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KARACHI- Sindh Provincial Minister for Finance, Energy and Planning & Development Murad Ali Shah assured International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK) that the government would support the center in setting up of the girls’ hostel for PhD students.

He said that the government will make all efforts to weed out financial crunch from the public Universities of the province, while the University of Karachi was in the first priority of the government.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the National Seminar on ‘Plant Remedies Used Against Skin Diseases in Sindh’ held at International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK) here on Friday.

Vice Chancellor UoK Prof. Dr. Muhammad Qaiser, Additional Chief Secretary Sindh Planning and Development Aijaz Ali Khan, Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Miss Saman Aziz Jamal (daughter of Aziz Latif Jamal), Dr. Atia-tul-Wahab and Dr. Sonia Siddiqui also spoke at the occasion.

Chairman H.E.J. Foundation Aziz Latif Jamal, Chairperson Dr. Punjwani Memorial Trust Nadira Panjwani and other officials of the government attended the ceremony.

The minister said that the mission of this survey, conducted at the cost of Rs.23million, was to conserve the fold wisdom and collective human experiences, before they vanished forever.

“This is for the first time in our history, a group of researchers went around the entire breadth of the province, and collected the most valuable information about the folk and herbal remedies used the people of Sindh against the skin diseases. They gave us great favor by preserving this most important knowledge base for the future generation. The ICCBS is also the only institution where students from the advance countries, such as Germany, France and Turkey are regularly coming to get training in the field of science and technology,” he said.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Qaiser said that Pakistan owned rich plant resources that needed to be documented. He said that the plant resources were being depleted in Pakistan due to negligence of the authorities concerned, while some plants were being smuggled to India. He appreciated the efforts of Sindh Government and ICCBS for carrying out such a useful historical research.

Aijaz Ali Khan said that Sindh embraced diversity of medicinal plants used by the natives of this province. This is very positive sign that the knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses are presented only for a commoner, he added.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary said that compilation of the authentic ethnobotanical information and folk medicinal practices in rural areas of Sindh in the form of reports, database, and monograph was really a great work done by ICCBS and Sindh government.  The key outcome of the survey is the preservation of the indigenous healing knowledge of local people of Sindh related to plant remedies used against infectious skin diseases, he maintained.

“In the survey, the complete remedies of medicinal plants were documented for the treatment of infectious skin diseases, e.g. some herbs were ground, soaked and eaten, some were applied topically, some were used for dressing bandages, while some herbs were used for taking bath to cure a certain disease,” he said.

Earlier, the provincial minister launched the website (and Monograph) of folk medicines during the inaugural ceremony. This documentation will help Pakistan to protect its home-grown knowledge from biological theft (biopiracy).


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