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Sindh Government issues PKR220mn for forensic DNA lab at PCMD

KARACHI- Government of Sindh has provided Rs 220 million to the Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK), to set up a modern Forensic DNA and Serology Laboratory at the Jamil-ur-Rahman Center for Genome Research, PCMD.

The team of ICCBS has shown a great level of commitment towards the establishment of this laboratory, at par with international standards. The staff will have to go through proficiency tests of international quality, before analyzing any samples.

Prof. Dr M. Iqbal Choudhary, ICCBS-UoK Director, whilst addressing a press conference held at the L.E.J. National Science Information Center, informed that the required funds- Rs 220 million- had been received from the provincial government.

He said that an MoU regarding ‘Strengthening of Forensic DNA and Serology Facility in Sindh’ was signed between Jamil-ur-Rahman Center for Genome Research (PMCD) and Sindh Health Department, on October 01, 2018. The agreement would be in effect for a period of 3 years, starting from the date of execution and might be extended by mutual agreement between both parties.

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan and Dr Shakil Ahmed were also present at this occasion.

1 forensic scientist and 2 research officers have already joined the team, working diligently on preparing SOPs and lab protocols. Moreover, the remaining hired staff is being efficiently trained, to meet international standards, informed Prof. Iqbal Choudhary.

He also mentioned that the forensic lab would have a capacity to handle 50 cases on a regular basis, while during any untoward situation, the extra cases would be divided amongst other national research facilities.

Advertisements regarding the purchasing of equipment for the Forensic DNA and Serology Laboratory have already been published and orders will soon be issued to the successful bidders.

The process of procurement, installation, calibrations and validation runs will take at least 06 months, Prof. Iqbal maintained.

Honorable Mr Justice Faisal Arab reviewed the progress of this project and asked all the parties to complete the execution as soon as possible.

The Sindh Government, according to the MoU, has designated ICCBS as the focal center for Forensic DNA and Serology Analysis and Training in Forensic Serology and DNA Analysis. ICCBS has also been designated as the central Drug and Food Testing Laboratory, Dr Shakil Ahmed being declared as its focal person.

Prof. Iqbal Choudhary highly appreciated the leadership and efforts of the Provincial Minister Dr. Azra Pechuho, the Additional Chief Secretary Health, and other concerned officials, for their help in setting up the modern laboratory, that would modernize the justice system in Sindh.

 

December 19, 2018

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