DNA Facility KP Renown To Offer High Quality Services
The DNA lab has processed 650 cases since it opened and has received more than 10,000 samples from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The first DNA testing facility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was opened in 2018 thanks to the efforts of Prof. Hakim Afridi, the department’s head at Khyber Medical College (KMC). 2013 saw the start of Prof. Hakim Afridi’s work on the DNA facility.
Of course, this was a difficult task; the KMC already had a fully operational department of forensic medicine and toxicology, but Prof. Hakim Afridi had always wanted to build a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lab at the same location.
Only he and his team members were aware of the obstacles they had to overcome in order to get the lab approved, secure funding, and hire qualified staff. He has been struggling on his own for a long time, knocking on doors to ask for government assistance as if he were doing it for himself.
Additionally, when Prof. Hakim Afridi tried to get their attention to fix critical issues with the DNA lab, nobody in the government acknowledged their assistance and instead chose to ignore them.
Since it opened, the DNA lab has handled 650 cases and more than 10,000 samples from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The DNA lab has done a great job DNA profiling a patient despite the fact that it lacks qualified professionals.
One molecular biologist and one serologist are currently employed by the lab; due to a lack of funding, neither position could be expanded nor could new equipment and supplies be acquired.
It has become a liability and a burden for the KMC, the oldest and first medical college in the KP. The college receives an online budget from the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) Board of Governors (BoG), which is in charge of the college. The college then uses its own funds to fund the DNA lab.
Formerly owned by the Punjab government, the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) is now a stand-alone organisation that receives significant financial support from both domestic and foreign organisations.
However, the committed staff of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department of the Khyber Medical College (KMC) in Peshawar was more than shocked and surprised to hear that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KP does not have the DNA facility.
The statement that the province lacks a DNA testing facility was made first by the provincial police chief, Moazam Jah Ansari, and then by the prime minister.
The prime minister, who was presiding over the Apex Committee meeting, charged the previous KP administration with receiving Rs 417 billion over a 13-year span without using those funds to develop infrastructure like the safe city project or set up a DNA lab in the province.
They appeared to be unaware of the knowledge that KP actually possessed. They seemed unaware that KP had actually constructed the same facility in 2018. The KP DNA lab has grown into an undesirable offspring. Not even by the previous PTI administration has it ever been owned.
The former minister of finance and health was active on social media all the time, taking credit for accomplishments he had nothing to do with but he never made time for those who wanted to discuss important issues pertaining to his ministry.
Since no medical college in Pakistan currently operates a DNA lab, it is imperative that interim chief minister address the legitimate concerns of the KMC administration regarding the DNA lab.
To allow the college to concentrate on its own teaching initiatives, it is preferable that the chief minister places it under the administrative supervision of the health or home and tribal affairs department.
“One DNA procedure costs Rs50,000, but the department receives no funding from the government. “The police department should be forced to pay for the DNA tests and kit needed for DNA analysis because this department is actually helping the public department by making its job of investigating easier,” “said a college representative.
With an increase in the value of the dollar, kit prices rise. Kits were purchased by the department a year ago, but they were used in the attack on the Peshawar police lines case.
In 2015, the KP government installed cutting-edge equipment at the DNA laboratory in Peshawar but was unable to hire technical staff because of legal issues.
The majority of referral cases for the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department come from across the province. The police in Pakistan rely on a ten-year-old investigation system, but in the modern world, the latest studies and advancements in the fields of forensic medicine and toxicology make it simple to identify the perpetrators.
Toxicology and forensic medicine have been offered as courses at KMC in KP since the institution’s founding in 1954, but a full-fledged department wasn’t established until 1990. Since that time, the department has handled medicolegal cases, providing the entire province with autopsy services and specialised expert opinions.