started postgraduate diploma progamme in 2006 and so far seventy one people have graduated. Master’s programme was started in 2010 and so far ten people have qualified while the Certificate Course in Bioethics was started in 2014 which has been attended by twenty people so far. We had the first participant from Qatar in the certificate course. At present we have five students from Kenya and we are also trying to help establish a similar Bioethics progamme and Centre at Nairobi.

Dr. Assai Ardakani speaking on this occasion said that they were proud of Prof. Adib Rizvi and SIUT. CBEC is the tenth WHO collaborative centre in bioethics in the world. It has successfully transformed from a national centre to international centre. WHO has always collaborated with SIUT in organ transplantation, preparation of guidelines and we are happy at this collaboration. It is well represented in the National Bioethics Committee of Pakistan as well as in WHO Research Ethics. WHO is planning to organize the Regional Bioethics Committees Conference in Pakistan at Karachi in 2019 and CBEC will be a good venue for this . We are currently also collaborating in ethical issues related to disaster situations, he added.

Dr. Alois Reis in his address said that there are over seven hundred WHO collaboration centers in eighty countries all over the world which provide strategic support to WHO. The first collaborative centre in Research ethics was established in Toronto Canada in the Year 2000 and in 2009, we had a global network of such centers which are located in Miami and Columbia University in USA, Australia, Switzerland, Argentina, South Africa etc. Many ethical issues, he said, are global in nature which needs global understanding. CBEC is a trusted partner of WHO in the region being the hub of research ethics activity in the region. It has organized numerous workshops and produced educational material for WHO besides preparing documents and guidelines. It has emerged as an extended integral arm of WHO addressing numerous ethical issues.

Prof. Farhat Moazam Chairperson of CBEC said that our prime aim was to build professional capacity in Pakistan. Our medical institutions are turning out technicians. Medicine is lot more than curing but healing. We are trying to build faculty in Health Research meeting the needs of not only Pakistan but other countries in the region as well including South Asia and Far East. We work in different environment and the pioneers of Bioethics in USA were not aware of the problems which are faced in these countries. We are addressing these issues in Pakistan and the region for the last thirteen years. We are honoured with this recognition by WHO. She concluded her speech by quoting Socrates who had said “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”. We hope the students and faculty will take this message back to their respective institutons and countries, she remarked. Later the WHO Flag was presented to Prof. Farhat Moazam by Dr. M.Assai the WHO Head of Country office in Pakistan.

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