National University of Medical Sciences in collaboration with Turkish Ege University is working on a 2-year joint research project on Leishmaniasis, an endemic tropical disease which is a source of skin infection mostly in KPK and Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan.
Dr Shumaila Naz, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences of NUMS, who is working on this project said that NUMS and Ege University are working jointly to diagnose and treat Cutaneous leishmaniasis, a Neglected Tropical Disease ( NTD) Which affects about 2 billion people world-wide.
Pakistan Scientific Foundation and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (PSF-TUBITAK), Dr Shumaila said, are jointly funding the research project to help those suffering from this disease.
TUBITAK and PSF are also funding 10 other projects through their collaboration in six different fields like earth sciences, aeronautics, materials science, biotechnology, renewable energy and environmental science.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of NUMS, Lt Gen Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed, HI(M), (Retd), said that although there is little overall work in terms of an economic impact of NTDs in Pakistan; based on existing evidence from other low- and middle-income countries, we expect that large sections of Pakistani society are trapped in poverty due to the impact of these conditions.
“Federal Ministry of Health have had some important public health successes in terms of reductions in vaccine-preventable diseases, but there is a need to address NTDs to add to these victories,” he said inviting attention of the concerned authorities.