NUMS Department of Biological Sciences (NDBS) conducted a two-day activity on 25th and 26th November 2021 to celebrate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), with an aim to spread awareness about antibiotic resistance; a global public health concern. School, college and university students were engaged for these activities which included an agar art competition and a video competition. A webinar was also organized in which renowned speakers from prestigious institutes of Pakistan gave talks.
The two-day event opened with the recitation of Holy Quran followed by a welcome note by HoD NDBS, Dr. Muhammad Jawad Hassan, to the onsite participants which consisted of school, college and university students. Dr. Jawad presented a detailed overview of the department and faculty. The department is committed to quality teaching and research and secured more than 80 Million of research grants in Biological Sciences, he told the house. Dr. Wasim Sajjad, the Program Coordinator, also presented a talk on science popularization to promote the culture of science in students.
Thirty-five (35) students from different institutes across Pakistan participated in the Agar Art Competition. They used colorful microbes as paint to create visual masterpieces on agar media. Twenty (20) participants submitted short video clips with a focus on spreading awareness regarding antibiotic misuse and resistance.
On second day of the activity, participants attended the online webinar online and onsite. Professor Aisha Mohyuddin (Dean Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies-MDS) welcomed the speakers, Dr. Saeed Khan, Professor of Pathology, Dow University of Health Sciences and Dr. Afrinish Amir, Technical Officer, NIH, Pakistan. Dr. Aman Karim, Associate Professor, of NDBS moderated the webinar session. Speakers briefed the audience about the current scenario of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and future challenges for Pakistan. In the panel discussion Dr. Saeed Ahmed, Dr. Raees Khan and Dr. Liaqat Ali discussed the issue of misuse and overused of antibiotics and emphasized on finding the alternative to antibiotics by the collaborative research.
Professor Dr. Syed Mahmood Raza, Provost QA & RD, concluded the session and distributed cash prizes and certificates among the position holders who competed in agar art competition and video competition. The winners in Agar Art Competition were Rameesha Abid from Capital University of Sciences and Technology (CUST) (1st prize), Sidra Qamar (2nd prize) and Ayesha Noor (3rd prize), both from National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS). In the video competition, the AFPGMI-NUMS team Muhammad Haseeb, Ahmed and Aman, secured 1st position, Fizza Maryam and Faiza Arshad from NUMS got 2nd position while Hawaid Ahmed and Rameen Saeed (A super-talented ten-year-old) shared the 3rd position prize. Professor Dr. Syed Mahmood Raza applauded the efforts made by Department of Biological Sciences and also appreciated the participants for their creative endeavors.