The opening ceremony was embellished with the top dignitaries of the country. The Chief Guest for the occasion was the honourable President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi. Punjab Health Minister and Patron Conference, Dr Yasmin Rashid, also graced the event.
With an announcement, the Master of Ceremony Dr Saima Chaudhary commenced the day’s proceedings, which was marked by recitation from the Holy Qur’an. Dr Arif Alvi officially inaugurated the 1st UHS International Dental Conference. Later in his address, Dr Arif Alvi stressed on prevention as the number one strategy against oral diseases and, therefore, the need of the hour. He further said, “90% of oral diseases are preventable, and so creating awareness regarding oral diseases and hygiene must be done on a war footing.”
Lamenting the state of medical/dental education regulation in the country he said, “I did my Master’s in Prosthodontics from Michigan, but PM&DC refused to recognize it. It is bodies like CPSP and PMDC that discourage people from joining faculty by failing to acknowledge their qualifications.” He informed that to counter such problems he had written a Dental Act and proposed a separate Dental Council.
Dr Alvi also spoke on the menace of quackery and bogus dental practices in Pakistan; the President said, “Sri Lanka legislated it many years ago and we should do the same.”
Dr Yasmir Rashid, in her address at the occasion, informed everyone on the necessary efforts the government was making for the development of healthcare in Punjab.
A special session-SuXess Factors in Dentistry- was also conducted on the first day. It was aimed at young dental graduates to counsel them with their future career goals, personal plan developments, and kick-starting successful strategies for future endeavours. Mr M. Amer Siddiqui and Mr Badar Khushnood spoke at the session covering topics “Orchestrating professional success,” and “Kick-starting social media strategy for professional development”, respectively.
The day also witnessed the launch of the Global Dental Health and Education Alliance, which will be chaired by President Dr Arif Alvi. The Alliance is an initiative taken by the Vice-Chancellor of UHS to collaborate with top universities of the world regarding clinical, academic and research exchange in dentistry.
The UHS, through the vision of the Vice-Chancellor Prof Javed Akram, also took the initiative of setting up a forensic odontology registry at the Jinnah Campus of the University at Kala Shah Kaku. This registry will pave the way for the easy identification of any criminal or disaster victims through floods, air crash injuries, or fire accidents. Dr Humayoun spoke about the registry’s significance and its objectives.
VC UHS Prof Javed Akram presented a detailed overview of the conference and its long-term goals. He said, “Dentistry will reach new heights after this conference, which is all about collaboration and innovation for the ultimate benefit of the patients.”
Conference Secretary, Dr Sarah Ghafoor, in her speech presented a token of thanks to all the sponsors and her team for making the event successful.
At the conclusion of Day-1, Student Displays and Trade Exhibition were officially inaugurated.