Govt to speed up incorporation of renewable energy source
Health related SdGs require urgent attention
People’s right to wellness A weekly from Karachi
Special Focus on
Friday, December 01, 2017 Vol IV No 29-30 12 Pages I Rs. 30
Health Education Environment
neglected dTL to receive attention By Mukhtar Alam KARACHI: The Sindh health department has decided to add some more facilities to its newly completed under-utilised provincial drug testing laboratory at the former I & I Medical Store depot, near JPMC, it emerged last week. Sources in the health department said that despite the fact that the drug testing laboratory (dTL), which was housed in an old building on M A Jinnah Road, has been shifted to a new ground plus three floored building about six months back, the department has not been able to ensure its effective functioning so far. Authorities have now decided to invest more money in the laboratory to have more scientific equipment including those needed for testing injectable products, a source added, maintaining that a new PC-1 has been approved by the due forum and departments of the government and issuance of an administrative order is a matter of time. It is further learnt that the big wigs in the health department want to see dTL as a vibrant and foolproof system against the reported production and sale of supurious and below substandard drugs. “Authorities concerned have finalised a new PC-1 costing Rs100 million which is likely to fulfill the minimum requirements of good laboratory practice as per the pattern of other federal and provincial governments’ dTLs.”
"during the last few years, the capacity of the only drug-testing laboratory in the province under the administrative control of the provincial government, as well as the sampling activities by drug inspectors have been restricted," said a keen observer.
despite getting new premises, more equipments and staffs, the laboratory is not properly housed in the new place and still lacks the capacity to test injecatable drugs. A visit to the new dTL building revealed that equipment and different sections of the laboratory still needed proper attention. "The laboratory did not have a regular power supply," said personnel in the building who talked briefly to Social Track. The health department is still due to take over the building from contractors and government’s works and services department for various reasons. Tracing the history, an insider said that the ground-plus-three floored project at the former I & I depot, initiated in 2010-11 was to be completed (construction and procurement/shifting of equipment) at an estimated cost of Rs 110m by 2013, but has not been completed even after getting an extension of one year. In the meantime, it was also revealed that due to delayed payments and escalation in material prices, the contractor had stopped work on construction of the new laboratory for a considerable time. "Years back, a drug inspector used to collect 10 to 16 samples per month but it now has shrunk to 4-6," said a source privy to the handling of samples. A majority of the samples collected at present pertain to orally taken drugs.
Sindh hospitals admitted 744,618 patients KARACHI: The annual Health Profile released by Bureau of Statistics (BoS), Sindh, recently, says that as many as 44,483,124 entries of indoor and outdoor patients were recorded at 648 government and private hospitals across Sindh in 2016.
The BoS data pertaining to number of hospitals functioning in the government, including local bodies, and private sectors in question, having a total 30,128 beds, revealed that in all 744,618 patients were admitted to these hospitals in 2016, i.e. on average one bed was engaged by two patients in one month.
2604 1 1 Deaths Source: Sindh Health Department Updated on November 30, 2017
December 1, 2017
Continued on page 9
Health Profile 2016
By Our Correspondent
Public Health Sindh - 2017
A similar compilation undertaken by BoS in previous years gave an understanding that 22,949,047 patients, including 11,895,584 females, reported in the outdoor departments, while a total 967,241 patients, including 524,251 females, were admitted to hospitals during 2014. There were 503 hospitals in
government and private sectors across Sindh in 2014, with 27,843 beds and 16,269 doctors, including specialists and surgeons. Giving an analysis of available medical capacity for serving a projected population of about 50 million in 2016, the health report Continued on page 11
InSIdE Editorial ...............Page 03 Health ..................Page 04 Special Report.....Page 06 Environment ........Page 08 Education ............Page 09 Mosaic .................Page 10
EXCERPTS .............on page 03
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2 I nEwS
I Friday, December 01, 2017
OPInIOn I 3
I Friday, December 01, 2017
People’s right to wellness
No more lethargy, please
etween 1999 and 2016, the prevalence of diabetes in Pakistani adults has increased by about 100 per cent, affecting both the men and women in equal proportion. A day ahead of the world diabetes day a team of senior doctors disseminated some preliminary data of an officially conducted comprehensive survey –national diabetes Survey of Pakistan (ndSP) 2016-17, saying, "By large the population in the country has poor habits of dieting and living, while its attitude towards exercise and healthy activities is also not very encouraging as far as the control of non-communicable diseases including diabetes is concerned." no doubt, the reports about surge in diabetes have set alarm bells ringing and we just have to be a little disciplined, particularly when the governments at all levels are badly failing in identifying the strategies and way-forward for better advocacy and awareness campaigns against diabetes. Authorities as major stakeholders need to make diabetes a national public-health priority as the disease’s complications, according to experts, can cause heart attack, stroke, blindness and limb amputation. ndSP in question has recorded the overall incidences of diabetes in Pakistan at 26.3 per cent, while another 14.4 per cent had chances of becoming diabetic, if due precautions and interventions are not taken. Individuals above the age 20 years were surveyed; About 19.2 per cent of the participants were known to be suffering from diabetes, while another 7.1 per cent were recently diagnosed to be suffering from the disease, commonly called ‘sugar’ by laymen. According to the survey, Sindh had the highest number of diabetics at 30.2 per cent, followed by Punjab (28.8 per cent), Balochsitan (28.1 per cent) and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (12.9 per cent). In addition, about 50 per cent of the surveyed individuals were found hypertensive or had high blood pressure, 75.2 per cent were found overweight and 83 per cent of the people were found to have dyslipidemia or high cholesterol. Gaining weight is seen as the biggest cause of diabetes and hypertension. diabetes has been around for a long time, with the medical evidence suggesting that this disease will be a significant public-health threat well into the prevailing century. The sad part of the diabetes dynamics is that it is no longer considered an adult onset disease, in view of rising rates of childhood cases. Moreover, this silent killer is now common among all income brackets. Experts are concerned over the fact that many more people remain undiagnosed. They say diet and lifestyle play key role in one’s health. while seeing the overall national diet as a delicious cast of villains, they have frequently called for rethinking of our daily habits. Take home message is: eat healthy, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain. It is also suggested that government too should think as major stakeholder about placing initiatives in place to address this public-health dilemma. Globally, a few of the countries have adopted measures like increasing taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks, regulating advertising of unhealthy food to children and insisting that food labels warn of excess salt, sugar or fat in order to promote healthy eating. It would be appreciated if the governments in the centre or provinces went for a holistic emergency programme to prevent and control diabetes and cure and manage the diabetics in the country. Besides launching various public awareness measures, governments should also go for robust screening of masses against diabetes and provision of medicines and related devices free of cost for those who cannot afford to pay, or on subsidised rates. In a country where an estimated 50 million people are already diabetic, there is a dire need to rise to the occasion without any further delay to avert the complications of the disease and save the already critically-ill health system, and the government from overburdening.
EXCERPTS Securing amenity plots THE MENACE of encroachment had remained a major issue of our cities, towns and rural areas for year, with powerful mafias backing such activities all-around in the country. ●
Sadly the officialdom, instead of enforcing the writ of the government and protecting rights of masses, themselves indulged in such activities, and supported the vested interest to usurp amenity parks, playgrounds and other amenities. Recently the chief minister of Sindh on a directive of Supreme Court ordered removal of marriage lawns which were set up during the last many years on government land, parks, playgrounds and other amenity plots. Land mafia and other powerful elite apply various tactics to occupy land without taking law into consideration. Therefore, one can witness emergence of marriage halls and markets, bus stations, water-tanker stands and houses on vacant pieces of land. Therefore, serious action against encroachment in the city is needed as per the actual map of Karachi city, which may show the number of facilities government can provide to citizens in terms of parks and playgrounds. SocialTrackeditorial,March13,2015
Health & diseases, literacy & education, ecology & environment, housing, nutrition, living and poverty, mortality & migration, women & gender empowerment, human resource, energy, water & sanitation, public utilities, public health, population parameters, labour force & employment, forest, fossil fuel, global warming, climate change, science & technology, sports & youth affairs, food & fertilizer, transport & communication, information technology, natural resources.
There are billions of dollars available for climate projects. A
namibian research organization was granted five million dollars last month to provide clean water to villages in need, using power from the sun and wind. A Senegalese organization received $1.35 million earlier in the year to help coastal communities prepare for the impacts of rising sea levels. And a Mongolian bank was granted an $8.7 million loan for the construction of a large-scale solar plant. These financing recipients were all so-called "direct access" entities. The funding they received came from the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund, two funds that channel finance to help countries shift their economies and societies toward greater climate compatibility. These funds play a central role in ensuring that developing countries have access to necessary funds to implement their climate goals, including the commitments they made under the Paris Agreement. The Green Climate Fund, in particular, has several billion dollars of resources to distribute over the next few years. It is looking for strong funding proposals for innovative climate mitigation or adaptation projects. The role of direct access That's where "direct access" comes in. direct access is a way for developing country actors to receive money from these global funds without having to go through an international financial intermediary (like the world Bank or Un development Programme). Before being granted direct access, entities must undergo an accreditation process to make sure they are able to properly handle the funds. Right now, 26 direct access institutions are accredited to the Adaptation Fund and 35 to the Green Climate Fund. This includes all types of institutions, from environment agencies and non-profit organizations, to private companies and national development banks. Receiving direct access to the climate funds has brought several benefits to these organizations. In addition to providing a new source of potential funding, the
accreditation process itself has often helped strengthen the quality of the entities' management systems. That said, receiving finance through direct access is not without real challenges. Even after receiving accreditation, the entities have to submit project proposals that can pass the funds' quality controls. drafting successful proposals is a challenging process for many institutions. Less than half of the funding proposals approved by climate funds have come from national and regional direct access entities—the rest come from international organizations. Direct access community of practice On Sunday (november 12), on the sidelines of the Un climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, wRI helped convene a group of direct access entities and their partners to share experiences and discuss future collaboration. Under the umbrella of the direct Access Community of Practice, the meeting marked an opportunity for entities accredited to the GCF and Adaptation Fund to share their recent successes and challenges. Peer exchange between entities seeking access to funding from the climate funds is of vital importance because the process of constructing innovative climate initiatives is not easy. This challenge made worse by the fact that these funds are still so new and not well understood. while the Adaptation Fund celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, it did not approve its first projects until 2010. The GCF approved its first proposals at the end of 2015. As a result, there are relatively few people around the world who thoroughly understand the process involved in accessing these funds. Those that do often work within the organizations that have already received funding. These people are thus a valuable source of expertise for their peers. This is particularly true for direct access entities, who often face slightly different challenges from those of international organizations. Continued on page 8
Is nepal well?
full report of the 2016 demographic and Health Survey (dHS) was released on Monday (november 13). while the health indicators show an overall improvement in healthcare, knowledge about health related issues and family planning in nepal compared to a decade ago, breaking down the results by province shows that there is a serious need for stronger health and education intervention in Province 2 in particular. The dHS is an internationally recognised survey that produces data on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender, HIV/AIdS, malaria, and nutrition. The data from dHS is a vital tool to assess health programmes and opt for corrective measures. This is the first year in which the dHS indicators were broken down according to provinces. This breakdown of the results should, ideally, help the central government and the respective provincial governments tailor comprehensive, made-to-fit public health plans for each region. It has already shown us the regions—mainly Province 2 and the far-west— that have been left behind by the government and major political parties when it comes to public health provision and fuelling awareness. The findings reveal that, on average, more children are surviving early childhood than ever before with a sharp decline in under-five mortality from 118 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1996 to 39 deaths per the same in 2016. However, the mortality figures in Provinces 2, 6 and 7 are a whopping 52, 58 and 69 respectively. Re-
lated to this, a mother from Province 2 gives birth to three children against 1.8 children in Province 3 while the national average is 2.3. Besides, 27 percent of the mothers aged between 15 and 19 years were found to be pregnant in Province 2, while the figures for Province 6 and 7 were also among the highest, at 19 percent and 16 percent respectively. when you compare Province 2 to the national average on childhood vaccination, you can pick up on a vicious trend. Only 65 percent of children aged between 12 and 23 months were administered basic vaccines in Province 2, against the national average of 78 percent. Experts say low literacy rate is behind much of this. The areas with low family planning, low healthcare education and low literacy are shown to have the highest number of pregnancies per mother, the lowest percentage of basic vaccinations administered and the highest rates of infant mortality. This should be a no brainer. That the least-developed far-west region reports such numbers shows that the government’s development efforts there have not focused enough on public health awareness. And the fact that Province 2—which has been a political hotbed for all major political parties—has such high numbers points to the insincerity of these parties to truly develop the region. Hopefully, the upcoming elections will bring about change in the region, with elected leaders sincerely focusing on their constituents to provide better public health and education.
Editorial/Kathmandu Post, Nepal
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I Friday, December 01, 2017
Vitamin d and inflammatory diseases
aintaining sufficient vitamin d levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered. The research also found that while Vitamin d can be effective at preventing the onset of inflammation, it is less effective once inflammatory disease is established because diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis leads to vitamin d insensitivity. Another key finding of the research was that the impact of vitamin d on inflammatory disease cannot be predicted using cells from healthy individuals or even from the blood of patients with inflammation as cells from the disease tissue are very different. The researchers concluded that if vitamin d is to be used in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, clinicians may need to prescribe much higher doses than currently employed or provide a treatment that also corrects the vitamin d insensitivity of immune cells within the joint.
In addition to its well-established actions on the skeleton, vitamin d is a potent modulator of the immune system. In particular, vitamin d can suppress inflammation in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are frequently vitamin d deficient and may receive vitamin d supplementation. The study, published in the Journal of Autoimmunity, involved using paired peripheral blood and synovial fluid from the inflamed joint of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Professor Martin Hewison, of the University of Birmingham's Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, said: "Our current understanding of vitamin d and rheumatoid arthritis is based on studies of patient blood which may not truly represent the situation at the site of inflammation -- the joints. "we therefore investigated responses to the active form of vitamin d in immune cells from the inflamed joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
"Compared to blood from the same patients, the inflamed joint immune cells were much less sensitive to active vitamin d. "This appears to be because immune cells from the joints of rheumatoid arthritis patients are more committed to inflammation, and therefore less likely to change, even though they have all the machinery to respond to vitamin d." dr Louisa Jeffery, also of the University of Birmingham, said: "Our research indicates that maintaining sufficient vitamin d may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. "However, for patients who already have rheumatoid arthritis, simply providing vitamin d might not be enough. Instead much higher doses of vitamin d may be needed, or possibly a new treatment that bypasses or corrects the vitamin d insensitivity of immune cells within the joint." Senior author Professor Karim Raza, also of the University of Birmingham, said: "Our findings were unexpected as we initially thought that cells from the in-
flamed rheumatoid joint would respond just as well to vitamin d as cells from the blood. The fact that they don't has important implications for how we think about using vitamin d to treat inflammation. "Unlike previous studies we isolated different immune cell types from the actual site of disease to determine whether specific subsets of immune cells (specific T cell groups) have equal sensitivity to vitamin d." This is the first research of its kind to characterise the effects of vitamin d in both peripheral blood and inflamed joints of patients with inflammatory disease. The study, carried out in collaboration with Professor david Sansom at University College London, is part of an ongoing research project which first began in 2011. The university now hopes to embark on new research to determine why rheumatoid arthritis leads to vitamin d insensitivity, how we can overcome this and whether this effect is seen in other inflammatory diseases. Courtesy: ScienceDaily
Meeting sheds new light on hepatitis C care and treatment A roundup of key findings from the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Washington, DC, by Benjamin Ryan . n recent years, scientists at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver diseases in washington, dC, have presented major findings that have revolutionized the treatment and care of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV). At this point in the evolution of direct-acting antivirals (dAAs) for the treatment of hep C, the pharmaceutical pipeline has narrowed, owing to the impressively high effectiveness and tolerability of currently available treatments, not to mention their declining costs. (not that such treatments have become inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination.) So the hep C–related presentations at the Liver Meeting (as the scientific conference is called for short), held in washington, dC, from October 20 to 24, were less groundbreaking and more concerned with filling in the cracks, so to speak, to address the unmet needs of those living with the virus. To follow is a roundup of major findings presented at the conference. To read more about any of the studies, click the hyperlinks. Treatment: Gilead Sciences, the dominant player in the HCV drug market, saw good news for its recently approved Vosevi (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir), which cured 96 to 98 percent of those who had been previously treated with but not cured by dAAs. These high cure rates occurred despite the fact that nearly all the study’s participants had mutations in their hep C that are associated with resistance to treatment. Another Gilead regimen, Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir), was safe and well tolerated among a small group of 18 people with severe kidney impairment, which is relatively common among people with hep C. All of them were cured of hep C. Additionally, researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 1,500 veterans with severe chronic kidney disease (CKd) and HCV who were treated with Merck’s Zepatier (grazoprevir/elbasvir). ninety-seven percent of those with stage 3 CKd and 96 percent of those with stages 4 or 5 were cured of the virus.
A pair of studies about AbbVie’s new regimen Mavyret (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir) found that it is effective among seniors and those with genotype 3 of hep C. Pooled results from trials including nearly 2,400 people treated with the regimen, including 328 people age 65 and older, found that 98 percent of the seniors and 97 percent of the younger set were cured of hep C. And in an analysis of five Phase II and III studies of Mavyret among 570 people with genotype 3, considered the most difficult to treat, the regimen cured 95 to 97 percent of the participants. As for experimental hep C treatments, the JnJ-4178 regimen, developed jointly by Janssen and Achillion, cured HCV in a respective 99 percent and 98 percent of those treated for just six and eight weeks. Various studies examined the benefits of curing hep C. One found that a large group of individuals treated for the virus when they had minimal or no liver fibrosis showed almost no evidence of liver-health problems up to three years later. The findings of another study supported the hypothesis that beating the virus helps prevent individuals from developing type-2 diabetes. One study found that up to three years post–hep C cure, individuals experienced improvements on every measure of health-related quality of life. And yet another study found that among those with cirrhosis and hep C, treating the virus reduces hospitalizations as well as associated costs. Liver Transplants: Two studies examined ways to potentially expand liver transplantation opportunities. One study focused on the surgical practice common in the United Kingdom but rare in the United States of splitting livers from deceased donors into unequal parts and giving the smaller one to a child and the larger to an adult. Researchers estimated that of the 35,000 livers available for transplant between 2010 and 2015, about 1,100 were suitable candidates for splitting—more than the number of children who died during that period while waiting for a transplant. Another study found that transplanting livers from donors who test positive for viral genes is
tied to only a modest risk of transmitting the virus to the recipient, who in many cases can then receive successful dAA treatment. At a major transplant center in Indiana, 26 per cent of whites received a transplant compared with 14 percent of Blacks, despite having similar levels of liver disease severity. Twenty per cent of whites and 31 percent of Blacks at the center received palliative or hospice care while a respective 16 percent and 10 percent received surgery to remove all or part of their liver tumors. Addiction: A survey of about 200 addiction specialist clinicians identified various factors they perceive as barriers to treating hep C among people receiving opioid agonist therapy for addiction to drugs such as heroin or prescription painkillers. By identifying such obstacles, including long wait times to see a specialist health care provider and insurance company restrictions on covering dAAs because of drug or alcohol use, the investigators hope their research can prompt related solutions. Testing positive for hep C through an addiction treatment center can help individuals make healthier choices. Individuals in a study of more than 500 Canadians who faced a diagnosis in this context were about 50 per cent more likely to significantly decrease their use of non-prescribed opioids, benzodiazepines (such as Xanax), cocaine and other substances compared with their peers who tested HCV negative. Liver Cancer: Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab), which aids the immune system in combating cancer, caused liver cancer tumors to shrink or the disease to stabilize in more than half of a group of 262 people who received the treatment. The median overall survival time was 15 months. In a study of people with hepatitis B virus (HBV), 3 per cent of those who took daily aspirin therapy and 6 per cent of those who did not developed liver cancer over a five-year period. After controlling the data for various factors, researchers concluded that daily aspirin therapy was associated with a 47 percent lower rate of liver cancer in this group. Courtesy: hepmag.com
HEALTH I 5
I Friday, December 01, 2017
Chest pain units set up across Karachi to help cardiac patients
‘dUHS to reach another milestone’ By Our Correspondent
By Our Correspondent KARACHI: national Institute of Cardiovascular diseases (nICVd) will establish more ‘chest pain units’ across Karachi to ensure a free of cost medical service to patients complaining chest pain or suspecting any heart-related problem in their living vicinity. nICVd Executive director, Prof nadeem Qamar stated this to newsmen after inaugurating a trailer-contained cardiac screening facility stationed under nagan Chowarangi flyover in the central district of Karachi, recently. The facility was fifth of its kind aimed at providing around-the-clock emergency check-up and referral setting to patients reporting with chest pain or doubting any cardiac abnormality. Talking to newsmen, Prof
Qamar said that nICVd has already established such units in Gulshan-iIqbal, Gulbai, Malir Halt and Qayyumabad areas, where competent medical professionals and technical staffs are available on a 24-hour shift to hear the patients concerned and scan them for cardiac complaints. “It’s a first-aid sort of facility where the patients are checked-up and sent up to nICVd for necessary interventions, if needed.” He further said that since May, when the first chest paint unit was placed in the city about 13,000 people, including 74% males and 24% females, reported with complaints, out of which about 5,500 were found cardiac patients. we transferred about 1,000 patients suffering from acute heart attacks to nICd where live saving interventions were given to them.
“nICVd will have such a unit on I I Chundrigar Road soon, while Karachi in all is having 25-30 such centres in phases”, Prof Qamar added, saying such units will be established in other districts of Sindh as well to facilitate patients with chest pain with easy access and free of cost services. nICVd chief said that the chest pain units were well-equipped facilities and had the appropriate diagnostic testing available to identify patients with an acute heart attack and is also equipped to resuscitate patients who become unstable. “CPUs are functionally designed for providing preliminary emergency care to heart attack patients. After providing initial treatment, the patient will be shifted immediately to the tertiary care setup at nICVd Cath Lab.” Talking about the services pro-
vided to cardiac patients reporting to various lately established nICVd satellite centres at Larkana and Tando Mohammad Khan, Prof Qamar said that 400-500 people had availed the free of cost major cardiac treatment and management facilities at their doorstep in Larkana since last July. nICVd Hyderabad centre: nICVd opened its third cardiac care centre in Hyderabad city last week. The modern, well-equipped Emergency, Cath Lab, CCU and Clinics will provide quality treatment, advanced diagnosis, 24x7 cardiac emergency facilities, adult and paediatric cardiology with echocardiography services, coronary artery angioplasty and angiographies, freeof-cost by internationally and locally trained cardiologists, paramedical staff and technicians, said a press release.
KARACHI: dow University of Health Sciences has planned to make its under-construction bone marrow - transplant center operational at its Ojha Campus early next year. during a visit to the site of the proposed centre in question, dUHS Vice Chancellor Prof dr Mohammad Saeed Quraishy asked the officials concerned and contractors to speed up the construction and other processes so that the transplant centre could start function as per the international standard in the beginning of 2018. Accompanied by dr Shuja Farrukh, Medical Superintendent dow University hospital in the Ojha Campus, dr Quraishy identified some areas where the work was slow and asked the engineers to cope up. “delay in the construction work will not be acceptable and the job should be completed as per the schedule.” He further said that bone marrow transplant operation will be another milestone in the history of dUHS where over 35 liver and kidney transplant surgeries have successfully been undertaken at its various medical centers established in Ojha campus so far, said a press release.
‘Pakistani women away from national development’
By Our Correspondent KARACHI: A noted public health expert and senior faculty member at Aga Khan University (AKU), Prof dr Zulfiqar A Bhutta has said that gender inequality hinders Pakistani women’s participation in the national development process. Speaking at a conference titled, “Pakistan’s Challenges of Health and nutrition in the context of Sustainable development Goals: issues and progress” at AKU, the professor said that a lack of attention to female health and education reflects and perpetuates a feudal, patriarchal mindset in the society. “This limits the ability of Pakistani women to participate in the national development process and has cross-cutting and far-reaching impacts on our social progress”, dr Bhutta, founding director of the Centre of
Excellence in women and Child Health at AKU, added. According to experts who spoke at the conference, the worsening of key indicators related to female health, education and social development is a key issue which is holding back Pakistan’s ability to meet global targets under the Sustainable development Goals (SdGs). Pakistan has incorporated 169 targets under the SdGs into long-term planning frameworks such as Vision 2025 and the national Health Vision 2016 – 2025. new insights on Pakistan’s progress in achieving these policy objectives were discussed by federal and provincial government officials, researchers and civil society experts at the conference. Researchers emphasised that Pakistan’s females continue to be less likely to receive
a full course of vaccinations than boys of the same age. “Even though the latest data shows a narrowing of the gender gap in immunisation, the persistence of this inequality for three decades means that young girls and women are more vulnerable to preventable illnesses.” Experts further noted that there has been an overall decline in demand for treatment of diarrhea and pneumonia for both sexes over the past three decades with the extent of the drop being much larger for females. “This means that female children are also less likely to receive treatment for these diseases than in the past.” In presentations on Pakistan’s efforts to combat child malnutrition, speakers noted that the country has not made any encouraging progress. “Even though the proportion of children who are underweight has declined
slowly, one in three young children continue to have low weight for their age.” when it comes to stunting, according to the experts, the situation has worsened between 2001 and 2011 with the proportion of children suffering from this chronic form of malnutrition rising from 37 per cent to 44 per cent. Micronutrient deficiencies also remain prevalent with nearly half of women of reproductive age and children under the age of five suffering from anemia (a shortage of iron in the body). The proportion of children with severe and moderate vitamin A deficiency has also risen since 2001. dr Syed Asad Ali also spoke, while Barrister Pir Mujeeb-ul-Haq, Sindh convener of the Parliamentary Task Force on the Sustainable development Goals delivered the opening address at the conference.
6 I SPECIAL REPORT
I Friday, December 01, 2017
New interventions to cure HIV/AIDS in Sindh By Dr Syed Qamar Abbas world AIdS day is observed internationally on december 01. Hundreds of people from all stakes of life will join hands to fight AIdS and to end stigma and discrimination in order to make “Sindh AIdS free” by year 2030, following the Fast Track City Strategy. The point of great concern is that all over the world, number of HIV infections have declined over the past decade, but Pakistan still remains one of the few regional countries that is yet to experience the decline in numbers instead of the rise. HIV has a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination. AIdS-related stigma exists around the world in a variety of ways, including ostracism, rejection, avoidance of HIV infected people, stigma-related violence or the fear of violence which prevents many people from seeking HIV testing, returning for their results, or securing treatment, and possibly turning what could be a manageable chronic illness into a death sentence and perpetuating the spread of HIV. The link that many people make between HIV and “social evils”, such as injecting drugs or participating in commercial sex, actually intensifies the stigma and discrimination for the people living with HIV. discrimination has been experienced in families, workplaces, health-care services, prisons, schools, places of worship, within social networks in the context of housing, insurance, social support, travel, migration, granting of asylum and refugee settlement. discrimination is a human rights violation and is prohibited by international human rights law and many national constitutions. However, it can be de-institutionalised through existing acts/laws, policies and practices that negatively target people living with HIV and marginalized groups.
December 1, 2017 This year’s World AIDS Day campaign, "My Health, My Right", focuses on the right to health, the right of everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. – Unesco The fight against HIV/AIdS requires utmost commitment and determination from both public and private sectors. In Sindh, there are about 11,000 reported
HIV positive people, out of which 6757 are registered with treatment centres. People who are undergoing treatment are about 3715.
` Registered patients of HIV/AIDS in Sindh (2005 - 2017) HIV cases
The estimated number of HIV positive cases in Sindh is about 57,000, which is 50% of a total load of HIV/AIdS present in Pakistan. In the context of the quoted estimated cases, we expect that in future the load at these treatment centers will be increased. Therefore, the strategy of Health department in enhancing the number of these treatment centers will augment the present efforts. Health department, Government of Sindh is stepping up its efforts to promote health to the general public in the community and workplaces. They have seeded and grown the Preventive and Curative Programme across all districts in Sindh and are working hard to increase the number as well as the quality of these Centers. Sindh has entered the second phase of the intervention after approval of new PC-1 for three years. This phase has an extensive plan for the establishment of seven more treatment centers in the public sector at tertiary level hospitals to provide one window operation to the suffering community which is also the basic requirement and increasing demand of the patients. This PC-1 has a comprehensive plan for the HIV positive people and has allocated funds for detox facilities in all tertiary care hospitals for people with injecting drugs. Previously these facilities were provided in private sectors through service delivery packages. Plan to start Opioid substitution therapy for PwIds is also in pipeline. The matter is under consideration and dr Mamadou Sakho, Country director UnAIdS Pakistan and Afghanistan is doing high-level advocacy with Anti narcotics force to make this activity practical. Sindh is the only province in Pakistan that has an Act on HIV/AIdS and Fast Track City Focus Strategic Plan for Karachi, Hyderabad and Larkana. Health department has incorporated Fast Track City Focus strategic Plan in its PC-1.
According to experts HIV is a virus; The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the cells in the body (Cd4, or T cells) that help the immune system fight off infection. People infected with HIV can become increasingly more susceptible to infections if the virus goes untreated and impairs those immune cells. HIV remains in the body. AIdS is a medical diagnosis; given when an individual has the HIV infection and either a low count of immune cells. AIdS is actually the third stage of HIV infection, with the first being exposure to the virus. The second stage is the most critical for treatment. Asymptomatic; Although expo-
Global HIV statistics 114
Total since 2004: HIV - 12158 including 207 childern, AIDS - 154 including 1 child Deaths: 440 including 7 children and 5 transgender
● 19.5 million people were accessing antiretroviral therapy in 2016. ● 36.7 million [30.8 million–42.9 million] people globally were living with HIV in 2016. ● 1.8 million [1.6 million–2.1 million] people became newly infected with HIV in 2016.
The writer is a public health specialist
sure to the virus can immediately create flu-like symptoms in some people, many are unaware they have been infected. HIV can be asymptomatic (with no symptoms) for years, but the virus is still attacking the body's immune system, even if the person doesn't feel sick. The CdC recommends antiretroviral treatment for anyone with HIV, which will both minimise the damage to the person's immune system and also reduce the chance of transmission. Transmission; is most common among two very specific activities: sexual contact and needle/syringesharing. Less commonly, infants born to HIV-positive mothers who did not receive HIV treatment -- either through shared blood during pregnancy or while nursing after birth, can be infected. ● 1 million [830 000–1.2 million] people died from AIdS-related illnesses in 2016. ● 76.1 million [65.2 million–88.0 million] people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic. ● 35.0 million [28.9 million–41.5 million] people have died from AIdS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.
SPECIAL REPORT I 7
I Friday, December 01, 2017
Health related SDGs require urgent attention By Jawaid Ali SUKKUR: A three-day national conference on child health concluded at Sukkur district of Sindh, last week with the notion that efforts should be increased to enhance the capacity of paediatricians and other health care providers and ensure a population of mentally and physically strong children, particularly those under five years of age. Experts in their presentation highlighted the issues of children, lactating mothers and neonates and stressed the needs for upscaling of relevant interventions, so that Pakistan could achieve various health and nutrition related targets under the globally agreed Sustainable development Goals by 2030. The national Paediatric Conference 2017 in question was organised by the Sindh chapter of Pakistan Paediatric Association, with PPP member national assembly and leader of opposition, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah as chief guest of the inaugural session. The theme of the conference
was “Equity in child health” under which various child specialists from across the country dwelt on major aspects of child care. As pre-conference activity, plenary sessions on “Paediatric TB & HIV”,and"Metabolic Emergencies – what every pediatrician should know” were held for paediatricians. A meeting of the executive committee of PPA was also held during the conference. In his inaugural speech, chief guest, Syed Khursheed Ali Shah noted that the country had a long way to go in the context of addressing increasing population, illiteracy and child morbidity and mortality issue across the country. "we have to think to reduce the death ratio of children in our country," he added and remarked that country even lagged behind Bangladesh in provision of quality healthcare. On the occasion, he also told the participants that the government has planned to establish the maternal and neonatal child health hospitals in every districts of the province on a priority
basis. He further highlighted that the government had also increased medicine budget to 500 times. Health Secretary, dr Fazullah Pechuho said that Government of Sindh was very keenly focused on child health issues and its progress through various strategies to reduce childhood mortality. “There is a need to make concerted efforts for any significant reduction in the rate of mortality of under-5 years children, particularly neonates.” “Sindh government is trying to develop various mother and child friendly interventions and projects to improve health indicators.” noted pediatricians including Prof Iqbal Memon, Prof Jamal Raza, Prof Aijaz Khan, Prof Huma Cheema and others speaking at various sittings of the conference stressed the need to improve immunisation programme as an internationally accepted and vital intervention to prevent mortality among under-5 children. They noted that most of the deaths in children were due to in-
fection diseases, premature and low birth weight, which could be averted through an effective system of surveillance and treatment dedicated to the minors. However, they maintained that improvement of health system depended upon support and integration of various institutions to design and implement reforms that will improve the health indi-
cators. The experts also expressed the view that continuity in efforts to keep these reforms stable, involvement of private health sectors, nGOs and professional organisations to act as catalysts was also necessary, particularly in the context of country’s commitment to achieve MdGs. Continued on page 8
8 I EnVIROnMEnT / EnERGY
I Friday, December 01, 2017
Govt to speed up incorporation of renewable energy source
By Our Correspondent KARACHI: A recently held international conference on wind energy has urged governments to ensure necessary environment and infrastructures at the earliest for the promotion of renewable energy generation in the country. The moot attended by local and foreign energy experts was of the opinion that Pakistan, faced with power crisis, has a viable option of enhancing wind and other renewable energy resources, in its overall electric generation to overcome the situation. The conference also noted the fact that that only 1.5 per cent of power generated in the country accounted for the present contribution of renewable energy sector. “The renewable energy share should be increased to at least five per cent as what should have already been achieved as per the targets and aspiration of the country’s renewable energy policy adopted more than a decade back.” The speakers of the moot, which was organised by monthly Energy Update with the support of Sindh government’s Energy department and Alternative Energy development Board and others, stressed the need for providing maximum facilities and assistance to local and foreign power sector companies which are either already working or willing to launch their projects in Jhimpir-Gharo wind corridor. “The moot called for immediate resolution of all tariff-related issues in the case of the upcoming wind energy projects in the country; completion of government’s power transmis-
sion so that wind energy projects being installed in Jhimpir-Gharo wind corridor could get the means to connect with the national grid”, said a press release highlighting the recommendations of the conference. Earlier, the participants of the moot were told that Sindh had already achieved installed capacity of 788 Megawatts of renewable power generation; while a matching volume of wind-based power generation would be available by next year. “Thus, Sindh alone will contribute over 1500 Mws of wind-based power generation to the national grid.” Speaking as chief guest in the concluding session of the summit, Sindh Minister for Labour Transport and Information Syed nasir Hussain Shah said that Sindh government had been providing maximum assistance and cooperation to private companies willing to do solar and wind energy projects in the province. He said that Sindh has become the first province to form its own transmission and dispatch company in power sector to facilitate upcoming projects in the energy sector. He informed the gathering that the Sindh government had been spending a total of seven billion rupees on various power projects. The expeditious implementation of Thar coal and power project shows complete resolution of the Sindh government to do its best to bridge energy shortfall in the country. In his keynote address at the conference, the danish Ambassador to Pakistan Rof Michael Hay Pereira Holmboe remarked that denmark had achieved up to 56 per cent of its power generation through renewable resources and by the year 2035, it will meet 100
per cent of its power production targets through clean sources of energy. “Pakistan too can emulate denmark easily as far as power generation through renewable resources is concerned, provided it adopts a strong political will and consistency in policies for the energy sector”, he added. The ambassador said that the natural climatic conditions in Pakistan, especially in its identified regions in Sindh and Balochistan, were much favourable to produce electricity using renewable means of power than the conditions available to denmark. He said that Pakistani government had to make a choice whether to continue using expensive conventional fuels for power generation or switch to the cheaper means for energy generation through alternative means. He said that once Pakistan resorted to clean sources of energy, the cost of power production would ultimately decrease so to lessen the burden of energy sector on the economy, while on the other hand the option would also be helpful in improving environmental conditions in the country and resolving serious issues like smog that is currently prevailing in the province of Punjab. “Increasing reliability on renewable means for power generation is quite a win-win solution for the economy of any country as it increases efficiency in the energy that is helpful for economic development.” He said that denmark had been working on a plan to make its entire energy consumption completely carbon-free by the year 2050 and for such a noble cause to conserve the country’s environment, it had been actively
pursuing the renewable means and using the hybrid methods to maximize energy generation through wind, solar power, and waste-toenergy methods. Mr Holmboe expressed the view that Pakistan could go for installation of offshore wind power projects near the coast of Karachi similar to such experiments currently being done by many northern European countries. Rashid Hussain Kazi, special secretary of Sindh Government’s Energy department, said that Sindh had been pursuing a balanced energy policy in order to utilise both conventional and alternative sources of power production. Sajjad M Qureshi, senior advisor to national Electric Power Regulatory Authority (nepra) on Tariff, said that nepra would soon be opting for the conventional competitive regime for determining tariff for upcoming wind energy projects in the country given that all the formalities were completed by the provincial governments concerned and AEdB. danish Iqbal, president of Pakistan wind Energy Association, said that relevant agencies of the government and nepra should not make upcoming wind power projects to unduly wait to turn operational on the account of tariff-related issues and other formalities. Zafar Sobani, a senior energy sector expert, along with naeem Qureshi, chairman of the conference organising committee, Hamid, Irfan Ahmed, nadeem Ahmed, Anis Younas, and Alvaro Bilbao also spoke at the occasion.
There are billions Health related SdGs require urgent attention of dollars available for climate... Continued from page 7
Continued from page 3
Sunday's meeting marked the launch of an online platform for the direct Access Community of Practice to support continued knowledge exchange and cooperation between direct access entities. The platform will provide news updates and information on accessing the climate funds, as well as chat rooms and other tools for virtual interaction between direct access entities, their
peers, partners and the fund secretariats themselves. At the meeting, community members also discussed the creation of training materials and programs to ensure a more systematic capturing and sharing of lessons learned to date. There's money out there to finance climate-compatible development. This Community of Practice can help get it into the hands of the organizations who need it most. Courtesy: WRI
Prof Jamal Raza, President PPA Sindh in his present on non-communicable diseases in children also shared data from a recently completed survey of Sindh on “Risk assessment Survey: nCds in mother and children in Sindh”. He said that in comparison to wHO standard of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, only five per cent of the surveyed women had more than three servings of fruits per day. More than 16 per cent families were using ba-
naspati ghee for food preparation, while about 19 per cent families were eating outside more than two times in a week. About consumption of vegetables and fruits among children up to five years of age, he informed the participants that 19.8 per cent of the children consumed vegetables and fruits more than three servings per day. Our survey revealed that on average 85.6 per cent of children up to five years, who were distributed in three cadres, consumed junk foods. He said that nCds were the
leading causes of deaths worldwide, while 38 million people died every year across the globe. About 48 per cent of such deaths occurred in low and middle income countries. He remarked that most risk factors that lead to nCds responsible for deaths in children had their footprints laid during childhood or adolescent years. Highlighting the reasons behind nCdS, he noted that 42 million infant and young children were overweight or obese in 2013, which may rise to 70 million in 2025 globally.
EdUCATIOn I 9
I Friday, December 01, 2017
Hamdard University celebrates 25 years of service in education By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Senior politician and leader of opposition in the national assembly, Khurshid Ahmed Shah has said that governments should allocate at least three per cent of the GdP for education sector in the annual budget of the country continuously for 30 years. He was speaking as the chief guest at the opening of Silver Jubilee celebrations of the establishment of Hamdard University at Madinat al-Hikmah, Karachi last week. “without allotting three per cent of our GdP to education continuously for 30 years we would not be able to achieve any progress in the world.” The leader also called for giving special attention to primary education and proposed for establishing a primary education commission. Having worked as federal education minister in the past, he said the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) was established at Sukkar to provide accessible higher education to people in that area. He, however, noted that no importance was given to health and education in the country, while issues of ‘population’ and ‘environment’ have also emerged as big challenges for the country to sur-
mount. “The master key to solving all these problems was education only.” Congratulating Hamdard University for successfully completing 25 years in providing advanced education to youth, he said that the primary education was the nursery of education and without strengthening it one cannot put higher education on solid footings. "According to international standards, a student must get education for 850 hours annually," he
added and revealed that the village students in the country, who constitute 64 per cent population of youth, got only 150 hours education. “nation cannot progress in such pathetic educational affairs”, he asserted. On this occasion, Mr Shah also commended the efforts and struggle of late Hakim Mohammed Said, the founder of Hamdard, towards the spread of education in the country. He said, "Hakim sahib was a fine man and a great patri-
KU signs MoU with Chinese University
By Our Correspondent KARACHI: University of Karachi (KU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Guangxi normal University, China, here last week for collaborative activities in academic areas. KU Vice Chancellor Prof dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, and President of Guangxi normal University China, Prof dr He Zubin signed the MoU at KU. “The purpose of the MoU is to develop academic and educational co-operation and to promote mutual understanding between the two Universities. In the background of CPEC and exemplary relations between Pakistan and China, academic linkages between the two universities is a significant matter and need of today”, dr Khan remarked during his meeting with a five-member del-
egation of top Chinese scientists, including officials from different institutes of Guangxi, China. According to the MoU, both universities will develop collaborative activities in the academic areas of mutual interest including students’ and faculty exchanges, establishing a joint diploma and Bachelor /Master/doctor degree programme, collaborative research projects, lectures, symposium and exchange of academic information, publications and materials, said a KU press release. ICCBS: In the meantime, another memorandum of understanding was signed between International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, and the State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources (SKLCMEMR), Guangxi normal University, China, for establishment
of Sino-Pakistan Joint International Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal Resources at the ICCBS. President Guangxi normal University, Prof dr He Zu-Bin, director of SKLCMEMR Prof dr Liang Hong, and director ICCBS Prof dr M Iqbal Choudhary signed the agreement on behalf of their institutions in a ceremony held at dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and drug Research, University of Karachi, last week. Prof He Zu-Bin, introducing his institutions, said that Guangxi normal University was founded in 1932. now the University has become an international hub of academic excellence and multi-cultural cooperation and relationships, he added and informed those present on the occasion that his university has already set Rs10 million aside on account of the international laboratory. Prof Choudhary said that this MoU was signed to promote scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries. He said that ICCBS is considered the top one of the finest academic research establishments of chemical and biological sciences in the developing world. Under the MoU, both the parties will endeavour to encourage, promote, and facilitate collaboration between both the institutions. Scholars of the ICCBS will also be taught Chinese language, said a press release.
otic Pakistani whom Allah has given two lives – one of a martyr, who would never die, and the other in the shape of Hamdard University as he would live and never die till this University would remain on the face of Earth. He further said that one day by the grace of God, Hamdard University would be counted among the topmost universities of the world. Prof dr Syed Shabibul Hasan, Vice Chancellor, Hamdard University while declaring the Silver Ju-
bilee Celebrations open, said that the only purpose of Hakim Sahib for establishing the University and schools in the outskirts of Karachi was to spread education in rural areas. “Equal opportunity for education was being provided to students of all classes at Hamdard University just according to the vision of Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said.” HU registrar, Prof dr waliuddin presenting a report on university’s performance said that the university was the largest university in private sector, has an enrolment of 6,000 students at present whereas 26,000 students had already graduated from the university. This University, having campuses in Karachi and Islamabad, is the pioneer of ‘Energy Engineering’ in the country, he informed and added that both Eastern Medicine and western Medicine were being taught at the university. A documentary film on life and achievements of Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said was also shown and competitions on ‘Logo’ and ‘banner’ were also held on the occasion. Former vice-chancellor of the university, Prof dr Hakim Abdul Hannan, along with retired justice Haziqul Khairi, faculty members, students and dignitaries attended the ceremony.
neglected dTL to ...
stillalongwaytogo Continued from page 1
After visiting the laboratory on M A Jinnah Road, a provincial health department's inspection team had observed over eight years back that most pieces of equipment were either outdated or were nonfunctional while repair work could not be carried out due to lack of funds. About service delivery, the report said it was almost suspended. The performance in terms of number of samples tested in six months before the team's visit were termed unsatisfactory. A total of 127 out of 306 samples were tested. The availability of required reagents and chemicals was also ensured later, but any major repair and utility work was not undertaken at the laboratory building on the pretext that a new
building had been planned at a site near JPMC. The activities of dTL remained below the mark due to non-availability of equipment and staff. "while waiting for good days when it was to be shifted to a new building, the laboratory missed a microbiologist, analysts and technical hands and sophisticated equipment," the source said. It was added that secretary of Sindh health department, who has been able to address the shortage of technical staff, wants dTL to be equipped further and exploited fully as an essential component in the health care of public. Secretary has asked the officers to complete the project and ensure upgradation and strengthening of dTL latest by the end of the ongoing financial year under the new PC-1, said the source.
10 I ROUnd-UP
I Friday, December 01, 2017
KARACHI:TVActorAyazKhanwitnessingapaintingbyastudentofHamdardPublic SchoolatacompetitionheldinconnectionwiththeInternationalChildrenDay,recently. —STphoto
nEwS I 11
I Friday, December 01, 2017
Pakistan to continue fight against climate change By Our Correspondent ISLAMABAd: Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan, has said that Pakistan would continue to support global efforts and contribute to protecting human health and environment by completely phasing out the use of ozone-layer-depleting substances (OdSs) in the country and replacing them with more effective and environmentally-safer alternatives in line with the Montreal Protocol. “The country has been at the forefront in its endeavours to phase out use of Ozone depleting Substances (OdSs) because, ridding the world of 13 different ozone-depleting substances (OdSs), including hydro-chloro-fluoro-carbons (HCFC) and chloro-fluoro-carbons (CFC), is critical to protecting the ozone layer, which protects all life on earth from adverse fallouts of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and its spillover effect of environment,” the minister emphasised while addressing the high-level ministerial segment of the Joint 11th Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention and 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol held in Montreal, Canada, recently. According to a climate change ministry handout, Mr Khan told the ministers during the meeting that as the world marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol this year, there is a lot of good news to celebrate.
“It is truly heartening to note that the Protocol has led to the phase-out of over 99 per cent of nearly 100 ozone-depleting chemicals and significantly contributed to climate change mitigation. As of today, the ozone layer is showing signs of healing and is set to recover by the middle of the century. And Pakistan is very much part of the efforts that have led to the phase-out,” the minister maintained. while explaining the contributions of Pakistan further, Mr Khan said that after successfully phasing out the first generation of OdSs in Pakistan as a part of global efforts to mitigate climate change, the country is now in the process of phasing out HCFCs altogether. “In phase-I of the Hydrofluorocarbons Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP), we have almost phased out HCFCs from all our
major foam industry. Moreover, the second phase of the HPMP is ready for launching and we hope to expedite this phase with the help of the multilateral funding opportunities and its partner implementing agencies and cooperation with all stakeholders,” the climate change minister said. The minister also highlighted that phasing out HCFCs from major industrial concerns in Pakistan was less complex, but the difficult part lies ahead, which is phasing out HCFCs from smaller enterprises and the servicing sector. “Because, the servicing sector is more informal and unwieldy and would require more concerted efforts than the initial phase, given the fact that options on alternatives are limited and expensive.” Earlier, Mr Khan attended the high-level
ministerial segment of the 23rd session of the annual Un Climate Change Conference held in Bonn, Germany. In his speech during the session, he urged global community to make speedy progress while taking forward climate action. “Climate change is an issue determining our destiny as humankind and the well-being of all of us and our future generations to have a better, loveable future.” He said that the war against climate change was by far the most important struggle of the present times and countries of the world had no option to fail to secure present and future generations. Senator Khan told the global leaders that the recent climate disasters across the world are a stark reminder of the scale and intensity of the impacts of climate change-caused natural disasters on the lives and livelihoods of the people. Highlighting Pakistan’s climate vulnerability, the minister said that although Pakistan’s contribution to global warming was minimal, it faced a huge impact of the changes in global climate. “The climate challenges pose a grave risk to our government’s efforts aimed at reducing poverty, enhancing food security, improving health care, improving access to energy. despite the weak financial and economic conditions, Pakistan is spending eight percent of its annual budget to cope with climate change-induced disasters," the minister added.
Health concerns in Pakistan
Sindh hospitals admitted 744,618 patients Continued from page 1
ISLAMABAD:TheCentreforExcellenceinJournalism(CEJ),Karachi,incollaborationwithNestlé Pakistanorganisedaone-dayworkshopon"BasicsofHealthReporting:NutritionasaSourceof News"lastweekinIslamabad.About20print,broadcastanddigitaljournalistsfromdifferentmedia housesinIslamabad/Pindiparticipatedintheevent.Thejournalistsweretoldabouttheimpactsof under-nutritionandmalnutritiononthelivesofmasses,particularlythechildrenandpregnantwomen. Guestspeakerscomingfrombackgroundsofnutrition,medicineandjournalismstressedtheneedfor highlightingnutritionandhealthrelatedissuesandtheirsolutioninthemedia,withaspecialfocusonthe prevailingindicatorsofunder-nutrition,notablestuntingandwastinginchildren,anemiainpregnant womenandchildren,andphenomenaoffoodinsecurityinthecountry.—PhotobyHammadSarfraz
further said that there was one doctor for 3,159 people, one nurse for 12,411, and one bed for 1,455 patients. Shadadkot district had the worst doctor-people ratio, one doctor for 14,655 people, with one civil hospital of 36 beds and three taluka hospitals of 110 beds. The places with a doctor-people ratio of more than 1:5000 are: Kashmore (5,822), Tharparkar (6,472), Umerkot (6,457), Mirpurkhas (5,446), Tando Mohammad Khan (5,402) Thatta (5,859) and dadu (7,414). However, A study of data gave an understanding that in practice 16,386 doctors, including specialists and surgeons as well as medical officers and dentists were employed at government, semi-government, local, private or missionary hospitals across the province in 2016. As calculated by a medical concern, on average a doctor saw 2,713 patients in a year, i.e. 7.4 patients per day. The 19th Health profile of Sindh contained latest available informa-
tion of health facilities, covering of institutions with bed capacity, medical and para-medical staff as on Jan 1, 2017. According to director general of BoS, the data was provided by the director-General of Health Services, Hyderabad. There were five teaching hospitals, 17 civil, 30 major, eight specialised, 47 taluka, 31 departmental, 502 private, eight local bodies hospitals. while private sector hospitals are reported to have 11, 516 beds. There were 926 government dispensaries, 227 government mother and child health centres for expectant mothers and newborns, and 228 government tuberculosis clinics. In total, government, semigovernment, local bodies, private/missionaries dispensaries numbered at 2,996 across the province. There were 16,386 doctors, including 5,907 from private sector. According to the report, there were 800 basic health units with 1,615 beds, and 133 rural health centres with 1,703 beds.v There were 21,100 nurses, paramedical personnel, including 2,073 lady health visitors and midwives.
People’s right to wellness
Friday, december 01, 2017
Telemedicine to cure sick children By Our Correspondent
KARACHI: Sindh Government Hospital, new Karachi, in collaboration with a none governmental organisation ChildLife Foundation, has set up a telemedicine emergency room last week to seek medical guidance from senior physicians in the case of critically ill children brought to the hospital in the night hours. Secretary of the Sindh government’s health department, dr Fazlullah Pechuho, along with dr Ahson Rabbani, chief executive of the Foundation and senior doctors of the new Karachi government hospital inaugurated the facility in question, which will initially be run as a pilot project. The recently posted medical superintendent of Hospital, dr Asif Zaman, said speaking at a related ceremony said that the Paediatric Emergency Room was aimed at providing immediate interventions to children even in the absence of child specialists. due training has been given to doctors and paramedics, who will be receiving the patients, including chil-
dren, from 6pm to 6am in the hospital’s emergency section, to seek guidance from senior child specialists sitting at a central hub of the nGO in the city, he added, saying thus his hospital will no more be returning the seriously ill children reporting during hours when the children OPd is close or child specialists are off. dr Rabbani said that a high definition camera has been installed in the new children’s emergency room, while a senior doctor will provide decision support from a central location. “Through virtual rounds, the senior doctor can monitor individual patients and provide expert consultation for their treatment on request by the on-ground staff at the new Karachi hospital.” dr Pechuho said that telemedicine facility in the pediatric emergency room of the hospital is a pilot remote telemedicine project, which will certainly benefit the ill- children reporting from the encatchment areas of the hospital. This low cost intervention given under a public-private partnership may be replicated in other government health settings, if evaluated as a success story, he added.
Printed at Maz Prints and published by Mukhtar Alam Khan for Mak News Network, R-331, Block 20, F. B. Area, Karachi. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 021-36366759