Department of Animal Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, in collaboration with Saving Humanity Foundation International (SHFINT) organized a one day symposium here at Quaid-i-Azam University. The basic objective of the event was to create awareness about the rapid increase in the disable population which has risen to five million in Pakistan according to Pakistan Demographic Health Survey. The Symposium was an effort to improve the acceptance and respect of disabled persons in the society and to present fresh scientific data on various common disabilities.
QAU Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai in his inaugural speech emphasized the importance of research and training in making the disabled people productive and self-sufficient citizens. He said that there is lack of educational, training institutes and research centers for disabled people. Dr. Masoom said that there is an urgent need for more skilled medical staff to better manage the over-influx of disabled patients in hospitals. Genetic counseling should be provided to families with disabled individuals.
Dr. Sajid Malik Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences QAU, in his detailed presentation briefed the audience about the efforts and contribution of Human Genetics Lab, QAU in the area of disabilities. He said that lab is working on molecular understanding and diagnosis of hereditary disabilities of various types. In this regard, the co-operation of other organizations is vital to deliver the laboratory findings to the society and also to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Various speakers of Department of Animal Sciences also presented scientific data on different aspects of common hereditary and congenital disabilities in Pakistan.
Speakers of the symposium were of the view that ignorance and negative attitudes are among the greatest obstacles that people with disabilities have to face. However, over the past few years there has been an increase in the level of awareness and recognition of disability in the community and also some attitudinal change largely due to various awareness programs conducted by government and non-government organizations. The representatives of SHFINT displayed various segments highlighting the skills and talents of disabled children. A large number of students and faculty members attended the symposium. The Vice Chancellor also distributed awards and gifts among the participating individuals with disabilities.