DR. LUBNA A . BAIG
MBBS, MPH (USA), FCPS, PhD (Canada)
This is a critical time for Pakistan as there is a need for building the competencies of health care providers in the rural areas; and at the same time meeting the demands of the ever increasing need for public health care professionals. Pakistan is at cross roads with high prevalence of communicable and non –communicable diseases and the inadequacy of the health system to respond to the needs of the country. There is a dearth of trained public health professionals in the country and a need for a public health institute was anticipated. The APPNA Institute of Public Health (AIPH) was inaugurated on Dec. 26 with a mission to be the center of excellence for public health training, service, and research. The AIPH has the support and blessings of the Sindh Medical College Alumni and friends.
The challenges in the health sector of Pakistan are enormous, including: dismal health indicators, environmental degradation, urbanization, inadequate health system, poverty and illiteracy. As conscientious citizens we the healthcare professionals need to respond to these challenges and harness them to the growing developments in the field of public health. Most of these challenges can be addressed through partnerships with the non-governmental organizations, the government and other academic institutions.
This is an exciting time as the new millennium has seen the tremendous growth in the public health technologies. The public health discipline is now more than just community medicine or hygiene what it used to be called in the 20th century. The AIPH will be partnering with the Government, NGOs, national and international aid agencies and other academic institutions for promoting public health in Pakistan.
The institute has identified and selected top level faculty for building courses and programs for public health. The AIPH will be offering major diplomas and degrees from the fall semester. The institute will be taking policy directions from the Vice chancellor of Jinnah Sindh Medical University and that the goals and objectives are in line with JSMU.