LAHORE - The Board of Governors (BoG) of University of Health Sciences (UHS), on Wednesday, gave a go-ahead to varsity administration to enter into an agreement with UK’s Oxford University to carry out joint project that will examine how existing treatments could be repurposed to treat COVID-19 besides building capacity of Pakistani scientists to develop process to produce vaccine at a million-dose scale.

The board also approved establishing a Centre for health, happiness and well-being to cater to the physical and psychological needs of healthcare workers who, at times, felt burned-out due to intense nature of their work.

The 44th meeting of UHS BoG was chaired by Justice (retd) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. Other members who were present included Gohar Ejaz, UHS VC Prof Javed Akram and Punjab finance department’s representative whereas Prof Anwar A Khan and Prof Salima Hashmi participated through video link. UHS registrar Dr Asad Zaheer and treasurer Baquee Bin Hanif were also present besides other officials.

Briefing the board members about the steps taken by the varsity, Prof Javed Akram said that his first priority was to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to the doctors and other healthcare workers on the frontline of war against the deadly pandemic.

“Now we have the capacity to get more than nine thousand PPEs prepared everyday which we are providing to healthcare workers in government hospitals of Punjab, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan”, he said, adding that private sector had provided donations for this purpose.

Regarding telemedicine, he informed that these centres were providing 24/7 online consultation services to public and had received more than 98,000 calls so far. He added that psychological assistance was also available at these telemedicine centres as psychiatrists and clinical psychologists had been engaged to deal with stress issues arising due to prolonged lockdown.

The board also approved in principle the start of master degree programme in health informatics with telemedicine and health information and management system (HIMS) as its major components.