By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Members of the Turkish and Pakistani communities launched an annual joint healthcare project between Ankara and Islamabad on Monday in the Turkey's capital.
At a meeting in Ankara, promoters of the Ibn Sina Alliance (ISA) said the annual project aimed to learn and transfer human capital and knowledge between the two countries.
"We have launched several study and policy-making groups which will help us understand the gaps and deficiencies in the healthcare system in the two countries and then see how the two countries can cooperate and learn from each other's experiences," said Dr. Kemal Aydin of the ISA.
Named after 11th-century Muslim thinker Ibn Sina -- also known as Avicenna -- the ISA was founded in the Netherlands in 2002 to revive historical scientific achievements in the Muslim world.
The joint project will launch in 11 areas, including health, policy management, social security and health education.
Aydin said an international conference co-organized by Turkish and Pakistani group members would take place in Turkey's central province of Konya on April 7 on the occasion of World Health Day.
"We want to realize a healthy Muslim world by 2030 and this conference will be an important step towards ensuring joint health projects," Aydin explained, adding that such projects would include joint efforts against tobacco and alcohol use.
An alumnus of the Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore, Pakistan, Aydin said: "As a volunteer in the early 1990s, I sold pens to donate money for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre."
Founded by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the center is a charitable hospital that gives free care to cancer patients.
"We have established an annual Ibn Sina Award to celebrate selflessness in healthcare and this year, at Konya conference, we will present the award to Prime Minister Khan," he announced.
"The Ibn Sina Alliance aims to lead with health diplomacy to work as a bridge among Muslim countries," he added.