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The Culture of Biorisk Management in the Laboratories of Pakistan: A Journey from SARS-CoV to NIPAH

October 24, 2023

The Karachi Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE) at the University of Karachi in collaboration with OWSD Pakistan and the Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA) hosted an informative event titled "The Culture of Biorisk Management in the Laboratories of Pakistan: A Journey from SARS-CoV to NIPAH."

The event commenced with reciting the Holy Quran, symbolizing the importance of ethics and morality in scientific endeavors. The gathering was graced by distinguished experts and thought leaders in biosafety and molecular pathology.

The esteemed guest speaker of the day was Professor Dr. Saeed Khan, President of the Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA), Association for Molecular Pathologists, and ASM Ambassador to Pakistan. In his address, Prof. Saeed Khan recounted the journey and the steps he and his dedicated team had undertaken during the outbreak of the SARS-CoV virus. He passionately elaborated on their tireless efforts in providing comprehensive biosafety training to healthcare personnel.

Furthermore, Professor Saeed Khan discussed the ongoing programs of PBSA, shedding light on their crucial role in advancing risk management in the country. He emphasized the importance of hazard and risk assessments and shared his remarkable journey in transitioning from the SARS-CoV outbreak to NIPAH virus precautions, signifying the evolving nature of the biosafety landscape.

Dr. Sitwat Zehra, Chapter Head of Sindh for PBSA and Treasurer of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Pakistan National Chapter (OWSD PNC), delivered the vote of thanks. She acknowledged the invaluable insights provided by Prof. Saeed Khan and expressed gratitude for his dedication to advancing biosafety in Pakistan.

To honor Prof. Saeed Khan's extraordinary contributions, Dr. Saima Saleem, Secretary of OWSD Pakistan, joined Dr. Sitwat Zehra in presenting him with a shield of appreciation. This symbolizes the recognition and respect for his relentless pursuit of a safer and more secure laboratory environment in Pakistan.

The event at KIBGE, University of Karachi, served as a cornerstone in fostering a culture of biorisk management, ensuring that Pakistan's laboratories are equipped to tackle the challenges of emerging infectious diseases. It provided a platform for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, uniting experts and professionals committed to safeguarding public health through effective biosafety practices.

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