PUBLISHED IN PAKISTAN www.dental-tribune.com.pk JAN-FEB 2021 - Issue No. 01 Vol.8 An exclusive interview with Prof. Dr Khalid Almas Dentist facing charge for putting pressure on ... Researchers scramble to understand new ... INTERVIEW Page 4 NEWS Page 9 NEWS Page 10 FDIs Vision 2030 report aims to improve oral health over the next decade G ENEVA - Coinciding with the 148th session of the World Health Organization Executive Board, where an oral health resolution is on the agenda for adoption by governments, FDI releases Vision 2030: Delivering Optimal Oral Health for All, a timely report that offers a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary roadmap on how to impact health policies and tackle challenges to improve oral health and reduce oral health inequalities over the next decade. Vision 2030 recommends strategies to address the oral disease burden that communities can adapt to their own needs and circumstances, enabling them to implement relevant solutions. The report also considers how broad societal shifts, such as ageing populations, will require the oral health workforce to adapt and remain equipped to deliver consistent care. "Vision 2030 outlines the ways in which we can integrate our profession within global development agendas, including the UN Sustainable Development goals and the implementation of universal health coverage, that determine important health priorities," says Prof. David Williams, FDI Vision 2030 Working Group co-chair. Prof. Michael Glick, FDI Vision 2030 Working Group co-chair, adds: How can we, as members of the oral health community, anticipate transformational changes and trends in the global healthcare environment? How do we seize opportunities to become productive members of healthcare teams delivering person-centered care? These are some of the broad questions we strive to answer through Vision 2030 P h o t o : D T P a k i s t a n YEARS About FDI World Dental Federation Founded in 1900, FDI World Dental Federation is an international, membership-based organization that serves as the main representative body for more than one million dentists worldwide, active in some 200 national dental associations and specialist groups in close to 130 countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, FDI's mission is to lead the world to optimal oral health. Vision 2030 Working Group: Michael Glick (Co-Chair), David M. Williams (Co-Chair), Ihsane Ben Yahya, William W. M. Cheung, Enzo Bondioni, Pam Clark, Stefan Listl, Manu Raj Mathur, Peter Mossey, Hiroshi Ogawa, Gerhard K. Seeberger, Michael Sereny. -PR Achieving optimal oral health for all requires strong advocates who are ready to tackle this major public health challenge. Through the steps laid out in Vision 2030, the oral health profession will be well-equipped to argue for the better integration of oral health within overall health, united behind a set of shared aims. The authors of the Vision 2030 report, an expert team of professionals hailing from diverse sectors within the healthcare community, have emphasized the need to engage with the public, as well as a range of other stakeholders. Vision 2030 calls for patients themselves to be well-informed advocates for their own oral health and be able to take an active role in their treatment decisions. From the patient to the profession, Vision 2030 drives the message home that there is no health without oral health.
4 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition JAN-FEB 2021 INTERVIEW Dental Tribune Pakistan: You have been recently listed among the world's top 2% scientists in the world. What was your reaction? Dr Khalid Almas: First of all, my instant reaction was to say Alhamdulillah. I was sitting at my office, and one of my colleagues, whose high profile researcher at our workplace, congratulated me. I asked him what happened. And he told me that your name is listed among world's top scientists and asked him what about you? And he said to me that he was searching for his name in the list when he came across mine. So I instantly thanked Allah, who has been gracious; this is all due to His kindness and mercy. And the well-wishers' prayers and parents' prayers, family, wife, Dr Pakeeza Waheed and children for their immeasurable love, u n c o n d i t i o n a l s u p p o r t a n d u n w a v e r i n g perseverance. Of course, my patients, students all over the world that I have met in the past 30 years of my life. So I have a brief recollection of these things, and then I came back to my reality, and it took me about 30 seconds, and I said Alhamdulillah. And that was my response! After a while, when the news spread, I started receiving messages from my friends and everyone else. When I informed my children, they didn't seem surprised because they suffered during my career. The reason because it was, to some extent, the cost of family time. And I remember that when my son was three years old, and my elder daughter was peeping at my door, but I ignored them and kept preparing my presentation and proposals. My wife said that you know, don't be so rude and give time to children. I said we are investing in ourselves and the future of the family. All this hardship was reciprocated with the family's smiles, and Alhamdulillah it paid off in the end. DTP: How your interest in the field of research developed? DKA: I think I am not a very social person, but still, I met some excellent friends in my life. I have always tried to ignore the shortcomings of others and wanted to share positivity. That, of course, created efficient teamwork. I have worked with people from many different backgrounds and countries. And these days, you know, I am working Science is shifting sand, and every day we are getting new information so which one to believe. The professionals' role is to sieve through all of that information, develop guidelines and evaluate whenever new pieces of information are found and implemented accordingly. I think we lack that component in some areas that I haven't worked on before. Like in the animal research and molecular type of research, I am not a scientist. I was trained as a clinician, and later on, I found that I am a full-time faculty. Since I had invested some time in clinical dentistry, I thought I should probably invest more time in innovative thinking. And because I was also the Journal editor at the students Union during my dental college days so, at that time, I also had the habit of reading and writing. You know my father trained me as a researcher, and it was Only personal accountability can lead to success; Prof. Dr Khalid Almas by Dr Muattar Hanif P rofessor Dr Khalid Almas graduated from de Montmorency College of Dentistry, University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He then moved to the UK, for Master in Periodontology and later Master in Dental Public Health from Eastman Institute of Dental Sciences and the London Hospital Medical College/University College, University of London. He earned a Fellowship in Dental Surgery from Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgery and later a Fellowship in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Later on, he earned a fellowship of American Academy of Oral Medicine. He is also a fellow of International College of Dentists. He served as Head of Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, and Assistant Professor at de Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore, then as an Assistant Professor at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia. He served as an Associate Professor at New York University from 2003 -2007 and then moved to University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He was promoted to full professor rank in 2011 and served as a Clinical Professor, Director predoctoral periodontics program and Director International Fellowship in Advanced Periodontics. Currently, Dr Almas is serving as Professor of Periodontology and Graduate Periodontics Program Director, at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University. He also maintains his visiting/volunteer professor position at the University of Connecticut, USA and Rawal Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan. His editorial and Ad hoc reviewer services extended to more than 15 biomedical and dental journals. He has also served as International Examiner in top universities of Malaysia, Sweden and Sudan. He has written more than 230 papers in peer reviewed dental and Medical journals, along with two books and many chapters written for books published in different countries. His exceptional record has made his name listed among world's top 2% scientist. A list that has been compiled by Ioannidis et al from Stanford University who analysed thousands of articles on the Scopus database until May 2020. The inclusion of Dr Khalid name in the list is a true testimony of his hard work and dedication in field of Dentistry and Research. Dental Tribune Pakistan (DTP) recently spoke to Dr Khalid about his efforts toward the positive representation of Pakistan on global and national dental platforms and about his contribution to the dental profession and research. surprising that he had his library. He gave me some question and would say that these are the books and find out the answer. Sometimes, it will take me a day or at times a week to find the answer to the question. It was more of like an open book exam. Later on, I realised that it was my research training. The questions were usually on the topic of politics, history and religion, and poetry. So I think I had the opportunity to have my initial days of training taught by the parents, good friends, and well-wishers. And I also think it's the conducive environment that we work in. So wherever I worked, I tried to be honest about the place of my work. So my mentor told me that think globally, but locally. And I think I worked on that. So no matter wherever I travel, I try to live in the moment. I was not much futuristic, and I was not much into the past. So I always said that what is in front of us all the challenges we tried to sort it out. And sometimes, I met difficult people in my career like many others the hardships. I wanted to neglect them, ignore them. I found my way to leave them behind. I tried to grow myself under the enormous trees for some time in the past, which was a failure. So I wanted to develop myself as an independent individual like a little plant on my own. And all these things I think have contributed. I am very fond of going to conferences, travelling and that happened a lot. You get the ideas, you collaborate, you teamwork and develop them, and that's how you proceed. DTP: What are the biggest challenges that the field of research is facing in Pakistan? DKA: I think your question is very valid. The challenges are plenty, and I know it for a fact. I have always taken the challenge as an opportunity. Coming back to challenges, during my time in Pakistan, I was doing clinics and teaching simultaneously, and of course, after doing it for a year, I soon realised that I am not doing justice to both of these things. And most of my fellows and colleagues had the same routine; teaching and then doing clinics. And I don't blame them because due to hardships and financial reasons, one is bound to continue. Another thing is that there is a typical mindset. Of course, people's clinical perspective is there, and we have to be clinically competent. But later on, I found that you know that habit of reading every day. I read something before I go to bed. That is still my habit. My children say, why are you wasting your time reading, and I said I am trying to nourish my mind. If I don't read, my mind will be starved during the night before I go to sleep. Every day you learn something, and now you know, Don't fall into the trap of money. Make yourself so much value that money itself will follow you. Throughout my career, I worked on this approach. Alhamdulillah, I am comfortable random information and the bombardment of it during this internet. So I think it isn't easy, but my initial training in research and reading habits helped. So as I have said, many people's part-time academic career in Pakistan and students and faculty's practice and all things. Continued on Page 11
6 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition JAN-FEB 2021 NEWS UCMD presents a workshop on the fundamentals of growth prediction Photos: DT Pakistan Photos: DT Pakistan Prof Arshad conducts Exodontia workshop L AHORE - University College of Medicine a n d D e n t i s t r y (UCMD), University of Lahore (UOL) recently organised a workshop titled 'Mastering the fundamentals of growth prediction.' The event was organised by Dr Fareeha Bukhari, Associate Professor, UCMD. The event started with an informative lecture by Prof. Rehan Qamar about growth prediction methods followed by a task-oriented, video-based and hands-on workshop executed by Dr Fareeha Bukhari. The individualised hands-on workshop was facilitated by D r U s m a n Yo u s a f , D r Munawar Manzoor and other faculty members of the Department of Orthodontics, UCMD. Around 20 participants and Dr M. Aslam, Medical Superintendent, attended the workshop while following the strict compliance regarding d e p a r t m e n t a l S t a n d a r d Operating Procedures (SOPs) of COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Moghees A. Baig, Dean and Principal, UCMD and appreciated all members' activity and participation in an exemplary manner. The session ended with the distribution of certificates to the participants, speakers, and facilitators. -PR Expert highlights ways to perform oral surgery with UCMD gives insight on excelling MS Excel COVID-19 SOPs L AHORE - University College of Medicine and Dentistry (UCMD), University of Lahore (UOL) recently organised a workshop titled 'Mandibular 3rd Molar Surgery during COVID-19 with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).' The event was part of the 2nd UHS International Dental Conference. The event aimed to raise awareness about the significant challenges faced during surgical procedures such as the spread of the COVID-19 among patients and healthcare workers. Photo: DT Pakistan The event was broadcasted live to all the registered participants. The facilitators practically demonstrated standard barrier techniques and COVID-19 SOPs for performing the surgical procedure. Continued on Page 11 L AHORE - University College of Medicine and Dentistry (UCMD), University of Lahore (UOL) recently organised a workshop titled 'Excel with MS Excel.' The event was part of the 2nd UHS I n t e r n a t i o n a l D e n t a l Conference. The event aimed to inculcate the skills and knowledge of using MS Excel to all Health Professions Educators ranks. Dr Arooj ul Hasan, Assistant Professor of Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry and Dr M. Waheed Azfar, Senior Demonstrator of Department of Medical Education at UCMD were the facilitators for the workshop. Facilitators highlighted various techniques on data management. They also demonstrated tools that help in organising and reporting multiple types of data. These techniques were even applied by the participants, who responded with positive reviews of using the introduced variety of methods. Photo: DT Pakistan Prof. Moghees A. Baig, Dean and Principal, UCMD praised the facilitators' efforts for their collaborative efforts in organising an online workshop during the COVID-19 pandemic. -PR L AHORE - An 'Exodontia workshop' was recently organised by the Institute of Advanced Dental Sciences and Research (IADSR) at Centre of Professional Development, Lahore. The workshop was conducted by Prof. Dr Arshad Mahmood Malik, Principal/Dean, HBS Dental College Islamabad. The participants included undergraduate students, postgraduate students, house surgeons and general dental practitioners. The workshop was comprised of detailed lectures, hands on learning on patients. Such activity gave opportunity to every participant to learn every aspect of exodontia. The participants appreciated the efforts of the organising committee, headed under the supervision of Prof. Dr Ayyaz Ali Khan. -PR ZU puts spotlight on essentials of CBCT K A R A C H I - Z i a u d d i n University (ZU) recently held lecture in Continuing Dental Education (CDE) lecture on the topic, 'Essentials of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) for Dentists.' Photos: DT Pakistan Photos: DT Pakistan The lecture was planned and facilitated by Dr Ayesha Hanif, Faculty, Department of Periodontology, Ziauddin College of Dentistry, ZU. The guest speaker for the session was Dr S M Abdullah Salman, Assistant Professor, Baqai Medical University. The event aimed to highlight the indications, advantages and disadvantages, identify anatomical landmarks, 3D imaging and its judicial usage, and manoeuvre through various anatomical planes and treatment planning with CBCT. Continued on Page 11
8 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition JAN-FEB 2021 NEWS Photo: DT Pakistan LCMD organises workshop on Formatting BCQs K ARACHI - The Department of Health Professional Education (DHPE), Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry (LCMD) recently organised a series of workshops entitled 'Formatting Best Choice Questions (BCQs) for faculty members of Medicine and Dentistry. The objectives of the workshops were to introduce the faculty to the newly developed Q-Bank software and to standardize the format of BCQs that are submitted to the Q-Bank. The workshops were conducted by Prof. Dr Irfan Ashraf, the Director of Professional Development Center (PDC), LCMD. He also emphasised that the purpose of a BCQ is to check the knowledge of students and not to confuse them into making mistakes. The workshop was attended by all concerned faculty members. The participants appreciated the efforts of the college in conducting workshops focused on professional development. -PR Top achievers in price distribution ceremony Photo: DT Pakistan K ARACHI - Bahria University Medical and Dental College (BUMDC) recently organised a prize distribution ceremony. The cash awards were presented to the position holders of each batch of Medical and Dental Section. The event aimed to acknowledge the students' hard work and efforts to achieve good grades and position in the professional examination. Rear Admiral Imtiaz Ahmed HI (M), Continued on Page 11 Final year students showcase skills in Orthodontic presentation competition AIDM faculty completes certification in health professional education K ARACHI - The faculty members of Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine (AIDM) recently completed their Certification in Health Professional Education (CHPE) from Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU). The JSMU-CHPE program's objective Photo: DT Pakistan was to improve the teaching and assessment practices in institutions and form a platform for advancing standards in health professional education. The faculty members of AIDM included Prof. Dr Hasnain Sakrani, Dr Maria Ghani, Dr Seeme Nigar, Dr Batool Sajjad and Dr Maria Shakoor Abbasi. Out of the 45 participants enrolled in Continued on Page 11 P h o t o s : D T P a k i s t a n K ARACHI - The Department of Periodontology, Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine (AIDM) recently arranged the best house offices award distribution. Dr Hasain, Principal, AIDM along with Dr Zaheer Hussain Chachar, Head of Department of Periodontology distributed awards and gave token of appreciation to house officers. -PR K A R A C H I - T h e D e p a r t m e n t o f Orthodontics, Bahria University Medical and Dental College (BUMDC) recently organised a presentation competition of final year BDS students as an end-rotation activity. The event aimed to create l e a r n i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s , encourage students' self-learning ability, boost their confidence, and gauge their understanding. Each student had to prepare the case to emphasise the aetiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and preventive or interceptive management. The event's chief guest was Prof. Dr Kulsoom Rizvi, Vice Photo: DT Pakistan Principal, Dental section, BUMDC. The event was organised and supervised by Dr F a r h e e n F a t i m a , S e n i o r Registrar, BUMDC and Dr Tauqeer Bibi, Registrar, BUMDC. The judges scored the presentations based on content, t i m e m a n a g e m e n t a n d presentations skills. The winner a n d r u n n e r u p s o f t h e competition are Chaudhry Muhammad Aizaz Tahir and Abeer Rashid. Certificates were awarded to the winner and runner ups by Prof. Dr Kulsoom Rizvi and Dr Tabassum Ahsan Qadeer, Associate Professor, BUMDC. -PR Photo: DT Pakistan BUMDC bids farewell to Dr Sameera K ARACHI - Bahria University of Medical and Dental College (BUMDC) recently arranged a farewell for Dr Sameera, Senior Registrar, Department of Oral Medicine, BUMDC. The ceremony was attended by Prof. Dr Wahab Kadri, Principal, Dental Section, BUMDC, Continued on Page 11
NEWS JAN-FEB 2021 Pakistan Edition DENTAL TRIBUNE 9 A German dentist was harshly criticised on social media platforms for putting pressure on his dental team to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, in the opinion of political leaders and ethics councils, a compulsory vaccination for healthcare workers could be possible in the near future. (Image: Halfpoint/Shutterstock) Dentist facing charge for putting pressure on employees to get COVID-19 vaccine By Franziska Beier P FAFFENHOFEN AN DER I L M , G E R M A N Y - H e a l t h c a r e p r o v i d e r s worldwide have started administering the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine. In many countries, dental teams are included in the first group eligible to receive it. Recently, a Bavarian dentist arranged vaccination appointments for his entire practice staff. However, h e a l s o t h r e a t e n e d n e g a t i v e consequences for anyone who refused to be vaccinated. As no legal basis for such a requirement has yet been established in Germany, the dentist was reported to the authorities. Many dental associations around the world are fighting for dental teams to be included in the first vaccination phase in order for them to be protected during dental treatments. The Donaukurier, a Bavarian local daily newspaper, reported the case of a dentist who had planned to have all of his employees vaccinated for their own and for his patients' protection. However, he announced that anyone w h o r e f u s e d t o r e c e i v e t h e immunisation would be suspended from work without pay. After this statement, he was strongly criticised and may now face legal consequences. Even though the dentist admitted to the newspaper that the wording of his message was inappropriate, he is still convinced that his approach was justified. "If one of my patients contracts SARS-CoV-2, I am r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t , " h e t o l d Donaukurier. "I strongly support this vaccination. Anyone who wants to work in a medical profession in the future will have to be vaccinated. The core of it is that all employees get the best protection," he added. He had expected his employees to react positively to his vaccination appointment, he said, adding that he is willing to go to court. Wi l l t h e r e b e a m a n d a t o r y vaccination for healthcare workers? Dr Markus Söder, minister-president of Bavaria, has advocated for a debate on a partial compulsory vaccination in order to increase the number of vaccinations. The compulsory vaccination would be for healthcare workers working in retirement and care homes. "If very few employees are willing to get vaccinated, this matter should be discussed," he told Nordbayern. "The German Ethics Council should look into this," he added. However, Söder emphasised that there will be no general compulsory vaccination. According to theologian and philosopher Prof. Nikolaus Knoepffler, who is a member of the Bavarian Ethics Council, doctors and nurses who reject the vaccination violate their moral duty. "In my opinion, if someone works in a nursing profession or a medical profession, he or she violates this moral duty in several ways," he said to Donaukurier. "Those who refuse the vaccination do not fulfil their function as a role model, which is to encourage others to get vaccinated, and they put others at risk," he explained. For employees in the health sector, a general vaccination requirement by the employer would be conceivable even without generally introduced compulsory vaccination, clarified Peter Betz, a labour lawyer in Pfaffenhofen, to Donaukurier. "Even the introduction of a general vaccination requirement for these occupational and personal groups is not out of the question. After all, there is already a general vaccination requirement for other infections. For example, the recently introduced compulsory vaccination against measles for certain groups of people and industries," he continued. However, at the moment, employers cannot require their employees to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, as this would interfere with the general right of personal and physical integrity protected by the German constitution. If an employer threatened to impose labour law-related consequences without a legal basis, this would be the criminal offence of coercion, said Betz. Legal and personal consequences The Bavarian dentist is now facing a criminal charge. The public prosecutor's office is currently investigating whether there is sufficient evidence of a criminal offence. According to Donaukurier, "the dentist and his staff are facing massive hostility, especially on social media". For this reason, the newspaper did not state the dentist's name in its article. - Dental Tribune International
10 DENTAL TRIBUNE Pakistan Edition JAN-FEB 2021 NEWS Researchers scramble to understand new SARS-CoV-2 strains By Jeremy Booth L EIPZIG, GERMANY - New variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in the UK and South Africa in 2020 show higher transmissibility. And whereas they are thought not to result in more serious disease or increased morbidity, a leading US expert on public health policy has emphasised that the higher rates of infection resulting from the new strains will mean more deaths. Scientists are scrambling to understand the new variants, and they are concerned that the mutations present in the South African strain may pose complications for the efficacy of vaccines and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. The higher rates of transmissibility shown by the new variants have led to them quickly becoming dominant over other strains of the virus. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said on 6 January that the UK strain, known as B.1.1.7, was responsible for around half of all new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Scotland and that the number was rising. The new variant that emerged in South Africa, known as B.1.351, quickly became dominant in the areas of the country most affected by the pandemic and is thought to be behind a surge in new infections that has surpassed the previous peak in daily cases recorded in July. Mutations lead to increased transmissibility The variant B.1.1.7 has been circulating in the UK since September and is thought to have begun thriving in autumn when SARS-CoV-2 cases spiked in Kent in south-western England. It has since been identified in at least 45 countries, and a number of these have recorded local transmission. According to tracking website cov-lineages.org, local transmission of B.1.1.7 outside of the UK had been reported in the following countries by 8 January: the US, Denmark, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Philippines, Romania and Slovakia. A 12 January report by the Brussels Times said that the UK strain was circulating in Belgium. Like the B.1.1.7 strain in the UK, the B.1.351 variant is behind a substantial second wave of infections in South Africa and has spread outside of the country through international travel. So far, the variant has been identified by laboratories and researchers in the UK, Finland, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Botswana and Zambia. In the latter country, it is reported to have become the dominant strain. The UK and South African variants share a mutation known as N501Y, which alters the receptor- binding domain of the spike protein of the virus where it binds to host cells, making it more transmissible. A December study by UK researchers, which has not been peer reviewed, found that that the UK variant is around 56% more transmissible than previous variants of SARS-CoV-2. A subsequent non-peer-reviewed UK study found a small but statistically significant shift towards under 20s being more affected by B.1.1.7 compared with other known variants. It remains unclear how much more transmissible the South African variant is in comparison with other known strains of SARS-CoV-2, but researchers are currently more Both variants share the N501Y mutation in the viral S gene which lies in the receptor binding domain (RBD)where the virus binds to the host celland where vaccine-induced antibodies bind to the virus Dr Julian W. Tang, University of Leicester causes a more severe form of the disease. Moreover, the South African variant is a more difficult virus to track as it lacks some mutations in the spike found in the Kent virus which make it easily detectable by the PCR test used by the [UK National Health Service]. The Telegraph reported that scientists are now scrambling to undertake research on the efficacy of current vaccines against the B.1.351 strain and are investigating whether the strain poses an increased risk of infection for people who have already been infected with another SARS-CoV-2 strain. Researchers in the USwhere local transmission of B.1.1.7 has been identified in a number of states found in a January study that immune responses generated by currently available vaccines or previous SARS-CoV-2 infections are unlikely to be evaded by the strain. Our data suggest that the mutations seen in the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-CoV-2 would not result in loss of dominant antibody responses to linear spike glycoprotein and nucleoprotein epitopes in the vast majority of our cohorts COVID patients, read the study, which has not been peer reviewed. Presently, dental associations in the UK and South Africa have not provided updated guidance to members concerning the new strains, and dental clinics remain open in the two countries. In a statement praising the decision to include dentists in the first phase of the UKs national vaccination strategy, Dr Raj Rattan, dental director at Dental Protection, said that the B.1.1.7 strain increased the risk of transmission in dental settings. The new COVID-19 variant, which is 70% more transmissible, poses a greater threat than ever before, he said. According to Dr Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, an increased infection rate will result in significantly more deaths from the virus. Jha said in a statement in January that the B.1.1.7 variant is significantly more contagious than previous variants, and he made reference to a December study by UK researchers that estimated that the variant was 4070% more infectious than other strains. Jha wrote: We should expect, without further action, that as the [B.1.1.7] strain takes hold, we will see an additional ten million infections in the US between now and end of February and during that time, we could easily see an additional 100,000 to 150,000 deaths. He added that the mRNA vaccines being produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna and the adenovirus-vectored vaccines being produced by Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Russian Federation could be modified for effectiveness against the B.1.351 variant in a matter of months. - Dental Tribune International New strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in the UK and South Africa in 2020 are behind substantial second waves of local infections and have spread outside of the countries through international travel. (Image: Lightspring/Shutterstock) concerned about the potential of the B.1.351 strain to evade vaccines. Will current vaccines work against new variants of the virus? Scientists are worried that the B.1.351 strain may be resistant to currently available vaccines and that it may also result in difficulties identifying positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 through PCR testing. Scientists are concerned that a strain of SARS-CoV-2 that has emerged in South Africa may have the potential to evade current vaccines. (Image Numstocker/Shutterstock) In January, Science Media Centre published responses from scientists to questions from journalists about the B.1.351 strain. Additional mutations found in the variant were shown to be of concern. Dr Julian W. Tang, honorary associate professor and clinical virologist at the University of Leicester, explained that B.1.351 differs from B.1.1.7 in a number of ways which may lessen the effectiveness of vaccines. He explained: Both variants share the N501Y mutation in the viral S gene which lies in the receptor binding domain (RBD)where the virus binds to the host celland where vaccine-induced antibodies bind to the virus. But the South African variant has two more mutations E484K and K417Nin this RBD region that are absent in the UK variant. These two additional mutations may interfere more with vaccine effectiveness in the South African variant than in the UK variant. Tang said: This does not mean that the existing COVID-19 vaccines will not work at all, just that the antibodies induced by the current vaccines may not bind and neutralise the South African variant as well as it would the other circulating viruses including the UK variant. Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, commented: While [the B.1.351 variant] is more infectious, it currently remains unclear whether it
JAN-FEB 2021 Pakistan Edition DENTAL TRIBUNE 11 Ministry urges early imposition ... Continued from page 2 in the letter, adding this would also help boost tobacco revenues. The federal cabinet had decided to include provisions of the Federal Health Levy Bill in the Finance Bill 2019 but this couldn't become part of it due to unknown reasons. The measures to check illegal manufacturing and illicit trade of cigarettes and tobacco were also to be incorporated in the Finance Bill. Dr Sultan has now recommended to the Ministry of Finance again to take immediate measures to lay the Federal Health Levy Bill before the parliament at an early date to get it passed. Interview with Prof. Dr Khalid Almas Continued from page 4 The primary focus of everyone is to master the training of clinical skills to be good with their patients. But when patients get treated, they go back home, they forget about you. The institution and regulatory body's role and, of course, the individual, we are having a missing connection between them to promote research culture. There is no time to read and write because in Pakistan everybody is so busy. So I think there should be a part- time faculty, and there should be a full faculty of teachers dedicated and committed to the cause. And the other thing is that we also lack the national mission and vision of professional development and advancement because resolving such issues are a political decision in any country. And for anything to achieve, we need finances. In my recent research, we came across that only 2% population is generating 98% of the science, and 98% of the world population are the consumers of that science. Another factor is think is lack of industry partnerships and also within institutions. They should be accountable and check that researchers are publishing research that is credible and ensure that. This is why international acceptance of the journals is not very high, unfortunately from the developing countries. Accountability and transparency is another issue. At any workplace, we have been working in a structured environment where every time, every day, every month, we are being monitored. There should be personal accountability and personal transparency. When we go to bed at the end of the day, we should realise that we haven't done anything wrong. Once we have this type of feeling, we can satisfy, and Allah will also help us. DTP: Do you think there's a lack of a research curriculum at the undergrad level, your comment? DKA: There is a lack of a culture of research in academia. We have a lot of uninitiated and very few initiated clinician-scientist in Pakistan. I am not trying to offend anyone, but I am just telling you the reality. I remember in a program and asked those Post Graduates (PGs) attendees which journal they read last time, and no answered. Which journal did they go through last year? No answer. Have they read anything today? No answer. The PGs were even unaware of their speciality journals. So that was the situation with the pgs. So I asked the supervisors who were sitting there and said, 'Yeh ziada time nai lagate' (They don't spend much time). So I told him that it's your role; of course, time is not to blame. All of us do not have enough time wherever we are. So we should complain less and work more. The other thing is the lack of a conducive environment. In many universities, faculties would like to spend time on the tea party but no in scientific discussions. It's a pity. But unfortunately, this type of behaviour is very prevalent. Due to a lack of research and supervision training, our output at the national level is not accepted at the international forum. The interest should be inculcated at the grass-root level. Undergraduate students should have it in their curriculum. Students are not graduated in many countries until they don't produce a piece of research, regardless of how small it is. I also feel that people look down on the epidemiological data and analyses. If you see the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, you will notice that epidemiological data's contribution is very few. So I think we have to generate our data, we have to train our people. I also feel that students should be connected with the international dental students' association and be exposed to students exchange programs to have early exposure to research culture in other parts of the world. DTP: Recommendations for Pakistani dentists during COVID-19? DKA: We cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. We are ultimately living in a global village. So, in that situation, I think the role of the local regulatory bodies becomes essential. Especially the bodies working in-country need to have a consensus, and we can see that mutual efforts have been made to make it happen. Department of Health and regulatory bodies like the Pakistan Dental Association, Pakistan Medical Commission should also see. But it's a pity that quackery issues are still not resolved, so we can't expect much from them as infection control is still a problem. Above all, the general population's compliance needs to be ensured by spreading the message through TV shows and awareness programs. By having said all this, I believe that there should be enforced, and if you saw in many of the countries those who have higher fatalities, there was a defiance of the population. I can give you an example of China, where they controlled it very well compared to Western Democratic Countries. Such countries are suffering because of stubbornness. All these factors play a significant role, and Pakistan stands somewhere in between as a nation. We are still sitting on the fence where half of the population follows COVID Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and half are not. Then there are conspiracy theories circulating, which are further confusing more than 98% of the population. DTP: Any last messages for young dental students? DKA: I will tell them to be honest to themselves and their parents and family for the students. Respect your teachers, respect your parents. If we see in the recent past in Pakistan, the young doctors' associations have been labelled as mulligans, you know. Their behaviour is not termed as professionals. So, whatever the reason for their actions and many other organisations, I think they should remain professional. They should not lose their professional integrity in the eyes of the general masses. They should never stop learning and should keep on learning every day. Read, Observe and Assist and then do it-a Continuous Professional Development for the faculty and the teachers. Once one achieves academic rank such as that of Professor etc. is not part of lifetime achievement. They should be evaluated and monitored and regulated. The promotion based on a scientific contribution only should not be appreciated. It has to be seen as how much professional development is added every time. Students should also set their priorities and goals, both on a long term and short term basis. Those faculty members in the publication board convey my message that they should publish and perish. Young faculty should not focus only on the promotion of their publications. They should go for the quality. They should try to promote Pakistani journals as well. People should avoid self-citations, as well. It's a disease and needs to be treated soon. Avoid quick pay and quickly publish journals. Plan your projects and collab with the others. Do not stress yourself on the sequence of the authorship; ghost authorship is another issue. I can say that we need to work on science and use time efficiently. Please don't waste time on shows like Ertugral though it's a good show indeed. Include others that are lesser fortunate and bring them forward as well. Gratitude can go a long way! I am praying that may Allah bless my readers with success in their endeavours, and that they are not included in 2% of scientists, but 1% of scientists in the world. Expert highlights ways to ... Continued from page 6 Prof. Dr Moghees A Baig, Dean and Principal, Head of Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, UCMD was the workshop's operating surgeon. He highlighted the various steps and new inclusions to the SOPs for performing minor oral surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also demonstrated techniques that help a dentist stay safe and to provide a risk-free environment for the patient. -PR ZU puts spotlight on essentials ... Continued from page 6 Strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were maintained, and participants' registration s were limited, citing physical distancing. The participants were then encouraged to use the software and work around it. The participants provided encouraging and very positive feedback for the session. -PR Top achievers in price ... Continued from page 8 Director General, BUMDC presented the students' awards. The ceremony was also graced by Dr Ambreen Usmani, Principal and Dean, Medical Section, BUMDC, Prof. Dr Wahab Kadri, Principal, Dental Section, BUMDC and Prof. Dr Kulsoom Fatima Rizvi, Vice Principal, Dental Section, BUMDC. The winners included Hafiza Amna Khalid and Zobia Batool from First Year BDS, Areeba Aurangzeb and Dua Saleem from the Second Years BDS, Fatima Zahra and Nabshah Saleem from Third Years BDS. The winners received awards of Rs 100, 000/- and 75,000/- for first and second positions respectively. -PR AIDM faculty completes ... Continued from page 8 CHPE 2020 from all the leading medical and dental colleges of Karachi, the first three positions were secured by the faculty of AIDM. First position secured by Prof. Dr Hasnain Sakrani, the second position by Dr Maria Ghani and third position Dr Batool Sajjad and Dr Maria Shakoor Abbasi. -PR BUMDC bids farewell to ... Continued from page 8 Prof. Dr Kulsoom Fatima Rizvi, Vice Principal, BUMDC, and all senior faculty members in the faculty lounge. Dr Sameera served at Bahria Dental College for almost four years with a diligent and responsible attitude. She was acknowledged for her outstanding efforts and awarded with a token of appreciation. -PR