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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Review & Evaluation of Curriculum in Dental Teaching Institutions of Pakistan in View of Toxic Mercury/Mercury Amalgam Use and Exposure Resulting in Risk to Public Health
By: SDPI

Partner:  EEB/ZMWG

Duration: August to November, 2013

Locale: Dental teaching institutions at Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Quetta, Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Mirpur Khas

Introduction: 

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR), mercury was ranked third most toxic element in the priority list of hazardous substances in year 2011. Mercury, in the form of mercury amalgam restorative filling, is widely utilized in the field of operative dentistry. Mercury/Hg vapors are released during the preparation of amalgam filling, which impose toxic effects on human health and environment. A study was designed by SDPI to gauge the gravity of the problem with regard to awareness and expertise in handling of mercury among those who are regularly involved in use of mercury.

Objectives:

To assess the level of experties regarding mercury/mercury amalgam use in operative/restorative dentistry, control of mercury emission/releases, mercury toxicity, occupational health and safety, environmental degradation, mercury waste management, best in-house environmental practices, use of environment-friendly technologies (mechanical mixing, encapsulated amalgam, non-mercury based composites)
To emphasize the need to revise the present curriculum in the light of the above assessment and include the acquired data for better training, knowledge and sensitization of the dental professionals for mercury reduction at source and phasing out of mercury use leading to its elimination in dentistry for the protection of environment and public health

Activities:

In order to extract the information regarding mercury/ Hg-amalgam use in operative/restorative dentistry, background study of different sets of curriculum provided by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC), University of Health Sciences (UHS) and Fatima Jinnah Dental College (FJDC, Karachi) has been carried out.
Curriculum followed at dental teaching institutions in the neighboring countries, specially of SAARC members states have also been studied for comparison and guidance.
Development of an outline on the missing issues in the curriculums with reference to mercury/mercury amalgam use, phasing out leading to elimination, occupational safety and health and alternatives to mercury based restorative fillings
Meetings with stakeholders, including teaching staff/officials at dental colleges/universities/teaching hospitals, officials of higher education commission (HEC), Pakistan medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and Ministry of health.
Publications with findings  from the field and policy recommendations
Advocacy for the need and importance to revise existing curriculum at dental teaching institutions through Letters to Editors of leading daily newspaper in the country, meetings with the members of higher government officials/stakeholders responsible for the curriculum revision
Advocacy for the  implementation of new curriculum thus developed

Findings:

The preliminary findings of the survey suggest:
Out of 38 dental institutions, 35 institutions were accessed. It was found that 40% of institutions follow the curriculum prescribed by Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, 20% University of Health Sciences, 11% Karachi University and 8% Bahria University.
Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum prescribe amalgam restorative filling but not specifically mercury amalgam restorative dentistry. Course contents lack any relevant information regarding the protective measures in case of mercury spill, technical skills in the handling and storage of mercury amalgam filling, the environmental degradation due to mercury, assuring safe and environmental friendly waste management of mercury and other occupational health and safety issues, best environmental practices, methodologies and technologies.

For More Information, Contact the Following Person:


Mahmood A. Khwaja