DALLAS, TEXAS (By Zahid Rana) — The 18,000 strong group, the Association of Physicians of Pakistani-descent of North America celebrated 41st annual APPNA Summer convention from July 4-July 8, 2018 at Hilton Anatole (Texas) which was attended by physicians from North America to different cities of Pakistan.
The prestigious ceremony was addressed by President APPNA, Dr. Iqbal Zafar Hamid, and other senior office-bearers and attended by top officials and diplomats including Pakistan’s newly arrived Ambassador Ali Jahangir Siddiqi and Consul General Aisha Farooqi.
It was the largest annual summer convention in the history of APPNA with respect to attendance, activities and media coverage.
The theme of the year was “Coming Together” with emphasis on EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, and ADVOCACY. The president of APPNA, Dr. Iqbal Zafar Hamid and Chair of Convention Dr. Dawood Nasir managed the arrangements successfully.
About 5000 physicians and their families attended the convention from all around the world which was also attended by local officials and activists.
According to APPNA President, Dr. Iqbal Zafar Hamid “the important events that were unique to this summer convention were Youth Convention, APPNA Mobile health clinic project, Young Physician’s seminar, the Social forum on Child abuse, APPNA University, and multiple philanthropic projects.”
Dr. Iqbal Zafar Hamid elaborated that YOUTH CONVENTION was held collaboration with Pakistan Embassy spread over 3 days included several healthy activities, competitions, and discussions to provide our youth a platform that they can own and benefit from it. APPNA Idol, Debate, Basketball, Chess, Trivia competitions, interactive discussions and workshops with leaders from faith, social and political backgrounds were among several of the programs.
Inauguration of APPNA MOBILE HEALTH CLINICS was launched as a joint collaboration of ICNA Dallas and APPNA to provide health services in DFW area for patients who lack health insurance or the means to reach their physician on time. APPNA plans to launch similar mobile health units in each of the cities of USA where APPNA chapter is active.
Similar mobile health clinics have been launched in Mirpur Khas, Sindh in collaboration with Mohammad Medical College where more than 10,000 patients of the most rural area are treated in less than 4 months.
“We have plans to launch these mobile health clinics in different cities of Pakistan with ground partners in Pakistan who will manage and operate these clinics. So far 10 plus mobile health clinics have already been ordered which will join the fleet in the coming months”, Dr. Iqbal Zafar Hamid told journalists.
APPNA UNIVERSITY was the center of discussion as APPNA plans to launch it in one of the biggest
cities in US. Envisioned by APPNA, this university will establish the legacy for the generations of Pakistani to come and their help and support in this matter is greatly appreciated. This university will provide Ivy League standard education to the public without any discrimination and bias.
An interesting feature of the event was a highly successful Social Forum which was organized with the joint efforts of Alumni and APPNA featuring “Child Abuse in Pakistan: Elephant in the room. The expert panel consisted of experts and activists from Pakistan and the USA.
Musarrat Misbah, Anwar Iqbal, Frieha Altaf, Angeline Malik and Aneeta Afzal were among those who attended the function.
Discussion by experts also focused on the issue of child abuse, role that APPNA and possible roles the activists can play by working together to bring awareness, help train first responders to deal with trauma, define media’s role in child abuse and how educators can be involved to make a curriculum change for prevention and with legislators to identify and punish these offenders.
To entertain the participants and their families a FASHION SHOW AND GRAND BAZAAR was also arranged during which the culture of Pakistan was showcased through the Fashion
show where models walked down the aisle wearing top fashion designers from Pakistan and their
The five-day long bazaar hosted more than 250 vendors who displayed their collections,
objectives, and creations that helped promote the local and Pakistani designers and organizations in sending out their message to the world through APPNA platform.
Meanwhile, an Advocacy committee workshop was also held which highlighted and provided a platform for Pakistani American citizens to discuss and get involved in the mainstream political flow that is critical in this day and age for American Muslims. The Prominent American Muslim Leaders currently involved in mainstream politics attended this workshop.
Pakistani Ambassador Ali Jahangir Siddiqi and Consul General both appreciated the role and contributions of APPNA in the U.S. and in Pakistan.
RESA Committee organized a comprehensive educational program relevant to today’s healthcare
presented by world-class speakers and experts from all over the US.
Topics included opioid epidemic, sleep apnea, obesity, hepatitis, pain medicine, cosmetic dermatology and a poster competition. Awards were given for excellence in Research, Education and Community Affairs to the several leaders in their field.
PHILANTHROPY through service was exemplified by raising funds through providing salon and beauty
services by Depilex’ s Musarrat Misbah, her associates and local salon owners who devoted their time and skills throughout the convention.
All proceeds went to Smile Again foundation that rehabilitates and facilitate life-changing treatments to acid and kerosene burn victims in Pakistan. A session of OBAT Helpers with APPNA was well attended that focused on Rohingya relief as well as Displaced Pakistanis in Bangladesh camps.
BANQUETS AND ENTERTAINMENT: Last but not the least highly tasteful and entertaining banquet
dinners followed by Musical evenings were organized to entertain the guests after long day of scholarly,
social, academic and philanthropic activities. Nabeel Shaukat Ali, Atif Aslam, Aima Baig, Mikka Singh
and Neyha Kakkar were among the artists who performed and made the evenings memorable.
Media partnership with multiple TV and Radio channels in North America as well as special MOU with
HUM TV networks helped propagate APPNA’s message.
SIUT: A team of SIUT led by Dr. Sajid Sultan and Dr. Altaf Hashmi attended the convention with a
message and invitation from Dr. Adeeb Rizvi for APPNA to hold its annual winter convention at SIUT in
APPNA President also disclosed that a Global Healthcare summit will be held in Pakistan in Lahore and Karachi from 18-22 December and the international standard medical conference will be open to all the physicians in Pakistan to help transfer skills and knowledge.