DUHS aims to develop strategies to provide cost effective and quality community health services


 Interview: Prof. Mohammed Saeed Qureshi, Vice-Chancellor DUHS

DUHS aims to develop strategies to provide cost effective and quality community health services

Officials working on additional charge bases are being replaced with regular appointees selected on merit following rules and regulations

By Shaukat Ali Jawaid

KARACHI: Government of Sindh had appointed Prof. Saeed Qureshi as Vice Chancellor of Dow University of Health Sciences in May last year since he was on top of the merit list prepared by the search committee. Earlier he had served as Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital Karachi one of the affiliated teaching hospitals for DUHs as well for quite some time. During this period there was remarkable improvement in services and facilities in the hospital which was a proof of his administrative capabilities. A noted surgeon, quiet personality, and a man of few words, Prof. Saeed Qureshi recently responded to some questions posed by Pulse International to highlight the accomplishments, achievements of DUHS so far as well as sharing details of short term, long term development plans besides measures taken for faculty development. Given below are the excerpts:

Prof. Mohammed Saeed Qureshi,
Vice-Chancellor DUHS

After assuming the responsibilities of Vice Chancellor of DUHS what initiatives you have taken to enhance the image of the DUHS?

In order to enhance the image of DUHS, we are focusing on sound transparent processes and offering admission on merit in all of the programs. Since Dow University of Health Sciences was established in 2004,” with the Vision to provide quality education in order to produce leaders in the delivery of healthcare, health education and healthcare delivery, its founding mission is to impart knowledge through excellence in research and education. Its ultimate aim is to develop strategies to cater cost effective and quality community health services.

Taking charge of a University is a unique opportunity. There is a greater responsibility of assuring research and quality education to health professionals, and ensuring high tech service delivery in all institutions. Dow University of Health Sciences has emerged as the fastest growing institution offering quality medical education in all of South Asia. It is the result of the dedicated team efforts that Dow University is ranked ahead of many regional medical institutions.

The Vice-Chancellor’s quality initiatives, in coordination with the Quality Enhancement Cell, include the following:

  1. A greater emphasis on faculty Development and its Training, as this will enable us to enhance the quality of our degree awarding programs.
  2. Delivery of quality services and increasing patient satisfaction level by integrating training for the Hospital Staff, on “Delivery of Quality Nursing Care & Biosafety”. The aim is to train our incumbent nursing staff in the patient safety practices, and ultimately enhance the quality of our nursing care.
  3. Establishment of a Student Counselling & Academic Advising centers as a resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in helping them maintain positive mental health and guide them in their academic careers.
  4. Enhancement of international and national linkages, especially for the post-graduate Master level programs, such as a Memorandum of agreement with Malaysia’s University Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA)

Overall, Dow University of Health Sciences has also made an impact on national and international levels, especially through its graduates who have gone on to achieve progress and prosperity globally. The alumni of this University have proven to be successful, resourceful, and philanthropic individuals who have contributed their time, efforts and resources to make a significant impact on their society.

I am optimistic that the doctors and health professionals of this institution will go on to contribute to this nation and serve the people of this country with sincerity and authenticity, in order to restore faith and humanity to the delivery of healthcare.

What is your short term and long term development plans?

Short Term focus is on education and research, planning and development. Short Term development plans include ensuring human resources staffing, in terms of the appropriate number of lecturers and faculty at all programs. Improving community services as well as to maintain cost-effective, high quality diagnostic patient care in the Dow University Hospital.

Long term development plans include some projects and civil works at the OJHA Campus, including Strengthening of Faculty of Oral Health Sciences and Support Facilities at DUHS. Details about some of the ongoing development projects at the DUHS are as under:

Projects funded by Sindh Government

  1. Establishment of Trauma Centre, BSL-3 Lab and Provision of Support Services at Institute of Chest Diseases Ojha Campus of DUHS
  2. Strengthening of Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation of Disabled population at DUHS
  3. Establishment of Department of Serobiology and providing power generation by gas along with heat recovery system at Ojha Campus of DUHS

Projects Funded by UDWP

  1. Building for Vaccines, Radiology Department
  2. Construction of 1st & 2nd floor at Dow International Dental College, Defense Campus
  3. Maintenance & Repair to Sewerage System
  4. Additional Block for Riva Water at Ojha Campus

 What steps are being taken for faculty development to enhance their professional capabilities?

The faculty of DUHS is nominated regularly for Higher Education Commissions (HECs) Master Trainers- Faculty Professional Development Program, in which they are required to recreate the training at their institute for other faculty members. Also, DUHS faculty is sent from the university to attend various professional developmental workshops/ conferences etc.

The Institute of Health Professionals Education, in collaboration with the Professional Development Center of the University regularly conducts workshops for faculty in the following areas:

  1. Construction of one best type of MCQs
  2. Surgical skills
  3. Conduction of research
  4. Biostatistics
  5. Leadership in Medical Education
  6. National & International conferences in the field of Nursing Medicine, Dentistry, Public Health, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Rehabilitation Medicine
  7. CME Lectures / Link video conferences

What is the research output of the university? How many papers by the faculty and postgraduates were published during the Year 2017 and how many of them were in Impact Factor Journals?

The research output of university for the financial year 2016-2017 is as under:

  1. Total no. of Research Papers Published 467
  2. No. of Research Paper Published in International Journals of High Impact Factor/HEC Approved Journals 236
  3. No. of Research Paper Published in Other Journals 450
  4. Total No. of Research Projects ( internal only) 148
  5. No. of Funded Research Projects (from external organizations) 12 worth 36.55 M Rs.
  6. University Research Fund (Millions) for Year 2017

Postgraduates often find it difficult to select topics for research, Dissertations and Thesis. What arrangements are being made to facilitate it?

Scientific Committee is a fundamental body responsible for facilitating the researchers. It provides the researchers with Course Supervisor and clinical main supervisor throughout their research. Furthermore, Professional Development Center periodically conducts workshops on research methodology, synopsis writing, case reports, case studies, how to write an article, along with bio statistical methods (SPSS).

How frequently the Ethics Committee/Institutional Review Board meets and how many research projects, proposals were approved during the Year 2017?

Scientific Committee Meeting; once in a fortnight. Institutional Review Board Meeting: once a month.

Speaking at the AKU symposium recently, you referred to the Virtual Training Programme which DUHS plans to start for Lady Doctors. Please give some details.

Virtual e – Learning and hands-on training is a learning landscape being provided by the Dow University of Health Sciences for all female non- practicing doctors interested in pursuing their medical profession, by its distinguished faculty of the Dow University of Health Sciences.

What measures are being taken to strengthen the various postgraduate programs which the university is running?

We have started taking the following measures:

  1. Internal evaluation of students' satisfaction by taking their feedback, checking quality checklists by QEC for various programs, preparing self-assessment reports of every degree awarding program, at Bachelor’s, Master’s, M.Phil. and PhD level.
  2. Identifying weaknesses from the evaluation and implementing remedial measures like improving infrastructure of research, diagnostics, service and training; improving teacher student ratio by indicting more faculty, wherever required; improving the present faculty by continuous professional/ teaching/leadership training.
  3. Collaborations with industry and community to improve the training and service standards.
  4. Facilitate trainings of professionals/ faculty/staff in various medical and allied fields.
  5. Efforts in identifying the gaps in accreditation and overcoming those deficiencies
  6. Improving dialogue with students and Faculty and administration through feedback, individual counseling, when required, keeping record and follow-up of the issues identified in a program and its remedial measures.

Furthermore, validation of course duration, as cancellation of admission if 1st year examination in passed in 3 attempts, along with a comprehensive examination as an exit examination.

Have you planned to conduct Academic Audit of the University if so, please share some of its details?

Academic Audit or Self- Review Institutional Program Evaluation (IPE) took place at Dow University of Health Sciences on the 26th and 27th March 2018. The core strategic aims for reform as (i) Faculty Development, (ii) Improving Access to higher education, (iii) Excellence in Learning and Research, and (iv) Relevance to National Priorities. The Review Panel consisted of 3 members, which has evaluated the adherence of the University against 11 Standards of Higher Education Commission.

Any other information which you think is important to highlight the achievements; accomplishments of DUHS.

Dow University Artificial Limb Center, at the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Established in 2007 is equipped with all materials/machines to fabricate light-weight , high quality artificial limbs at nominal cost to needy patients. It provides Orthotic & Prosthetic appliances for the patients at nominal cost and Semi-mechanized arms. The difference between DUAL & other centers is that it has the latest German machines.

Liver Transplant

DUHS is the first public sector teaching university of Sindh to provide this highly specialized Living Donor Liver Transplant Surgery. So far we have successfully performed transplant on 10 patients- free of cost to the patients. Patients are also given medications free of cost for the last first 5 years. Now, Renal Transplant is also benefiting the public, Soon to follow will be Bone Marrow Transplants through NISSOT: National Institute of Solid Organ & Tissue Transplant established in 2016 at DOW.