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‘deafening the silence with our voice’

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IBBs reveals high prevalence of HIV in Pakistan

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People’s right to wellness A weekly from Karachi

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Friday, October 13, 2017 Vol IV No 22-23 12 Pages I Rs. 30

Health Education Environment

Govt to soon install biogas units in parts of sindh By Mukhtar Alam

KARACHI: energy department of sindh government is about to start work on ground for a pilot project aimed at installing biogas plants at household level in four districts of sindh, including Karachi, it emerged recently. A source in the energy department said that cattle poop and other organic waste will be used in the proposed units to meet the cooking and heating requirements of households in selective areas under the pilot project costing Rs 20 million. sindh, as per the livestock census of 2006, has a livestock population of 30 million ani-

mals –buffaloes, cows, bullocks – producing dungs that could be used through anaerobic fermentation for production of gas sufficient to meet the cooking needs of about 44 per cent rural masses, the source claimed. It is learnt that sindh government has approved a biogas plants (pilot demonstration) project under its annual development programme about a year back. The amount for the project in question has now been released and the sindh energy department is all set to execute this 220-unit project on a fast track basis as this may pave way for installation of many more such units.

According to Multiple Indicator Cluster survey, sindh 2014, overall 44.3 per cent of household members in sindh use solid fuels (wood by 35.3 per cent and animal dung by 8.6 per cent). Use of solid fuel is low in urban areas (9.8 per cent), but very high in rural areas (82.4 per cent). experts say that cooking and heating with solid fuels lead to high levels of indoor smoke which contain a complex mix of health-damaging pollutants that may increases the risks of incurring acute respiratory illness, pneumonia, chronic obstructive lung disease, cancer, and possibly tuberculosis, asthma, or cataracts,

and may contribute to low birth weight of babies born to pregnant women exposed to smoke. Under the project in question designed for installation/demonstration of biogas plants (digesters) in Mirpurkhas, Badin, sanghar and suburban areas of Karachi, applications will be invited from the cattle owners/user or community based organisations especially created for biogas plants. In addition to gas for cooking, the plants will give nitrogen enriched biofertilisers as byproducts.

Long-term impacting efforts needed

KARACHI: The technical working group, comprising national and international experts in HIV/AIds and civil society members that recently launched ‘Integrated Biological and Behavioural surveillance (IBBs)' report, has called for making greater efforts to reach the global commitment of ending the Aids epidemic by 2030. “Underneath a fairly steady and static HIV prevalence among general population, there is a proKey Population PWIDs FSWs MSM TGP

AIds control

liferating epidemic which is continuously rising among key populations, which form the main agents in transmission and fueling of the epidemic in the country.” The comprehensive IBBs 2016-17 report containing strategic information about the AIds epidemic in the country was disseminated among the stakeholders and regional AIds control officers at a ceremony in Islamabad. The report in question con-

cluded with a notion that there are no signs of the HIV epidemic reversing, declining or even stabilising among key populations (KPs). “It has been almost a decade since we have seen an established concentrated HIV epidemic among people who inject drugs (PWIds) expanding to men having sex with men (MsM) and transgender populations (TGP).” “The concern is not only the increase in HIV prevalence

AIDS Epidemic Modelling Pakistan-Estimates Estimated Number 113,422

HIV Prevalence Rate (%)

Preventiive Coverage Rate (%)

2.2

7.9

173,447

132,213 52,425

Estimated number of people living with HIV: 133,299

38.4 3.4

7.5

17.6 3.5

16.6

Source: NACP

PWIDs= People who inject drugs TGP= Transgender people FSWs= Female sex workers MSM= Men having sex with men

among various KPs, but also the number of sites with relatively advanced epidemics seen in this round (of IBBs)." data suggests that the epidemic is following a pattern which has been seen in most Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, India, and parts of China etc. “sindh suffers the most, where the epidemic was noticed earlier, and now sub epidemics are seen in all key populations in most of the major cities investigated. “data is suggestive that it is merely a question of time, and if left unchecked, Punjab will soon face similar or even larger sexdriven HIV epidemic.” The technical working group in questions noted that there had been a massive amendment of the HIV prevention response in the past few years. Continued on page 2

Continued on page 2

Public Health Sindh - 2017

Chikungunya Dengue 1419 (11 Deaths)

4343

Source: Sindh Health Department Updated on October 12, 2017

InsIde

Editorial ...............Page 03

Health ..................Page 05

Special Report.....Page 06

Environment ........Page 08

Education ............Page 09

Mosaic .................Page 10

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2 I neWs

I Friday, October 13, 2017

World Food day – sindh’s present challenges

e

By Faiza Sohail

very year on 16 October world food day is celebrated around the globe to tackle the problems associateed with global hunger, which are increasing every passing day. People around the world join hands and commit to ensure global food security. The theme of this year is “Change the future of migration, invest in food security and rural development” which aims to sensitise people about rural expansion and ensuring food protection for all. Pakistan is in solidarity with other countries in this cause and intends to end hunger, eliminate all forms of malnutrition, and build inclusive and sustainable food systems. Pakistan is supporting the sustainable development Programme by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

of the United nations. Pakistan is listed among the countries which are severely affected by food scarcity and have been facing a continuous struggle to overcome this distress. sindh is reported to have the most severe issues of food security than any other province of Pakistan. The national nutrition survey (nns) last conducted in 2011 determined sindh as the most food deprived province of the country. The survey of 2017 is under process which will be completed in July 2018. However, the situation is quite alarming in the past six years and calls for immediate interventions for food security. The people of the province face health deterioration because of unhygienic and inorganic food. The causes of malnutrition in different districts of rural areas of sindh is due to social

injustice, political and economic exclusion. However, in urban cities the situation is intricate. There is no solidity in prices of food items which affect the purchasing power of people greatly. The grain storage facilities are few, as much as there is a need of

Social

Forum

mass consumption. Proper facilities of warehouses are not available, due to which much of the food goes to waste. There are small land areas for agriculture in sindh, which makes it difficult for farmers to carry out vegetation at a larger scale. Introduction of new land reforms is necessary for mass production and selling. Less or no attention is paid to the development of the agricultural sector because the urban section feels that investing in agricultural activities will af-

fect industrial development. It is observable that the number of malnourished children across sindh is increasing because of government insensitivity towards this issue which results in unequal distribution of food across the province. equity not only in incomes but also in food, education, health, water supply and housing is necessary. It is notable that sindh is facing extreme weather conditions. Waves of cold weather, drought, extreme heat, continuous floods and extreme rainfall have become a regular pattern. The impact of climate change has disturbed social, economic and political conditions of people across the province in urban and rural areas. It is an alarming situation for all of us and the government to immediately adopt concrete policies to overcome this disastrous situation.

Long-term impacting efforts needed Continued from page 1

“The decision to devolve the Ministry of Health, including the national Aids Control Programme has resulted in an indentation of the national HIV response in the country and has adversely effected the HIV response. Lack of national coordination, data analyses and utilisation at a national level, non-availability of national guidance and monitoring, show a strong negative impact on the results of this surveillance round (IBBs 2016-17).” In addition to the increasing levels of HIV, the report also referred to another finding of the latest round of IBBs which is the evidence of a fragmented HIV prevention system. “A significant proportion of PWIds regularly share needles and syringes, sex workers continue to be involved in unprotected sex and same holds true for MsM and TGs.” According to experts’ analysis, the overall service delivery programmes for key populations are inadequate, lack sufficient intensity and coverage and fail to reach a significant number of KP members.

They noted that over years there had been no significant improvement in the coverage levels, particularly for female sex workers, MsM and TGs. “While all key populations have appreciable knowledge of HIV transmission, its prevention, provision and availability of services with planned outreach for high coverage, it is critical to convert this knowledge into safe practices.” Based on the results and conclusion of the latest surveillance round, the report suggested that scaling-up of services for key populations should be the key objective of HIV/AIds response in Pakistan to contain HIV epidemic at its present level and to prevent further spread to other KP members and general population. At the macro-level the goal should be to rapidly establish an appropriate outreach programme and provide basic services in locations that contain a high proportion of KPs, the experts stressed. Revisits to the current programme design for each key population has also been suggested. The reports also called for enabling environments for risk reduction and protection against violence and exploitation, which will help facil-

itate the success of HIV prevention programme. “Pakistan needs to work on a robust monitoring and evaluation system at national, sub-national and programme level.” The team of technical experts remarked that HIV is spilling over from PWIds to MsM and sex workers and once it reaches epidemiological proportion in thes KPs it will become even more serious. “However, Pakistan continued investing most of the available resources on PWIds and ignored launching major prevention programmes for other key populations. With each passing year the epidemic has become more stabilised and severe, and is now showing its impact in key-populations other than PWIds.” The AIds response required a strong national commitment and leadership at both the national, provincial and sub-provincial levels, the team concluded. Also saying that there was a need to improve the national coordination and shift its paradigm from an episodic, crisis management approach to a long term strategic response. –M A

KMC citizens complaints centre inaugurated By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar performed the inauguration of a restored and improved Citizens Complaints Information system (CCIs) 1339 in the KMC Building, recently. The centre that was abandoned some years back has been revived to enable citizens to lodge their complaints pertaining to various utility problems. Mr Wasim was accompanied by MPA Faisal sabzwari and dMC east Chairman Moeed Anwer. Addressing a relevant ceremony, Karachi Mayor said that restoration of CCIs 1339 was a big challenge, but now the system is again open to give citizens of Karachi a window to get their civic problems resolved without any delay.

KARACHI: Mayor Wasim Akhtar inspecting the complaint information system installed at the KMC Building, last week.— ST photo

He said that with the restoration and up-gradation of this system, the citizens of Karachi will have

this much needed access to various utility services providers including KMC and other civic organisa-

tions. While building pressure on civic and utility organisations, 1339 will also help them improve their performance and win the confidence of citizens. “In fact we want to help the public utility and service providers so that they could take necessary steps to address public grievances.” He also said that all the data regarding receipt of complaints and actions on these problems would be put before the media and the public. MPA sabzwari said the CCIs 1339 system is functional with latest automated system which will be active round the clock for public to register their complaints physically. "Complaints can also be lodged through phone calls, social media and web," he added.

I

To Whom It May Concern

n sIndH, 42% of children under age five are moderately or severely underweight and 17% are classified as severely underweight . Almost half of children (48%) are moderately stunted or too short for their age and 15.4% are moderately wasted or too thin for their height. Only one per cent of children are overweight or too heavy for their height. Children in Mirpurkhas division are more likely to be underweight (58.6% ) than the children in other divisions. In contrast, the percentage of stunted children is highest in Larkana division (59% ). Comparison by area shows that half of the children in rural areas are underweight compared with 32.7% of children in urban areas. stunting and wasting is also higher in rural areas (57.3% and 17% respectively). Source: Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014-Sindh.

Govt to soon install biogas...

Continued form page 1

director Alternative energy sindh Mahfooz Qazi, told social Track that his directorate which has been tasked to execute the project in question will soon be inviting applications against the planned 220 biogas units from households, which will have to ensure the feed-stock and water. "We are offering assistance for development of plants of size ranging 8 to 12 cubic meter, which may need a feed-stock of 40100 kilograms and 60-100 liters of water on a daily basis," he informed. Main components of a biogas plant include inlet tank, inlet mixing chamber, tank body, dome, outlet chamber/expansion chamber and compost pits. "In addition to providing the plant component or equipment, the alternative energy directorate will indirectly be training personnel for design, construction and operating and maintenance of domestic biogas plants." He further said that bidding process for the development of plants by contractors will take place very soon as the government wants to see the plants operating during the current fiscal year. "The domestic biogas plant initiative will help reduce tree/wood cutting for the purpose of cooking and heating, while on the other hand health conditions of people inside house will also improve," he emphasised.


OPInIOn I 3

I Friday, October 13, 2017

People’s right to wellness

R

Losing lives in road accidents

ecent news reports about road accidents reflect on the prevailing traffic situation. Road affairs are no more conducive for drivers and commuters on inter-city highways and roads and even on main roads in the cities. To mention a few, a woman was killed and 20 others were injured in an accident between two coaches on Indus Highway on October 2; over 15 people were killed and many injured in an accident on the Quetta-sibi highway near dasht area of Mastung district when a passenger van collided with a bus on October 7; six people died and 15 sustained injuries in two different road accidents in sindh on October 10. ReasonsT behind the accidents include unchecked reckless vehicledrivers causing over-speeding, overturning, collision and hitting of the vehicles. Precious lives are lost while numerous critical injuries are inflicted upon hundreds of people including women and children for no fault of theirs every month across the country. Reports also suggest that the road accidents in big cities including Karachi are on the rise in general. Roads and streets, with potholes and without lights and unhindered encroachments, have become extremely unsafe to drive even within the cities. They are unpredictable and silent killers of many young and old citizens who are significant contributors for their families, country and institutions. Previously, we had the opportunity of witnessing authentic data pertaining to traffic accidents taking place countrywide due to the courtesy of Pakistan Bureau of statistics, but now that too has gone in stagnation. According to its figures given for 2013, a total 8,885 accident were registered with the police authority across the country, out of which 3,852 were fatal accidents killing 4,672 people, while the number of injured remained 9,864. As many as 9,794 vehicles were involved in such road accidents. According to a public sector hospital in Karachi, 40 per cent of the 1,200 patients received at its emergency ward during the first four months of 2016 got injured in traffic accidents. such figures have been alarming and entailing stories of trauma, depression, physical and financial losses to families. However, it appears now that individuals responsible at all levels have become immune or indifferent to this massive issue. It is being reported that the traffic police does exist for every purposes except traffic management. They even fail to educate the drivers of the appropriate speed and track while driving. Among other things, Karachi lacks strong traffic engineering plan to address the dead traffic signals, careless drivers, congestion on roads, the dilapidated condition of roads and highways. Our roads are physically poor, and are pitted with badly-maintained vehicles and careless drives, road side encroachment, faulty traffic signals, illegal parking. The absence of regulating authorities or efficient traffic controllers, wrong flow of traffic at main-traffic sections, illegal bus terminals, under-age or without license drivers, lack of traffic sense particularly among the motorcyclists who can be seen driving on the wrong track, wearing no crash helmets, are among the issues that need to be addressed. The helplessness of law is attributed largely to ‘underhand dealings’ sometimes backed by influential people other times by security personnel. It is high time the respective governments rose to the occasion, ensured strong measures, rectified the ill spirited traffic watchdogs and the incompetent people at the helm of affairs, so that loss of human lives and disabilities could be prevented.

eXCeRPTs

Absent civic amenities: THE MISERABLE state of amenities in the city of Karachi speaks volumes about the apathy of the government which, it seems, is least bothered to ensure proper civic services to Karachiites. ●

In most areas of Karachi, specially in Landhi-Korangi, Malir, North Karachi, sewage pools have developed due to faulty sewerage network and these places have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The ultimate sufferers are citizens. Moreover, there have been complaints from a majority of areas of Karachi that for a long time there has been no spray against mosquitoes due to which hospitals are reporting rise in cases of malaria, gastro-intestinal problems and other diseases. The solid waste disposal system is already in a dismal state, and has almost been abandoned for the last about two years.

Breach of water supply lines, overflowing gutters and contamination and their impact on public health is really a matter of concern for health experts and residents, motorists and elders. Issues like sanitation, environment also needs to be resolved on priority.

The local bodies also need to adopt a clear-cut policy over reckless construction of high-rises and commercial activities as policies formulated previously are yet to be implemented.

If government rises to the occasion and starts cleanliness drives on mass scale, this step would also be appreciated by the people. It is hoped that right things would be done at the right time.

Social Track editorial January 15, 2016

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.

electrifying Africa with mini-grids: Five lessons from Tanzania

I

By Lily Odamo

n 2009, the first unit of a hydro-powered mini-grid was installed in the Ludewa district of Tanzania. Today, this community-owned and -managed system serves over 1,600 customers in 10 villages, and the electricity it supplies has brought welcome benefits to citizens. In Mawengi, barbers, butchers and restaurant operators with electric lighting can extend business hours. new enterprises have sprung up; villagers who exported sunflower seeds and imported sunflower oil in the past now press sunflower seeds into sunflower oil locally. Retention rates of medical staff have improved, and village health centers can now use refrigerators to store medical supplies. Off-grid electrification will be critical to reach sustainable development Goal 7, modern energy for all, by 2030. energy leaders across the region can look to the experience of Tanzania, which has doubled the number and capacity of its mini-grids since 2008, for important lessons.

What are mini-grids? Mini-grids—electrical generation systems of less than 10MW that serve customers through local distribution networks—are emerging as promising complements to the traditional central grid. They can help countries meet electricity access targets faster and, in some cases, more cost-effectively. By generating electricity close to where it’s needed, and with the advantage of flexibility and scale, mini-grids can become the standard choice for the millions of rural Africans who live far from the central grid and who would otherwise have to wait several years, or even decades, for an electric connection. By 2040, an estimated 140 million rural Africans could get electricity from minigrids, requiring more than 100,000 additional units to be built.

Mini-grids in Tanzania Rural electrification is a key component of the government’s plan to make Tanzania a middle-income country by 2025. Tanzania estimates that about half its rural population may be served more cost-effectively by decentralized options than by centralized grid expansion. In 2008, Tanzania adopted a groundbreaking small Power Producer framework to encourage investment in the sector. since then, the number of mini-grids in the country has doubled. Today, the national utility (TAnesCO), private businesses, faith-based organizations and local communities own and operate over 100 mini-grid systems with a total installed capacity of 157.7MW, serving over 180,000 customers. By comparison, Tanzania’s central grid has installed generation capacity of approximately 1,500MW, with mostly hydro and natural gas.

What can we learn from Tanzania? A new report from Tanzania Traditional energy development Organization (TaTedO) and WRI examines Tanzania’s mini-grid experience and proposes five key action areas that energy practitioners across the continent can focus on to accelerate the deployment of this electrification option in their countries.

Build up knowledge and make information about minigrids available and accessible.

There is a dearth of knowledge about mini-grids, even in countries where they have been used. Understanding how these systems have fared in the past and the reasons for their success and failures is essential for successful future deployments. Likewise, maintaining an active database of existing mini-grids—their technical characteristics, funding sources and tariffs, as well as their quality-of-service metrics—could be valuable to stakeholders involved in mini-grid implementation.

Breathe, Jakarta, breathe!

A

bout 10 months before Indonesia welcomes the Asian Games back after 56 years, the government may have overlooked the necessity to clear Jakarta’s air amid its hectic preparations for the largest sports event after the Olympics. With daily pollution usually in the range of 51 to 100 on the air quality index (AQI), Jakarta’s air is below the standard of 0 to 50, which is deemed necessary to help athletes perform their best. Time certainly permits the government to take all possible measures to improve the air quality of the capital, which will host most of the medal events and, hence, most athletes and officials of the participating countries. The relevant ministries and Jakarta government agencies need to devise a pollution reduction plan sooner rather than later to fulfil our pledge to be a good host. Fortunately, Beijing has taught us a lesson. Prior to and during the Olympic Games held in Beijing in 2008, the Chinese government undertook radical pollution-reducing measures, which included halving the number of cars allowed to travel in the city through an odd-even license plate number mechanism, closing coal-burning factories and suspending construction projects. At the time, the Chinese government had no choice but to take tough action to meet the air quality standards set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). China won praise from both the IOC and athletes, but more than that, the pollution reduction efforts paid off and to some extent helped the Asian giant excel in the Olympics.

Continued on page 8

Jakarta can replicate Beijing’s extraordinary environmental experiment, especially in reducing the number of vehicles. Car and motorcycle restrictions are already in place in Jakarta, but the city has to implement the policy more widely to make a considerable difference. To significantly cut carbon emissions from vehicles, the odd-even license plate number scheme should be enforced across the city. such a tough measure, if it materializes, will not only bring our blue skies back, but also facilitate the movement of athletes and the public who wish to watch the competitions or cheer on their favorite athletes. The government may also consider a piece of advice from Ahmad safrudin of the Committee for the Phasing Out of Leaded Fuel (KPBB), who calls for intensifying emission tests for vehicles on the city’s roads. The question, as always, is the alternative for private vehicles, as none of the mass transportation projects — the MRT and light rapid transit (LRT) — will be ready for the public during the Asian Games, as originally planned. To help ease the traffic, the city administration can declare a two-week holiday for schoolchildren during the Games, as it did when Jakarta hosted the southeast Asian Games in 1997 and 2011. The upcoming Asian Games will therefore test Indonesia’s commitment to the environment. If it can make Jakarta’s air fresher during the games, it should do so on any other day.

From Asia

Editorial/The Jakarta Post, Indonesia


4 I HeALTH

I Friday, October 13, 2017


HeALTH I 5

Cholera: ending a 50-year pandemic

I Friday, October 13, 2017

People’s right to wellness

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he global annual cholera burden is estimated at around 2·9 million cases per year, resulting in 95 000 deaths. In 2017, these estimates could be far exceeded due to a number of devastating outbreaks, including those in Yemen and northern nigeria. so far this year, 750 000 suspected cases, causing over 2000 deaths, have occurred in Yemen alone. Currently, there is concern about the risk of a cholera epidemic among Rohingya refugees in the Cox's Bazar region of Bangladesh. In response to this public health threat, the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), has brought together representatives from cholera-affected countries, donors, and technical experts to develop a Global Roadmap to 2030. Published on Oct 3, the document describes a multisectoral strategy that could reduce cholera deaths by 90% and eliminate the disease from a further 20 countries by 2030. As John Clemens and colleagues describe in a seminar published recently in The Lancet, cholera is an ancient disease. endemic in the Ganges river basin, it has caused a series of pandemics since 1817, the most devastating being the seventh pandemic, which began in 1961 and is ongoing. Cholera is a disease steeped in medical history—it was during the third pandemic that John

snow plotted his famous map of Broad street, and during the fifth epidemic, that Robert Koch sought to identify the causative agent. spread by the faeco-oral route, the disease affects poor people and the most vulnerable. Cholera is endemic in 47 countries, particularly in areas where the water, sanitation and hygiene (WAsH) infrastructure is poor. In these areas, children are particularly at risk. epidemics occur both within and outside of endemic areas, often amid humanitarian crises, when WAsH infrastructure breaks down or is overwhelmed. In situations where the population lacks immunity, a wider age range is affected, often with more severe clinical manifestations. Currently the worldwide cholera burden is high. 60–70% of cholera cases and deaths occur in endemic areas of Africa, which could increase as urbanisation, particularly the growth of slums, places increasing numbers at risk. Fluid resuscitation as the core of cholera treatment is well established, but recent developments in disease prevention strategies underlie the GTFCC's roadmap. Improvements in WAsH systems can eliminate cholera, but although the rate of return on investment is good, these are initially expensive, and the slow expansion of WAsH provision

has failed to tackle the burden of cholera and other water-borne diarrhoeal diseases. The pivotal change in cholera control has been the development of oral cholera vaccines (OCV), underpinned by an improved understanding of the mechanism of cholera immunity. In a series of landmark research developments over the past 10 years, the efficacy, safety, acceptability, and feasibility of these vaccines have been demonstrated. The creation of a growing global OCV stockpile by WHO, with long-term funding support from Gavi, signalled the stepchange in cholera prevention strategies and, since 2013, 13 million vaccine doses have been deployed, mostly in the emergency control of epidemics. The novelty of the GTFCC eradication strategy is based on three key axes. First, the emphasis on rapid response to outbreaks: controlling epidemics through community engagement, improved early warning surveillance, and the rapid delivery of cholera control kits, OCV, and WAsH supplies. second, the strategy implements a multisectoral approach in hotspots of endemic cholera. OCV programmes will be used as a bridge, immediately reducing disease burden and mortality while long-term solutions are developed: sustain-

World Pharmacists day observed at KU

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KARACHI: Students attending a Pharmacy symposium at the University of Karachi, recently.— ST photo

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Pharmacy science Club, University of Karachi, organised a symposium cum expo in connection with World Pharmacists day, recently, where a wide range of topics related to the field of pharmacy and the role of pharmacist in healthcare system were discussed. The theme of the symposium was ‘Your pharmacist is at your service’, while KU Faculty head Pharmacy, Prof dr Iqbal Azhar presided over the session. speakers included a KU graduate now a federal government drug inspector dr Obaid Ali, Chief Pharmacist of shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Center, dr samina Badar. dr Iqbal Azhar said that a pharmacist is a pivotal pillar in the health care system. “Pharmacists are drug experts and by virtue of their information about drugs they can provide a great benefit to the society and patient.” He observed that pharmacists carry great importance as they are the communicators between doctor and patient. They point out the side effects and certain implications of medicines. ”The principal goal of pharmacist care is to achieve positive outcomes from the use of medication to improve patients’ quality of life with minimum risk.” dr Azhar also expressed concern over the fact that medical stores in small and big cities of

Pakistan were being operated by unqualified people. dr Ali was of the view that pharmacists should acquire knowledge and choose their career job after a thorough study in a discipline. dr Badar said that pharmacists should be appointed in hospitals and be allowed to play their role in a much integrated way. student Advisor dr Iyad naeem also spoke at the occasion. In related events, students presented innovative ideas with virtual display. Many interesting ideas were put forth in the architectural design of the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals or in the packaging of pharmaceutical products, etc. Career expo provided opportunity to undergraduate students of Faculty of Pharmacy to interact with the human resource personnel coming from various pharmaceutical industries and hospitals including, Genix Pharmaceutical, High-Q Pharmaceutical, searle Pharmaceutical, Brookes Pharmaceutical, Hilton Pharmaceutical, nabi-Qasim Pharmaceutical, shaukat Kahnum Memorial Cancer Hospital &Research Center, dar-ul-sehat Hospital, nurturing Community Pharmacy in Pakistan, and saylani Welfare Organisation. A theme play ‘Your pharmacist at your service’ was also performed by the students, highlighting the issues of community pharmacy, supply and delivery of expired drugs.

able WAsH infrastructure, strengthened health systems able to anticipate epidemics, and strong community engagement required to stop transmission. The third axis is the coordination of operational support, local and global resourcing, and technical expertise delivered by GTFCC. Over the next 18 months, the task force will support six to eight countries to develop cholera control plans, develop an investment case on cholera, and create operational guidance on integrated prevention strategies ahead of a review meeting planned in 2019. The bold vision of the Global Roadmap is welcome but the challenges that lie ahead should not be underestimated, Paul spiegel, director of the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins University told The Lancet. ending cholera depends both on successful delivery of the prevention strategies on the ground and mitigating risks to the Global Roadmap at a high-level (securing financing, ensuring vaccine availability, and galvanising political will). The technical ability to control cholera is within our capabilities. After 50 years, could the tide be finally turning on the seventh pandemic? Editorial/The Lancet

‘Communities can help fight depression’ By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Family members at homes and colleagues at workplaces could be the best supporter of persons suffering from mental illness or undergoing depression. This was stated by a senior psychiatrist at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club ahead of World Mental Health day, which was acknowledged on October 10. The theme of the day was: Mental health in the workplace. According to the speakers, depression was a significant contributor to the global total of ailments and affected people in all communities across the globe. According to the experts, depression accounts for 6 per cent of mental illness in Pakistan, while the increasing rate of depression accounted for various issues like economics, insecurity, political uncertainty, unemployment, stressful working conditions, gender discrimination and disruption of social settings. President of the Pakistan Psychiatry society, dr Iqbal Afridi, who is also the head of psychiatry department of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, said that depression was becoming a common global issue, particularly in the developing countries. “Today, depression is estimated to be affecting 350 million people,” he added, saying "Over one million lives are lost due to suicide committed by people suffering from mental illness." dr Raza Ur Rehman, head of psychiatry department at dow University of Health sciences said that a depression disorder is an illness that involves the body, mind and thought. “It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one perceives things.” He said that without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months or years, but appropriate treatment can help most people pull themselves together out of depression. Continued on page 7


6 I sPeCIAL RePORT

I Friday, October 13, 2017

IBBS 2

IBBS reveals high prevalence of HIV in Pakistan By Mukhtar Alam

KARACHI: Two cities of sindh Karachi and Mirpurkhas- were among the four cities of Pakistan that reported the highest prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among their highrisk populations of People Who Injected drugs (PWIds). According to the national HIV/AIds surveillance report released by the national Aids Control Programme (nACP), last week revealed that Karachi and Mirpurkhas ranked second and fourth respectively, as far as prevalence of HIV infection among the PWId was concerned. The highest prevalence of HIV for PWIds was reported from Kasur (50.8%), followed by Karachi (48.7%), Bahawalpur (25.1%) and Mirpurkhas (23.2). The report in question titled ‘Integrated Biological and Behavioural surveillance in Pakistan - 2016-17’ was conducted under the stewardship of Ministry of national health services, Regulation and Coordination (MonHsRC) with the support of Global Fund, Unicef and UnFPA, involving 13 cities of Punjab, 6 of sindh and two each from Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The survey which is also named as the second-generation HIV surveillance in Pakistan (Round 5) was aimed at determining the prevalence and behaviour among key populations –people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men (MsM), transgender people (TGP) and female sex workers (FsM). earlier, such a survey was done in 2011 in 19 cities of Pakistan, under a CanadaPakistan HIV/AIds project, which estimated the highest number of PWId at 16,544 in Karachi, followed by Faisalabad and Lahore with 7,907 and 3,596, respectively. The highest prevalence of HIV was found in Faisalabad (52.5%), followed by dera Ghazi Khan (49.6%) and Karachi (42%). A medical and public health expert requesting not to mention his name said that the new report brought many embracing figures for the government, its health managers, campaigners, foreign technical assistants and the society overall. According to IBBs Round 5 report, the highest prevalence for HIV in transgender populations was reported from Larkana (18.2%), followed by Bannu (15%) and Karachi (12.9%). data in six cities of sindh –Karachi, Hyderabad, sukkur, Larkana, nawabshah and Mirpurkhas – was collected in november and december 2016, involving 1,812 PWId, 2,297 FsWs, 2,048 MsMs and 1,571 TGP. It was estimated that 37,137 PWId will spread over 7,401 spots in 14 cities of Pakistan; two thirds (24,036) were reported from Karachi, while Bahawalpur had 2,755, and Hyderabad hsd 2,164. It was reported further that four of the cities had major concentrations of TGP, forming more than 60% of the total esti-

mated TGs. These cities included Karachi (9,123), Lahore (3,936), Multan (3,130) and Faisalabad (2,737). Bannu and Turbat reported the lowest number of TGs among all the cities mapped with 38 and 82 TGs, respectively. Concluding the IBBs 2016-17 report, dr Abdul Baseer Khan Achakzai, Manager nACP said Pakistan needed to scale-up services for key-population to contain HIV epidemic at its present level and to prevent its further spread to other key-population members and into gene r a l

population. “A focused primary HIV prevention ap proach to achieve 90,90,90 and end AIds by 2030 is needed.” dr Mamadou L sakho, UnAIds Country director for Pakistan and Afghanistan,

HIV Prevalence in Cities-IBBS 2016-17 Population

Estimated Number

Tested for HIV

Prevalence %

TGP (23 cities)

31,790

5,161

7.1

PWIDs (14 cities)

37,137

FSWs (18 cities)

64,829

MSM (22 cities)

4,062

5,657

46,264

2.2

6,773

3.7

PWIDs= People who inject drugs TGP= Transgender people FSWs= Female sex workers MSM= Men having sex with men

by focusing the response in populations and locations where HIV epidemic is evolving and the HIV services are lacking or failing to reach people.” With an estimated prevalence rate of less than 0.1%, Pakistan continues to have a low level HIV epidemic among general population, but serial surveillance results indicate that concentrated epidemics have already established among key populations, the report in question mentioned. ”The IBBs –2011 had revealed that the infection rates among PWId steadily increased to 37.8% in 2011. The data collected from 17 cities in 2011 showed concentrated epidemic among PWId, while in a few cities like Faisalabad and dG Khan, HIV prevalence was reported to be almost 50% among the surveyed population.” According to IBBs 2016-17 report, more than half of PWIds surveyed (56.8%) reported injecting two to three times a day in the past month (before the survey); Karachi and Bahawalpur reported the highest number of injections per day, ie on average 3.1 and 3.0, respectively, while Peshawar reported the lowest number, ie

38.4

1.2 per day. A lesser proportion of PWIds reported injecting drugs at home (14.9%) and shrines/dargah (11.2%), 66.1% of the respondents injected or got injected themselves in public places like parks, streets and other open areas. As many as 38.8% reported always using a new syringe, while 19.6% reported using a new syringe most of time in the past one month; about 31% of PWIds reported sharing needle/syringe with other PWIds at their last injection. sharing needle was most commonly reported from Bannu (65.1%) followed by nawabshah (60.6%) and Kasur (56%). About 40% of PWIds reported having sex with a regular female partner in the past six months. However, 15.8% of them reported using condom in the last sex. Another 28.3% of PWIds reported having sex with FsWs in the past six months, while condom usage was lower at around 7.7%. Around 44% of the PWIds were less than 30 years of age, while the average age of PWIds was 31.7. About 50% of PWIds were unmarried and 37.7% were at present married. About 86.1% of the married PWIds had one or more child. discussing the awareness level about the diseases among the PWIds, the report

The new IBBS report is an eye opener for all. File photo

said that the national HIV AIds surveillance (IBBs Round 5) comprehensively portrayed the HIV epidemic in the country to effectively guide the national response, and to deliver prevention, treatment, care and support services to people living with HIV, key and vulnerable populations. “data obtained from the surveillance activities provides valuable evidence for designing, implementing and monitoring of public health programmes for the prevention and control of spread of HIV infection

Estimated Number of People from High Risk Group-Sindh City

PWIDs

Hyderabad

2,164

Karachi

Larkana

Mirpurkhas

Nawabshah Sukkur Total

FSWs

MSM

24,036

25,191

18,363

1,204

4,593

1,612

778

4,426

2,084

984

1,690

30,182

41,291

1,016

3,307

TGP

9,123

1,779

1,062

300

289

712

1,070

23,836

1,130 383

1,609

13,596


sPeCIAL RePORT I 7

I Friday, October 13, 2017

016-17

HIV Prevalence (%) in People from High Risk Group City

PWIDs

FSWs

MSM

TGP

Multan

x

x

1.1

1.8

Lahore

x

Faisalabad

x

x

Sargodha

x

3.7

x

1.4

x

5.4

3.2

0

8.4

Gujranwala

x

0.7

1.3

2.2

Gujrat

x

0.4

5.4

3.9

Sheikhupura

x

1.7

7.4

2.6

D G Khan

x

Sialkot

0.8

x

4

0

8.5

0

1.6

Rawalpindi

21.5

0.3

4.1

6.1

Kasur

50.8

0

9.7

0

Bahawalpur

25.1

Jhelum

0

17.9

Karachi

0.6

x

48.7

x

2.6

12.9

5.1

7.9

13.2

2.2

5.7

Larkana

16.2

4.1

4.9

16.7

Nawabshah

8.8

13.2

3.8

23.2

4.1

3.7

Bannu

3.4

1.5

0.9

Turbat

16.6

0

1.9

9.9

Quetta

3

8.3

0

said that 73.2% of them had heard of HIV/AIds. Information regarding HIV prevention was low: 32.2% of PWIds knew that using a clean needle/syringe acted as a protection against HIV transmission, while 38.8% knew about condom being an effective HIV prevention method. About 41% of PWIds knew about a place where they could be tested for HIV and

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10.7 1.3

‘Communities can help fight depression’

Efforts should go beyond rallies and walks. File photo

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8 I enVIROnMenT / eneRGY

sepa meeting mulls over civic risks in Clifton project

I Friday, October 13, 2017

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Participants at a public hearing pertaining to environmental clearance of a high-rise project in Clifton area, last week, expressed the view that the increased construction of various residential-cum-commercial, multi-storey buildings will certainly add up to the water and energy woes of citizens and aggravate the already depressed traffic management situation in the city. different speakers including engineers and concerned civil society members during the question-answer session of the public hearing organised by the sindh environmental Protection Agency (sepa) as a statutory requirement pointed out to the chair of the meeting, s M Yahya, that like other high-rise projects undertaken or planned in the water deficient areas in the city, the ground plus 22-storey residence and commerce building will also be built in an area where KWsB piped-water is not adequately available. “The proponents have given two options to overcome water supply issue related to the project 'dynasty' planned in Block 9 of Clifton, i.e. they will utilise water tanker service or set up a reverse osmosis (RO) plant having the capacity of 10,000 gallons per day to meet the water demand, which are not viable options.” In both the ways, a couple of stakeholders said, "situation will deter further as tankers too will fetch water from KWsB facilities that are already not in a position to cater to the needs of the existing consumers, while on the other

KARACHI: Sepa Additional Director General , S M Yahya conducting a public hearing pertaining an EIA report of a high-rise building planned in Clifton area. — ST photo

hand employment of a RO plant and filtration plant will not only be a costly affair, overburdening the prospective occupants of the project, but it is also not environment-friendly." It was underlined that there is a need to look into the claims of developers of the project in question and other projects to have RO plants. “extracting sub-soil water to meet the needs of the proposed occupants of hundreds of apartments and shops, without determining the water table and feasibility, is certainly a cumbersome exercise”, one of the concerned engineers remarked. In the matter of traffic flow in the project vicinity, the gathering noted that the proponents promise to meet the parking requirements of prospective residents and

shopkeepers, but are giving little care to the visitors of occupants and shoppers. “Ultimately, vehicles will be stationed on main roads and streets in the building’s vicinity.” There was a consensus opinion that efforts should be made to harmonise the development of utilities with the growing demand for highrise buildings. However, the proponents side assured the gathering that all care was being given to utilities and traffic management. “KWsB, Ke and gas company as well as hydrologists have been taken on board, while in the case of traffic flow in the construction and operational phases of the project in question, we anticipate things will remain manageable after all.” some of the experts urged sepa to extraor-

dinarily examine the fire-fighting arrangements proposed for the project as the government agencies did not mean to combat building-fire adversities. Another expert said that the project should not add adversely to the existing air pollution level, solid waste management and sewerage disposal systems in the area. The proponents said that they aimed at providing an affordable and luxurious standard residential and commercial project on a plot measuring 4,263 sq yds. The project will have basement for parking and shops, ground floor for shops, first floor for shops and parking, second floor for parking, third floor for parking and prayer hall, fourth floor for recreation purposes, while fifth to 22 floors will have flats only. speaking on behalf of the firm that prepared the environmental impact assessment report related to the high-rise project in question, environmental Consultancy and services, shahid Lutfi said that an environmental management plan will be available to monitor all activities at the project and effects like top soil erosion, waste water discharges, air emission release, noise, disposal of demolition or construction debris, disturbance of traffic flow, water consumption and demand, fuel storage, safety of workers and public during the construction phase, while issues like solid waste management, waste water discharge, provision of sustainable energy, provision of utilities and their consumption and any fire hazard, sustainable plantation, exhaust ventilation in parking in the operational phase.

Ke plans plant to replenish generation

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: The privately run Kelectric has decided to build 900MW regasified liquid natural gas (RLnG) based power plant within its facility located in Bin Qasim area in various phases to replenish its generation after decommissioning of a couple of its gas or furnace oil fueled power units, it emerged during a public hearing convened by the sindh environmental Protection Agency (sepa), recently. Personnel representing the power company told the participants of the hearing that two 450megawatt RLnG based power units will be established at an existing site of Ke in Bin Qasim area. The units planned to be commissioned in mid 2018 and end 2019, respectively, will replace Ke’s existing units 3 and 4. About units 3 and 4, it was said that those were run on natural gas and HFO and were part of BQPs 1 and either have outlived their de-

signed life or have poor reliability and very high maintenance cost. A Ke project development executive, Abbas Hussain said that the company was actively pursuing an earlier proposed 700MW coal powered plant, while its 250MW furnace oil fueled project is in a re-evaluation process and put on the backburner. "Ke wants to complete the lately proposed RLnG units, with a designed capacity of 900MW, on a priority basis," he added, saying the new RLnG plant namely ‘BQPs 3’ will have positive socio-economic impacts and will prove an environment friendly venture as well. The Ke personnel did not address the question asked about the existing power generation and the need for a new power plant. Amidst reports about ageing of the various Ke generation units and the consequent decommissioning, participants were concerned whether Ke was going to see any increase in its existing generation of electricity to soothe its thousands of power deficient consumers or not at

the end of the day. Participants from different walks of life including engineers, academia, environmentalists, conservationists , activists, urban onlookers and civil society members, were also apprised about Ke’s ‘social investment programme. Ke representatives mentioned that, among other initiatives, two water-purification plants established by the company are at present ‘benefiting the residents of Port Qasim Town as well’. According to them, Ke has pledged to plant 50,000 mangroves, in addition to the development of green zones in partnership with Port Qasim Authority. They further maintained that unskilled labour living in the vicinity will be employed under the proposed 900MW project. environmental consultants to Ke for the project, Global environmental Management services (GeMs), said that since the proposed plant will be installed in an already built-up area under use of Ke, without undertaking major new constructions, “We do not see any major

adverse environmental impact or damage to flora and fauna, if any, due to the operation of the upcoming project which will apply a cleaner fuel for generation of electricity.” In regard to emission and ambient air quality, it was further said that the sulfur dioxide (sO2) level will drop , while pollutant level will also decrease after the RLnG based units will replace the existing Ke power generation facilities. However, on the basis of literature review, scoping, meeting, consultations, environmental and social baseline, air dispersion and thermal plume modeling outcomes, a detailed and comprehensive environmental monitoring and management plan (eMMP) was devised. “We have identified and covered anticipated environmental and social impacts along with its mitigation and monitoring requirements and anticipate that these will be followed by the project proponents to avoid long-term impacts on the existing environment, if any, as well”,

added the consultant side. The environmental impact assessment report pertaining to the project in question that was discussed at the public hearing, with s M Yahya, Additional director of sepa, in the chair, said: “The baseline investigations suggested that all the ambient air quality parameters monitored at the proposed project location observed were to be within the sindh environmental Quality standards (seQs) limits. There are no significant natural freshwater resources observed in the proposed project area.” However, some of the proponents stressed upon sepa to observe extreme checks on Ke’s project as there have been concerns over its various operating plants in the city. Concerns were also raised over reported change in BQPs-1 master plan, depleting mangroves, sea intrusion, fishermen’s livelihood and sepa’s reported failure in getting a commutative environmental impact study for Port Qasim area.

latory and policy improvements. In 2015, Tanzania revised its 2008 small Power Producer framework to account for price differentials in implementing different mini-grid technologies. The 2008 framework set technology-neutral feed-in tariffs, which failed to encourage solar and wind mini-grid development due to

their higher costs; the 2015 framework instituted technology-specific tariffs to address this barrier. In 2017, Tanzania launched a third generation mini-grid framework that introduces guidance on grid integration and simplified licensing and registration requirements. Streamline licensing and permitting procedures outside the electricity sector. Mini-grid developers must acquire several licenses, permits and clear-

ances to build a mini-grid. Many of these—for land rights, water rights, environmental clearances and others—involve institutions outside the energy sector. despite the utility regulator (eWURA)’s, streamlined regulatory process, procuring such documents can be time-consuming and result in significant implementation delays. It is important that governments focus on coordinating the activities of all the different licensing/permitting agencies, creat-

ing a one-stop-shop where developers can obtain the clearances and licenses they need. Build the capacity of mini-grid developers, especially local ones. As o ur report shows, local minigrid developers face several capacity issues in accessing financing, developing effective business models and managing mini-grid systems. Investments in building the capacity of local entrepreneurs to

electrifying Africa... Continued from page 3

Create an adaptive policy and regulatory framework. Having a policy and regulatory framework that can be easily adapted to changing circumstances can ensure that lessons learned along the way are integrated into future regu-

Continued on page 11


edUCATIOn I 9

Advanced research in space science, technology stressed I Friday, October 13, 2017

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: scientists and educationists have stressed the need for further investment in the development of human resources and infrastructure relevant to space, science and technology as it has diversified prospects and will help in studying ecology, environment, land resources and other natural resources across the country. Role of space, science and technology and its various parameters were discussed at a day-long national conference titled “exploring new worlds in space” organised by Institute of space & Planetary Astrophysics (IsPA), University of Karachi last week. KU Vice Chancellor Professor dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, addressing the inauguration session of the conference said that space science has become a significant feature of the modern era. “Its significance has enormously enhanced in the context of global warming.” He further said that the space science had made the world a global village and revolutionised the communication system. It has broader fields and diversified prospects. He also called for collaborations between the scientist and industries to have more researches of good standards and initiation projects at national and international level. director General of national Center for Physics dr Hafeez Hoorani, who was the chief guest, informed the gathering that his Centre had published more than 300 research papers in the recent years. The founding director of IsPA, Prof dr Jawaid Qamar talked about the importance of space science and technology in this century. KU dean, sciences, Professor dr Tasneem Adam Ali said that in the contemporary era, no development could be achieved without scientific development. “Youth of the country must equip themselves with sci-

KARACHI: KU VC Prof Mohammad Ajmal Khan addressing the inaugural session of a national conference, recently. — ST photo

entific knowledge and skills in order to become the scientific workforce of the country.” In a presentation during the technical session, Prof dr Muhammad shahid Qureshi of IsPA said that the 21st century has witnessed some very close and intimate exploration of many solar system objects. “Pluto, saturn, Jupiter and two of the major objects in asteroid belt have been and are going through very close scrutiny which is unparalleled in the history of science and technology.” He noted that technologies for propulsion through means other than the conventional are being explored and put to work that would increase speed of space probes many fold. “Hence, the time required to reach distant objects within and outside the solar system shall reduce significantly.” He further said that telecommunication

was going through a revolution in high speeds and broader band width to ensure huge data transfer in shorter periods of time. “Artificial satellites are playing vital and an ever-increasing roles for civil, technological and strategic purposes.” Referring to the rapidly growing use of space science and technology internationally, the scientist suggested sufficient investment in the development of infrastructure as well as educational institutions in the field of space science and technology. dr Ihtzaz Qamar from Institute of space Technology, Islamabad, said that the human quest for space exploration coupled with instinct to defend oneself with advanced weapon systems opened a new frontier of science and technology called rocket propulsion. “since the development of first rocket

by Robert H Goddard in 1926 we have seen tremendous advancements, including first moon landing in 1959 to current interplanetary missions, rocket propulsion, its fundamental principles, different kinds of rocket propulsion systems and major challenges faced during development and testing of these systems.” Mahrukh Farooq from IsPA and Madiha Talha from sUPARCO while presenting their research paper said that Geomagnetism, study of earth’s magnetic field, through history has greater impact and wide applications in different aspects of science and technology. Highlighting the role of GIs, KU Geography professor dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi said that the system allows integration of conventional and non-conventional (spatial) data to improve overall analysis, such information can help decision makers to take prompt decisions and support ground personal to carry out operations successfully. dr Lubna Ghazal of KU Geography department said that satellite data has always been used as an effective aid for studying ecology, environment and land resources. “Risk of ecological degradation can be easily judged through parameters such as, surface and ground water depletion, loss of forest cover, plant and animal species and reduction in agricultural land.” IsPA director Prof dr M Jawed Iqbal presented the conference recommendations that included review of the curriculum of institutes which are engaged in space science education. The conference also suggested initiation of students exchange programmes between IsPA and Institute of space Technology, Islamabad, with the collaboration of space science department of the Punjab University. The availability of Urdu language literature of space science and technology prepared by the senior space scientists was also stressed.

Pakistan-UK education Gateway to improve educational opportunities

By Our Correspondent

IsLAMABAd: Pakistani and UK educational executives at a meeting held recently discussed the possible areas of collaborations towards formation of an education gateway to promote cooperation between the higher education sectors of the two countries. A delegation of British Council Pakistan held a meeting with Chairman Higher education Commission, dr Mukhtar Ahmed and senior management of the commission and vice-chancellors of various universities and deliberated the modalities of Pakistan-UK education. It is a programme envisioned to enhance collaboration between Pakistan and the United Kingdom, said an HeC press release. The delegation led by Jo Beall, director education and society, British Council (BC), comprised Rosemary Hilhorst, Country director BC Pakistan, nishat Riaz, BC director education, Pakistan, sarah Parvez, Head of Higher education, BC Pakistan and others. The two sides contemplated over the dynamics of Pakistan-UK education Gateway and identified steps to execute the programme of bilateral collaboration in a more

ISLAMABAD: HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed listening to participants at the meeting held with UK education delegation, recently. — ST photo

effective manner. dr Mukhtar Ahmed said that the two sides have jointly worked on over 20 projects for promotion of higher education, including Citizenship Programme. The Chairman informed the delegation that HeC had so far awarded 2,51,000 scholarships to Pakistani students, however the biggest challenge being faced by Pakistan is the lack of qualified faculty.

On this occasion, he also mentioned Pak-Us Knowledge Corridor through which 10,000 Pakistani scholars will be sent to the Us universities for higher studies. “HeC eyes a similar collaborative endevour with the United Kingdom in the form of Pak-UK education Gateway,” he added. Ms Beall said that Pakistan and the United Kingdom had a long history of

friendship and the academic collaboration between the two countries would further strengthen the bilateral relations. she expressed the hope that the Pakistan-UK education Gateway will prove to be a constant means of cooperation between the higher education sectors of the two countries. she said HeC and BC had been enjoying a rich partnership since the inception of HeC in 2002. she said the BC is also celebrating 70 years of its work in Pakistan, which indicates the nature of strong bond between Pakistan and the United Kingdom. she emphasised that HeC and British Council need to find a way to get strategically closer for the well-being of Pakistani youth. she observed that the population of youth in Pakistan is over 60 per cent and annually two million people enter into the workforce. during the course of discussion, the participants suggested inclusion of different areas to be covered in the programme like split Phd programmes, full-fledged Phd programmes, student and faculty exchange, easy student mobility and visa process, involvement of funding agencies and research entities, quality and governance at higher education institutions, and capacity building through short training programmes.


10 I ROUnd-UP

I Friday, October 13, 2017

KARACHI: Karachi Commissioner Ejaz Ahmed with a delegation of World Bank’s Development mission, after a meeting at his office, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: Senior Operation and Management executives of KPT with a delegation of National Defence University, Islamabad, who visited the KPT Head Office, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: Advisor to CM Sindh on social welfare Shamim Mumtaz handing certificate to a participant at a training workshop on “Child Rights and Protection, organised by Social Welfare Department, last week.— ST photo

KARACHI: Chief guest, Asma Ali Shah, handing prizes among the players at the end of Quaid-i-Azam Cup Basketball Tournament Girls, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: Captain of the winning team receiving trophy from the chief guest at the final event of the Summer Football Cup 2017 tournament, recently.— ST photo

KARACHI: Mayor Wasim Akhtar with the office-bearers of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry, recently.— ST photo


neWs I 11

‘CPeC to bring prosperity to Pakistan’ I Friday, October 13, 2017

electrifying Africa...

Continued from page 8

develop bankable proposals and effective business models will be key to sustainable mini-grid development over time.

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: speaking at a lecture recently, dr Aijaz shafi Gilani, chairman of Gallup Pakistan, referred to various concerns raised by different quarters over the China-Pakistan economic Corridor (CPeC) and said that after 70 years of its inception Pakistan was in a better position to safeguard the rights of its people and economic interests. He said that CPeC was a kick start of Pakistan’s long journey for its economic progress and development and whatever the concerns about this project are being expressed, are baseless as Pakistan now has become a battle hardened nation. “Pakistan is all fit to enter a new phase of life to match the new millennium challenges.” Idara-i-said, Hamdard University and Hamdard Foundation Pakistan had arranged the lecture titled shaheed Hakim Mohammed said Memorial Lecture on the topic CPeC and China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) at Madinat al-Hikmah, which was also attended by sadia Rashid, Presdient Hamdard Foundation Pakistan. Mr Gilani said that Pakistan as a nation is capable to pay back the huge loan of Us $42 billion to China.

KARACHI: President Hamdard Foundation Sadia Rashid presenting a shied to Dr Aijaz Shafi Gilani.— ST photo

“It is also apprehended that when a rich country like America failed to address our poverty how can a country like China could do it.” He said the answer was clear that now China was no more a poor country, it had a surplus reservoir of $ 400 billion. To a concern that Chinese workers would replace Pakistani workers and render them jobless, he emphasised that China has become a factory of the world and its workers have a lot of work even in their own country. "Moreover, China is now inclined towards heavy industry and a bullet train is being built in China for Germany.

“The concern that China would become a new east India Company doesn't have weight as world has become a global village and in this age it is not possible for any foreign power to become a colonial power. China has categorically denied that it wants to become a colonial power.“ He added that huge amount of capital has accumulated in China and its government wanted to invest in other countries, instead of giving aid. “China wants to improve the purchasing power of Pakistan and other countries where it has been investing, for when they have pur-

empowering teacher freedom World Teachers day

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: speakers at a forum recently observed that only empowered teachers and a diverse and inclusive curriculum at schools can ensure a meaningful education and training of students. They were speaking at a programme organised by Badal do Consortium to mark the World Teachers day, which fell on October 5. Provincial Coordinator of UnICeF in sindh, Kazi Ayaz Mahesar shed light on the theme of the day: “Teaching in freedom, empowering teachers.” He said this year’s theme had been carefully chosen, keeping in view a number of threats, factors, and compelling conditions that limit the educators from delivering their duties with complete academic, professional autonomy and freedom. “Undue political pressure and business interests are the two main factors which gravely curb the ability of educators in present times to teach with due academic freedom and autonomy.” He criticised the enormous pressure on schools to deliver results on standardised tests. These ignored the need to ensure a broad-based curriculum that met the diverse needs of students. The event was attended by a large number of teachers, educational officials and authorities, academic experts, and representatives of the concerned non-government organisations. Principal of Habib Public school Karachi, nargis Alvi said that teachers in the present times had been left with no option other than to inculcate good values and norms of the culture and society as students had less opportunity to learn the same while being at homes owing to

Afia Salam

virtual breakdown of the joint family system. she said that schools and teachers should teach students to show respect and be completely tolerant to values, cultures, norms, social practices, and belief systems of different sections of society for peaceful coexistence with other communities. Afia salam of Badal do initiative presented the aims and objectives of the initiative and the innovative training programme launched to 'promote tolerance, peace and inclusion in society, through the teachers in the initial phase'. she said that one teacher touches the lives of thousands of students and that it is important to promote these social values and impart good civic sense in the citizens of tomorrow. Rumana Husain and Arshad nadeem of the consortium also spoke at the occasion.

chasing power they would be able to purchase China’s goods. China is now the biggest trading partner of Pakistan”, he asserted. "In ancient times trade through land was the only option, but now 80 percent of trade was being carried out through sea route, as a result the silk route was closed," the speaker also noted that China’s One Belt, One Road program was a bid to rehabilitate the silk route under new name of ‘OBOR’. Prof dr syed shabibul Hasan, Vice Chancellor, Hamdard University offered note of thanks, while Ms Rashid presented a shield to the guest speaker.

Build a robust understanding of the impacts of mini-grids on development. Mini-grids can support local development efforts by enabling income-generating activities and promoting agriculture, health and education. These sectors will also create sustained demand for minigrid electricity, ensuring the financial viability of the systems over time. Given the critical linkages between mini-grids and development, governments and developers must invest resources into systematic qualitative and qualitative studies that can inform rural development programs and energy access strategies. Advancements in technology, falling prices of renewable technologies and emerging innovative business and delivery models are aligning to make mini-grids a transformative solution in sub-saharan Africa. With useful lessons provided by countries like Tanzania, energy practitioners in the region can now learn from others’ experience and act. COURTESY: WRI

‘deafening the silence with our voice’

By Sidra Khan

despite the uplift of women’s rights in the past few decades, the disparity between men and women still has a long way to go to be completely eliminated. This year's Karachi Women's Peace Table Talks, organised by Tehreek-i-niswan at the national Museum Karachi, tried to highlight the multifaceted nature of the problems faced by women as a minority group in different geographical, political, and social spheres. Powerful theatre performances highlighted key issues that minority groups and women face in society over the course of their lives including, lack of social justice, misuse of the blasphemy law, missing persons and their recovery by security forces, sectarian violence, the extremist ideology narrative and representation of women in constitutional reforms. different viewpoints were brought to the table in the panel discussion consisting of four social activists from KPK, Balochistan, Lyari and Karachi. These issues were highlighted in the wake of parliamentarians, including sherry Rehman. Gulalai Ismail, an award-winning social activist, highlighted the need for urgent educational reforms to address the growing influence of 'extremist narrative' that our textbooks are imparting to the young generation, "Grade ten textbooks contain a chapter called 'Maimoona' which romanti-

cises honour killing, misogyny and patriarchal norms. A quick survey of the students post-chapter reading revealed that the students feel it is acceptable to kill women if she dares to hold an opinion in who she marries." "Mashal Khan was killed not by some terrorist agency but by the common man of this country who's extremist ideology is a bigger threat to the country than all other threats combined." The case of Zeenat shehzadi was also pointed out to highlight the selective reporting and bias of mainstream media and the fact that despite petitions, no action has been taken by anyone. noreen Lehri, a Baloch women rights activist from Quetta, highlighted the lack of maternal healthcare in her province along with limited access to medicine, awareness and education about pre and post childbirth which eventually results in highly malnourished children. Where the whole world is moving at the pace of conquering space, we are still failing to provide basic human rights to people of our country. The takeaway from the 3rd Karachi Women's Peace Table Talk concluded that the problem in our society is its deafening silence over the oppression inflicted, not upon minorities, but upon our individual personal justice systems. Only if we listen to our voices instead of our silence, would we initiate the change that we wish to see in the world.


People’s right to wellness

Governor sindh at Cadet College Petaro

Friday, October 13, 2017

JAMSHORO: Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair was given a guard of honour on his arrival at CCP, Jamshoro. — ST photo

By Our Correspondent

JAMsHORO: sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair during his recent visit to Cadet College Petaro (CCP) near Jamshoro said that the institution is one of the prime education institutions of the country and is responsible for producing quality students. Governor took a round of the college campus, visited various facilities including Quaid Hall, sir syed Hall, laboratories, Chinese block, conference room, library, sports complex, cadet’s mess and riding club. On the occasion, Governor also attended the annual award distribution ceremony at CCP where students achieving outstanding positions in Hyderabad educational board annual examinations were awarded. He asked teachers to pay their due role in catering quality education to students and advised parents to pay attention to their children's activities. The event was attended by Vice Chancellor Liaquat University of Medical and Health

sciences dr noshad A shaikh, Vice Chancellor sindh University dr Fateh Muhammed Burfat, Commissioner Hyderabad saeed Ahmed Magnejo, Jamshoro deputy Commissioner Motsaam Abbasi and parents of students. Mr Zubair appreciated the role of CCP for producing men of calibers and said the college graduates had been engaged for the development of the country. He remarked that the facility for teaching the Chinese language at the college may be helpful to the college students in getting jobs in various development projects being executed in the country under the China Pakistan economic Corridor. CCP Principal Commodore Mehboob elahi presented a shield and a traditional cap to the governor. Cadet College Petaro was the second cadet college in the country after Hassan Abdal to be established initially at Mirpurkhas in 1957 and shifted to its present site Petaro in 1959 on a campus of about 700 acres.

Printed at Maz Prints and published by Mukhtar Alam Khan for Mak News Network, R-331, Block 20, F. B. Area, Karachi. email: socialtrackpk@gmail.com. Phone: 021-36366759

Social Track October 13, 2017  
Social Track October 13, 2017  
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