A virtual Seminar- One Health

17th Decemeber2020- (14-15 PST/9-10 AM UK)

COMSTECH, Islamabad, Pakistan

COMSTECH is hosting a webinar on One Health together with UP SIGN and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences. The event will be highlighting the need for taking immediate actions to protect our health through protecting our food system. The entire developing world and Pakistan facing an increasing threat from the vector-borne diseases spreading in both farm animals and humans, which are caused, by bacteria and viruses and are transmitted by various vectors (Mosquitoes, Ticks, Flies, Fleas, etc.). The uncertainty in weather with increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased use of pesticides have made a lot of such species resistant. Climate change is providing favorable conditions for the breeding and survival of various vectors and arthropods. This phenomenon of global warming will change the current geographical map of vector-borne diseases and will boost the emergence and re-emergence of various diseases to regions, which lack either population immunity or strong public health infrastructure. A Health emergency is needed to be declared to combat those colossal problems, created by extreme weather, drought, storms, and hurricanes. Food safety has become the biggest global challenge. Establishing and maintaining food safety in today’s global markets has been characterized as a complex problem that lacks easy or straight forward solutions and one that will require a One Health approach. Unsafe food poses global health threats, endangering everyone. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with an underlying illness are particularly vulnerable. Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhea to cancers. Foodborne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems and harming national economies, tourism, and trade. Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders. Good collaboration between governments, producers, and consumers helps ensure food safety.

Food security is highly dependent on livestock productivity, which can directly affect the trade and food supply chain. According to the 1996 Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action, “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”. While global demands for safe and sustainable sources of food are greater now than they were in 1996 when this declaration was developed, the problems associated with achieving safe and secure food supplies remain extremely complex. The large variety of diverse factors that impact production and distribution of safe food supplies including the availability of natural resources, healthy ecosystems, market globalization, climate change, political instability, and poverty all underscore the need to address these issues using a One Health approach.

Prof Fiona Tomley, Professor of Experimental Parasitology and Director of the UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub

Fiona is Professor of Experimental Parasitology at the Royal Veterinary College and Director of the UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub. She has BSc (Microbiology) and PhD (Virology) degrees from the University of Manchester and spent several years as a researcher in avian virology before moving into parasitology where she leads research into protozoan parasites of chickens.  

As Director of the One Health Poultry Hub she has oversight and responsibility for an international and interdisciplinary impact-driven programme that seeks to ensure that escalating global demand for chicken meat and eggs can be met in a safe, sustainable and equitable manner.  The Hub is committed to collecting, analysing and disseminating evidence to stakeholders on the risks of public health hazards emanating from production, marketing and consumption of poultry products, as well as to evaluating approaches to reduce zoonotic disease, and improve food safety and animal health.

Prof Munir Iqbal, Pirbright Institute

Professor Munir Iqbal is head of the Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) group at The Pirbright Institute and Visiting Professor at the Royal Veterinary College, London. Munir obtained Veterinary Medicine and MPhil degrees in Pakistan and a PhD in Biotechnology at Imperial College London in 1991. He worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liverpool and the University of St Andrews, before joining the Institute in 1996. Currently, he is leading a number of research projects aimed to define the impact of evolutionary molecular changes on AIV antigenicity, pathogenicity and cross-species transmission and the development of new vaccines and diagnostics for better control of avian respiratory viruses (including avian infleunza, Newcastle, avian adenovirus, Avian metapneumoviruses… )

Dr Osman Dar , Public Health England

Osman A Dar is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) and a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians (London).At Chatham House, he is director of the Global Health Programme’s One Health project, an umbrella term referring to the programme’s work on zoonotic diseases, emerging infections, antimicrobial resistance, and food security. Osman has helped build the EDCTP-PANDORA partnership which aims to strengthen weak health systems across Africa by developing research collaborations to improve the prevention, preparedness for, and response to emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

He also leads a project to support the operationalisation of One Health initiatives in national and regional settings with partnerships across a range of national and international agencies and institutions including the WHO, OIE, FAO, the African Union CDC, the World Bank, and the B&M Gates Foundation.

In his role at Public Health England, Osman is a medical consultant in global public health where he works to support low and middle income countries build core capacities under the International Health Regulations and in the design and implementation of their broader Health System Strengthening initiatives.

Prof. Dr. Seval Akgun

MD, PhDs, Professor of Public Health and Medicine

Chief Quality Officer, Director, Employee and Environmental Health Departments Baskent University Hospitals Network, TURKEY

Professor Akgun is ( MD, PhDs, MSc, CPHHA) a  Professor of Medicine and Public Health with more than 30 plus years of strong experience in quality and accreditation in higher education and health care. The variety of research topics she has addressed and working as a consultant with collaboration of several international technical supports, demonstrates the wide scope of her interests in public health,  quality improvement and accreditation in higher education and  health care.

She is serving Baskent University as their Chief Quality Officer for the 10 hospitals 16 hemodialysis centers that belong to the University since 1997. During the past 20 plus years, Professor Akgun has been serving as a consultant in health sector reform projects, system assessments, and quality and accreditation in health care and higher education, gap analyses and performance measurements. She serves many European, Turkish and international organizations as their advisor and  committed to a comprehensive and holistic approach to health and education issues. She led a number of projects in Europe,  the Middle East and Mediterranean Region, Central Asia and India including projects supported by World Bank, European Commission, DAAD and WHO on system reform in health and higher education, performance assessment,  hospital surveying, and external reviewer  of institutional  and program accreditation programs among many more such projects. She worked as a lecturer at master programs on quality and accreditation in healthcare for Ministry of Health, KSA and working as a reviewer for NCAAA Educational Evaluation Commission, and consulted more than 50 hospitals and universities in KSA, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Jordan and Turkey during their NCAAA, Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCIA) and CBAHI processes.  She has also PhD in Nutrition (from Netherland) and working as an evaluator for  European Commission (EU F4-F7 Frameworks, Horizon 2020, Marie Curie actions, EIT Innovation in Health, Public Health, Food Quality and Safety panels etc.), Canadian Research Institute, Romanian, Turkish  and many other international Research institutes’ projects under different topics related health, innovation and higher education. As an international expert and researcher, Professor Akgun has been very active in the scientific presentation circles and has presented in excess of 200 presentations to a wide range of audiences world-wide.  She is also a prolific writer and has to her credit more than 300 scientific articles and 16 books in such topics as quality and accreditation in health care and higher education, healthcare management, system assessment and design, strategic planning and data management.

Dr Zahida Fatima, Deputy Director, Pakistan Agri Research Council

Dr. Zahida Fatima is Principal Scientific Officer (Animal Health )at Animal Sciences Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC). She has experience of control of Bird Flu/Avian Influenza (AI) in Pakistan and main focus was on Investigation of field outbreaks of AI, Collection of Epidemiological information and appropriate sampling for laboratory investigation and performing different Lab Tests including HA, HI,ELISA for sero-monitoring/Virus detection etc. Dr. Fatima is PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from University of Veterinary and Animal Science Lahore.


Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmed Khan Pakistan Academy of Sciences

Prof Khan is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. He is a distinguished National Professor and got Pakistan’s highest civil award, Sitara-E-Imtiaz (Civil Award, Government of Pakistan) (2012).

Dr Khalid Mahmood, UPSIGN, UK

Dr Mahmood is Agritech Innovation Lead and is keen in addressing Food security challenges through promoting, translation of research to benefit smallholders in developing world. 

Link for registration and E- certificate:


Procedure to join:

Time: Dec 17, 2020, 02:00 PM Islamabad, Karachi, Pakistan Time

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 872 1378 5964
Passcode: 215583

Contact Information: 

Address: COMSTECH Secretariat, 33-Constitution Avenue, G-5/2, Islamabad 
Phone No. : 92 51 9220681-3
Fax : 92 51 9211115, 9220265, 9205264
Email: Khazima@comstech.org ; comstech@comstech.org ;

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