NUMS- NIH USA in collaboration to train medical professionals in clinical trials

RAWALPINDI: National University of Medical Sciences(NUMS), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, Bethesda, has trained hundreds of medical professionals in clinical research which can help broaden research base and improve Pakistan international funding prospects for its promotion, said organizer of the training Dr. Rehemaa Gilani here on Sunday.

The Covid-19 pandemic in particular, has reinforced the importance of clinical research in the country. The Vice Chancellor of the university Lt Gen Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed HI(M) (Retd) said “In the current scenario, there is a vital need to conduct clinical trials for the Covid -19 vaccines to determine their effectiveness and clinical efficacy in the Pakistani population and our collaboration with NIH, USA will provide trained human resource, dedicated infrastructure and understanding of the ethical and legal processes.”

Dr. Rehana Gilani who is certified in Principles and Practices of Clinical Research from Harvard Medical School, USA and has completed Clinical Research Management training at NIH said that “Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Clinical Research” (IPPCR) was a specialized clinical research training for clinicians, nurses and medical students. NUMS has already trained around 250 healthcare workers and students since 2018. A Certificate of Completion is awarded to the participants who score 75 per cent or higher marks in the final exam conducted by NIH USA, she added.

NUMS has been accorded a prestigious status of a “Remote Site” by NIH USA being a national and research- focused university and having met their strict criterion for the purpose of conducting this course which is being offered by the university through its own resources.

“The aim of this course is capacity building of physicians, scientists, medical and dental students, nurses, public health professionals to design and perform observational and experimental clinical research, analyse, interpret and present clinical research data, write and revise successful grant proposals and lead clinical teams across a variety of health care settings in Pakistan, ” Dr Rehema said. It was of vital importance to train the participants in research ethics to ensure protection, confidentiality and rights of subjects participating in the clinical trials, she said.

Clinical trials are important for approving new treatment and diagnostic modalities for diseases. Clinical trials are conducted to learn whether experiments first conducted in the laboratory and on animals can be applied to human beings.