NUMS Department of Public Health conducted a Seminar on Friday, 19 May 2023, with the theme Overcoming Silos for Climate and Human Health. The seminar was organized by Dr Hina Shan and Ms Rubab Zulfiqar.  Ms Iffa Zahid, student BSPH and campus ambassador for Planetary Health Alliance (PHA), in her opening remarks, talked about the climate-related challenges faced by our country and the need for a cross-sectoral approach to overcome the obstacles. She told the audience that Pakistan is vulnerable to climate change; meanwhile, Pakistan is also experiencing one of the world's most rapid population growth rates, straining its efforts to adapt to climate change and impeding progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr Waleed Qaiser (BSPH) stressed the polluted-free world and beating plastic pollution.


A great response was received in the E-poster submission category highlighting the triple planetary crisis; the poster competition winner was Mr Waqar Younis from AFPGMI. The best video on the theme ‘fossil fuel phase-out’ was by BSPH students (Mr Waleed Sheikh, Hafiz Maaz Abdullah, Hassnain Chughtai and Shahaan).


The BSPH students incorporated role-play as an engaging and memorable opportunity to convey an important message through a fun medium. The role-play, directed and written by the talented team comprising Ms Saleha Ahmed, Ms Noor Ul-Ain Shah and Mr Waleed Qaiser, highlighted stakeholder contribution to climate change. Ms Amna Nasir, a student at BSPH, sang a melodious song on the fragility of our environment and the importance of its protection. The climate challenge quiz received a great response; the quiz incorporated a rationale that climate change is complex, so building a good understanding from the outset is essential.


The guest speaker, Dr Adeela Bashir, Lead Coordinator of the NUMS Environmental Stewardship Committee (NESC), said climate change and environmental degradation undermine health equity, access to healthcare, economic well-being, ecological justice, and other social determinants of health while compounding pre-existing ill health, amplifying pandemic risk, and creating severe population-wide health threats. Dr Adeela Bashir emphasized that NESC tries to equip young people with autonomy to engage in planetary health, which cannot be achieved without inclusive, strong, and sustainable intergenerational leadership and cross-sectoral collaboration. She took the opportunity to remind the audience about the upcoming World Environment Day with a message to avoid plastic and act for environmental protection.


Prof Dr Uzma Hassan, Head of the Department of Public Health, appreciated the faculty for working towards ecological awakening and increasing the prominence of health issues on the climate agenda. She added that breaking silos and integration through multisectoral collaboration is the only way towards a sustainable climate and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.


In her vote of thanks, the Head of the department thanked Dr Adeela Bashir for her inspirational talk. Prof Dr Uzma Hassan appreciated the faculty/staff of DPH, Dr Tamkeen Jaffrry, Dr Hina Shan, Dr Raima Asif, Ms Rubab Zulfiqar, Mr Nasir Javed, Mr Attique Arshad, and students BSPH for conducting a successful event.