GIK institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on October 13, 2020 with the National Assembly of Pakistan at Islamabad, agreeing to provide research and technical support associated in the allied fields of engineering and technology. The main objective of this association between the two parties is to provide the policy makers and academia to work in close coordination to make informed decisions through research and technology in respective areas of interest. The GIK, in this regard, provide research and technical expertise and support through publications and involvement in the standing committees of parliament on evolving trends in global market to strengthen the institutions insight for development.
The ceremony was chaired by Speaker National Assembly, Mr. Asad Qaisar. The Speaker lauded the services of GIK Institute as a leading HEI in Pakistan and spoke high of Rector GIK Mr. Jehangir Bashar. Prof. Dr. Jameel-un-Nabi, Pro-Rector (Academics) GIK, and Mr. Tahir Hussain, Secretary, National Assembly of Pakistan, signed the agreement. Prof. Dr. Mohammad Akbar, Dean FEE, GIK and Dr. Zahid Halim, FCSE, GIK along with other officers from other bodies witnessed the ceremony.
A UNDP sponsored Wellness Center to offer online counseling services for mental health and wellbeing of the students was inaugurated at Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology on June 9. GIK Institute is the first private sector university that has established the center.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, marred by frequent closure of educational institutions and starting of online classes, the students faced difficulties, anxiety and in some cases even depression around the world. The governments and educational institutions started introducing the measures to carry out research regarding impact, frequency and severity of psychological and other mental health issues of the students.
Higher level of anxiety and stress of the students caused by COVID-19 certainly needed the measures for solving the mental health problems created due to academic disruption, restricted social contact, loss of routine and other education related mental distress. Under the program, a software application will be used for rendering online counseling as well as treatment services to the students. On this occasion, Dr Sara, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sehat Kahani explained the structure and other features of the program and the benefits likely to be derived out of proposed services as well as capacity to offer guidance to more than 5000 students at a time.
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. GIK Institute partnered with Getz Pharma to spread awareness through a live webinar titled “Public Health Failures and Lessons Learned for a Post-COVID19 World”. The webinar focused on how different countries responded to the pandemic and the lessons we can take forward to ensure that we are better prepared for future health crises.
Dr. Troy Gepte, a public health epidemiologist from the Philippines, highlighted the fact that we must learn from the vulnerabilities in our healthcare systems that were exposed during COVID-19, as countries across the globe fell short of resources to effectively tackle the pandemic. We cannot be conclusive that COVID-19 is coming to an end, as new cases are still emerging. We are still very much in the battle, but we can learn from the gaps in our health systems to prepare for the future.
Dr. Phillip Mwendo Muthoka from Kenya, Deputy Director Ministry of Health, addressed the shortfalls in testing capacity the country faced as testing was initially only conducted in laboratories in the main cities, but within two months the lab facilities were expanded throughout the nation. Governments around the world need to allocate more resources to healthcare, and a major proportion of funds should go to primary healthcare. We need to prepare better so we can avoid such future pandemic situations.
Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz, a leading gastroenterologist in Pakistan, discussed how the country had a delayed response to the pandemic, which led to gaps in policy-making and execution. Economy and health go hand in hand. If we have good health, we can have a good economy. Regardless of whether we are in the developing or developed world, in case of major health crises like COVID-19, humanity should rise above, and countries should pool their resources to support each other across borders.
Dr. Wajiha Javed, Head of Public Health & Research at Getz Pharma concluded that the major message we can take from this discussion is that there is a need to reinvest in primary healthcare and restructuring of health systems to have a bottom-up approach and be better equipped to tackle future crises. Without a multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare, we cannot move ahead. All sectors of society need to be on board to prepare for the future, and countries all over the world must collaborate across borders for the collective benefit of humanity.
Muhammad Wisal Khalil
Director QEC, GIK Institute
Ms. Gul Afroze
Assistant Director QEC, GIK Institute
Mr. Afsar Zaman
Data Analyst QEC, GIK Institute
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