The Asia-Pacific Dental Federation has accepted the request of Pakistan Dental Association to organise 28th Asia-Pacific Dental Congress in Karachi in February 2006.
This was announced by 28th Asia-Pacific Dental Congress (APDC) Chairman Dr Arif Alvi at a news conference here on Thursday.
Pakistan Dental Association Secretary Dr Asif Niaz Arain, Asia-Pacific Dental Federation Vice President Dr Mahmood Shah and APDC Secretary Dr Ali Farhan Razi were also present on the occasion.
Dr Arif Alvi said that during the recent meeting of the Asia-Pacific Dental Federation in New Delhi, in which delegates from 25 countries participated, some countries opposed the Pakistan's bid for 28th APDC-2006. "The primary concern of some countries, including Australia was the security situation, which is being misreported in the foreign media."
He said that due to the support of India and other regional friends, Pakistan won this prestigious honour when two-thirds of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region voted in favour of Pakistan for the congress.
The 28th APDC would be a mega event as thousands of dentists from around the world and hundreds of dental manufacturers would display and sell their products in Pakistan, he added.
Dr Arif said, "The organisers believed that about 6,000 dentists, over half of them from abroad, would participate in this mega event which would be organised at the Expo Centre Karachi.
He said already over 1,500 dentists have enrolled in India for the 28th APDC during three days, when a Pakistani delegation visited the FDI Conference in New Delhi in September this year.
He said, "We believe that by late 2005 another 1,500 to 2,000 dentists would register from India alone. The primary concern of the dentists planning to visit our country was the availability of visa," he added.
Along with the 28th APDC, the committee would organise a public awareness dental health blitz across the country, wherein the public would be briefed on dental diseases, their causes and prevention.
A mega exhibition for the public, especially families and school children would also run concurrently with the congress.
Pakistan is in a unique situation as most countries have gone through the cycle of increasing dental diseases because of softer and sugary diet and then increasing cost of dental treatment before they worked on prevention. Pakistan can turn the table by taking major strides on the road to prevention before dental calamity hits, he added. The congress would provide a unique opportunity to study ways and means by which dental disease prevention can be implemented in the country and at the same time modes by which cheap treatment could be made available to help the poor masses of the country, Dr Alvi said.
He hoped that after peaceful holding of the event, Pakistan, particularly Karachi would be considered as a safe, secure and hospitable place for major conventions.