Sindh govt to fund ICCBS for advancement of DNA lab


KARACHI: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the strengthening of forensic DNA and serology facility in Sindh was signed between the Sindh’s Department of Health and University of Karachi’s (KU) International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) on Monday.

According to the MoU, the provincial government will provide Rs260 million to ICCBS for strengthening forensic DNA and serology facility at the Jamil-ur-Rehman Centre for Genome Research, which works as a part of Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD)

The MoU was signed in the supervision of Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho in the special ceremony held at the Health Department.

Health Additional Chief Secretary Dr Muhammad Usman Chachar and ICCBS Director Dr M Iqbal Choudhary signed the agreement in the ceremony

Among others who attended the ceremony were Development and Evaluation Director Dabeer A Khan, Abdul Waheed Shaikh, Laboratory Chemical Examiner Dr Farzana Shaheen Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, Dr Shakil Ahmed and Dr Hina Siddiqui from ICCBS.

Speaking on the occasion, the health minister congratulated both the parties over the signing of the historic agreement that would lead a setup of the much needed high-tech DNA laboratory in the province.

She said that the provincial health department is focusing on the frontiers of technology to facilitate the criminal and civil justice system.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Iqbal Choudhary also congratulated the provincial minister, Health additional chief secretary and other officials for making great efforts in setting up of the modern laboratory that would be used as support to modernise justice system in Sindh.

According to MoU, the Sindh government will designate the ICCBS as a focal centre for Forensic DNA and serology analysis and training in forensic serology and DNA analysis and notify the staff trained from the ICCBS as a forensic analyst or expert.

All the analysts will take the proficiency test annually as per standards and on successfully passing the test will be allowed to analyse casework.

It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho is taking a keen interest in the establishment of the state-of-the-art DNA research laboratory in Sindh.