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Creating hope for thalassaemia patients

1,457 degrees, diplomas and 97 medals conferred

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A weekly from Karachi

Special Focus on

Friday, October 27, 2017 Vol IV No 24-25 12 Pages I Rs. 30

Health Education Environment

Chikungunya spread

Authorities remain undeterred By Our Correspondent KARACHI: The crippling virus – Chikungunya (ChickV)– transmitted to people through mosquitoes that ensured its presence for the first time in Malir district of Karachi in november is reported to having spread almost in the entire city and in some other districts of Sindh as authorities concerned are approaching the issue casually, it emerged recently. According to experts, chick virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes which are also blamed for transmitting dengue virus that has been infecting hosts of Karachiites every year. As many as 11 persons have lost their lives due to dengue this year, so far. According to official reports, which can not be considered as any true account of the continued epidemic, chick cases are on the rise unabated. In Sindh, about 4,590 cases of chik infection were reported till October 26. “Chikungunya disease can cause high fever, joint and muscle pain, and

A dengue worker doing indoor residual spray at a patient’s house.

headache, but does not often result in death. Joint pain may last for weeks and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability." “There is no specific treatment

for chikV infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. The only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites, particularly during the day and at

night," said an expert. Authorities concerned, including the dengue prevention and control wing of the Sindh health department and the city’s civic agencies, who appear helpless in the absence of due tools and finances, are expecting the cases to go down with further fall in temperature. In its final investigation report issued in May this year, a WHO Mission to Karachi on chikungunya outbreak said that outbreak had affected mostly the people in economic productive age brackets of 10 to 39 years. The disease was quite prevalent throughout the city, particularly in Malir, Keamari, Bin Qasim, Orangi and Lyari towns. “Awareness among public is low, most of the people did not know about the name of the disease, the symptoms it causes and the way it is spread and its prevention”, the mission observed and added that the disease surveillance was “weak as even the health department officials had their concerns that the disease might be prevalent in other towns, but due to lack of surveillance and

Sindh AIdS Commission to start action soon KARACHI: The Sindh AIdS Control Programme (SACP), which is all set to start executing its new PC-1 costing over Rs 1,623 million for three years, is hopeful that the Sindh AIdS Commission, as envisaged in the Sindh HIV and AIdS Control Treatment and Protection Act 2013, will be in place in a month time, it emerged last week. According to the health circles, the Act in question was effective since October 30, when the then

governor of Sindh assented to a bill passed by the provincial assembly of Sindh on September 20, 2013. However, the Sindh government could not materialise the formation of the statutory commission in question, despite pledges, during the years. Under the Act, the commission comprising two bodies –governing body and working body—was required to be established by a notification in the official gazette for the prevention, control,

care, support and treatment of HIV and AIdS in Sindh, within 15 days of the Act’s date of promulgation. As per section 4 of the Act, the working body will be responsible for undertaking and implementing HIV and AIdS-related projects that fulfil the objectives of the act, while a governing body will meet every six months to evaluate the progress of the Working Body. Talking to Social Track, SACP manager dr Younis Chachar, said

that after finalization of the terms of reference and power of the commission as prescribed in the 2013 act, a summary related to the formation of the Commission that include the relevant nominations of eminent persons, representatives of nGOs, medical practitioners and retired judges have been moved by health secretary of the Sindh government for the Chief Minister. Continued on page 4

reporting it is not highlighted as yet. “Poor environmental sanitation against heaps of garbage are present everywhere in the areas from where the cases are reported, stagnant water is also present in abundance and water storage in open containers at home, all leading to vector multiplication.” The mission stated a situation that it observed in the first week of May, 2017, but it could be sordidly noted that things are almost same as the past and authorities at the Karachi division as well as the provincial levels remain unmoved, commented another government officers, with the request not to mention his name. Practically, chikungunya patients are bearing the brunt of the official lethargic almost in all towns of Karachi now. “It is the considered opinion of the expert that any success in governmental efforts against mosquito caused diseases is not possible without elimination of the mosquitobreeding sites in Karachi and other cities of Sindh, There is a need to have well integrated and concerted efforts leading to a careful insecticides spraying in all the environment and infected-house specific control measures.” Continued on page 11

InSIdE Editorial ...............Page 03 Health ..................Page 04 Special Report.....Page 06 Education ............Page 09 Mosaic .................Page 10

EXCERPTS .............on page 03

2 I nEWS

I Friday, October 27, 2017

Experts underscore promotion of lifelong learning systems By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Addressing a conference organised by the Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKUEđ&#x;˜Ž), director, dr Shehzad Jeeva said, “Lifelong Learning systems not only equip students with valuable tools for personal development, but also represent a holistic approach that affects educators, parents and entire communities in the long term." The conference, now an annual feature, organized in collaboration with the Oxford University Press (OUP) witnessed a good input from principals of various educational institutions as well. dr Jeeva said that students in Pakistan face an increasingly globalised world, which places a heavy emphasis on a knowledge-based economy and multidisciplinary skills. “The challenge for educational institutions in Pakistan, therefore, is to inculcate a sense of intellectual curiosity and a passion for learning that goes beyond formal academic years within their students. And it is not only students that need to evolve into lifelong learners - this is a pertinent need for all of us and therefore requires a system-level change in

education for teachers, parents, principals’ and communities to develop into enduring pupils.� Former chair of the European Council of International Schools English as a Second Language & Mother-tongue Committee, Eithine Gallagher in her keynote address underscored the importance of maintaining a balance between mediums of instruction and mother languages. “You can’t turn off what you already know, and children will learn a lot more if they are not forced to turn-off their home tongues. When we tell children to think only in English or Urdu, it doesn't make any sense because we think in all languages.� The conference, attended by over 360 principals from all over Pakistan, is the only event of its kind in the country that brings together a diverse group of school leaders on a single platform and showcases original classroom research, said a press release. As many as 31 abstracts were presented on issues such as formative assessment in primary schools, case studies of educational institutions serving impoverished communities and the role of inquiry as a dynamic teaching-learning approach. Short, inspiring, TEd-style talks titled “Educa-

KARACHI: AKUEB Director Dr Shehzad Jeeva addressing the Principals' Conference, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: Principals and head-teachers during group work at the Principal's Conference. — ST photo

tors as Change Agents� were delivered by Aamna Pasha, Associate director of Teacher development at AKU-EB, Afaque Riaz Ahmed of Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship, and Sabina Khatri, director and founder, Kiran Foundation. Ms Khatri noted, “Mental and emotional health practices in the world of education are probably the most underlooked and yet the most integral components in transforming our society.� Ms Pasha’s talk focused on the importance of studying humanities for societal development. “Problems are never one-dimensional - they are always multifaceted. They require academicians from multiple disciplines to come together to address them, and this is exactly what Pakistan needs,� she said.

The “Education for all - Vision 2030� panel saw leaders in Pakistani education like Baela Raza Jamil, Abbas Rashid and Irfan Muzaffar come together to discuss methods for exclusivity, quality education and lifelong learning in a local context. The role of private sector in driving education for all, the pros and cons of technology as a cost-effective means to expand access to quality education, and the role of language in education, particularly English as a medium of instruction came under discussion. Ameena Saiyid, Managing director, Oxford University Press Pakistan in her closing note said that the quantum and quality of education affects all aspects of human life – employment possibilities, economic performance, quality of life, social relationships, quality of thought, even the value of leisure.

Efforts underway to sustain school enrolment in Sindh By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Sindh School Education and Literacy department and private organisations signed a memorandum of understanding for management of government schools built under United States Agency for International development funded Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP), recently. Sindh Minister for Education Jam Mahtab dar and US Consul General Grace Shelton witnessed the agreement signing. Under this agreement which was authenticated by secretary of the Sindh education department, Iqbal durrani, Indus Resource Centre, Charter for Compassion, Health and nutrition Society, and Sindh Rural Support Organisation will manage a

total of 14 newly constructed schools, which are part of the 106 large stateof-the-art school buildings being reconstructed in northern Sindh and Karachi under SBEP, said a handout. SBEP, a $155 million initiative, is meant to increase and sustain student enrolment in primary, middle and secondary public schools. nine other schools completely constructed earlier are already operating under similar agreements. At the MoU signing ceremony, CG Shelton said Sindh Basic Education Program is helping improve the quality of teaching and increase equitable access to safe learning opportunities for children, especially girls. The concession agreements have been awarded for a public-private partnership for a period up to ten years, the handout added.


I Friday, October 27, 2017

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.

The un-celebrated detectors


ecently, it was reported in a section of the press that Sindh health department has been unable to utilise a good number of used mobile breast cancer screening units received from Scotland and the health service providers, have dumped the ‘freely provided’ facility or used those for some other purposes. According to report, at least seven donated mobile units fitted with analogue breast cancer screening gadgets were, after reaching the province, were either abandoned at a couple of government health centres or given to some private hospitals and nGOs. The sad part of the development, as reported in the press, is that almost none of the public or private parties so far have been able to use the screening equipment in question for the benefit of their female patients. The gift –trailers carrying mammography machines- was promised by an entity in Scotland about a year back at a ceremony in the presence of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. As per Sindh health secretary, the units in question were useless in Pakistan due to local ‘cultural and religious values’. Of course an observation by a person at the helm of affairs needs to be looked into, particularly in a country where thousands of women fall prey to the ‘dreaded tumours' every year, while many of them also die helplessly. Who is responsible for not prompting the female folk to undergo a test that could identify their plight and lead to a timely intervention, one may obviously ask here. According to a relevant research, in 2014 after some discussion with the director of national Services division, the nHS in Scotland made available to Rotary Galashiels, the 10 trailers that were previously being used for breast cancer screening due to an upgrade from analogue to digital mammography x-ray screening technology in nHS Scotland. An interested surgeon advised that they could still be used in Pakistan and other parts of the world where analogue equipment is still in operation. The amount, £133,000, required to ship the units was met through ‘a donation of a businessman in Pakistan’, while the trailers were shipped out and arrived in Karachi in July and the first week of August 2016. One may note that a gift that failed to attract neither the parties interested nor the government was reportedly applauded at different levels in Scotland. Apart from the details of the facility in question, the medical history of the country as well as Sindh is pitted with stories of swift but hefty procurement, grants, donation and loans. There are many examples of incompetence on the part of medical officers and technical staffs who failed to unpack or duly utilise many of the procured medical machines across the province. The Sindh health department is miserably failing to utilise four new regional blood centres constructed and equipped with sophisticated, computerised facilities by the German development Bank under the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme in 2015 at Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and nawabshah. The matter pertaining to the gifted breast cancer screening machines and other procurement and installations need to be scrutinised by some serious forum. Authorities' failure to acknowledge the medical gifts and donations judiciously reflect badly on the country, while on the other hand spoil the spirit of the friends of Pakistani people. As such we need to have an in depth account of such developments and bring the incompetent and indifferent quarters to the book.

EXCERPTS Securing campuses: AFTER the Charsadda attack on Jan 20 in which at least 20 students and faculty members lost their lives and another 60 suffered injuries as armed men stormed into the Bacha Khan University, the issue of security at educational institutions has surfaced again. ●

Earlier, during December 2014 school massacre, seven gunmen belonging to a banned outfit conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar killing 141 people, including 132 schoolchildren, ranging between eight and 18 years of age. The question here is have we learnt from both these tragedies, and secured our campuses. Arrangements so far been made by the authorities throughout the country seem to be cosmetic in nature, because there are a lot of private schools which are yet to implement the required security measures. Previously it was observed that when security measures were announced by the district authorities, the owners and investors of major schools overburdened parents. However, as long as the issue of security is concerned, there could be no compromises now and the government too would have to spend extraordinary on security of campuses. After all the ultimate responsibility rests with the government to provide security to its citizens. After all, VIPs and VVIPs have been provided extraordinary security, so why not securing our campuses from where future leadership of the country will emerge. Social Track editorial, February 5, 2016

A clean air challenge for China's ports: Cutting maritime emissions By Su Song hile cars and trucks are often blamed for air pollution, it's time to bring ships into the equation. The maritime sector—mainly ships and ports—contributes a large share of air pollutant emissions in coastal cities and casts a deathly pall over coastal communities. Ships are the particularly noxious sources of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, fine particulate matter and other air pollutants that are bad for human health. Shipping represents about 15 percent and 13 percent of global nitrogen and sulfur oxides from anthropogenic sources. China has taken notice by incorporating maritime emissions into its national five-year-plan for transportation. As the world moves toward a cleaner economy, port cities and coastal nations will watch closely to see if China's policies are effective at reducing maritime emissions. Ship emissions hurt coastal communities In major port cities, shipping activities represent a substantial share of total emissions—for example, around half of sulfur oxides in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Shenzhen. Ships also contribute to more than 8 percent and 11 percent of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, respectively, in Chinese coastal cities. It is significant enough to raise the awareness of coastal emission control. These emissions put a city's development at risk. Increased illness and premature death caused by air pollution reduce quality of life, as well as labor productivity. Pollution also makes cities less attractive to talented workers, thereby reducing cities' competitiveness. There is a strong link between air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Children, the elderly and the poor are the most vulnerable groups. Air pollution caused 5.5 million premature deaths worldwide


in 2013, costing $5.11 trillion in welfare losses around the world—and that may be a conservative estimate. The ship pollution has taken a toll on global coasts. In 2013, ship emissions led to more than 24,000 premature deaths in East Asia, with 18,000 fatalities coming in mainland China alone. However, the studies of health impact of global shipping are still limited. China moves toward green ships and ports Greening ships and ports is a plank of the Ministry of Transport 's 13th-Five-Year Plan. It declares that by 2020, ship sulfur and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions should be reduced by 65 percent, 20 percent and 30 percent respectively, relative to 2015, in China's three most prosperous coastal regions – Pearl River delta (PRd), the Yangtze River delta (YRd), and Bohai Rim. In the meantime, the ministry has issued action plans for pollution control of shipsand emissions control for major ports. Some most important policies and solutions include: ● Introduce domestic emission control areas (dECAs): China is setting dECAs in its three major coastal regions, requiring ships to use marine fuel of not more than 5,000 parts per million sulfur content through 2019. From 2020, the government will consider stricter requirement of 1,000 parts per million sulfur content, and to extend the geographical scope of dECAs. However, it is still behind the schedule of the existing ECAs set by theInternational Maritime Organization. ● draw cleaner power from the shore: China has been encouraging shore power—the provision of electricity to a ship at berth from a source on land—in recent years. This allows ships to shut down dirty engines while drawing cleaner electricity while they can. 493 berths will be equipped with shore power by 2020, and the government is subsidizing implementation. Continued on page 5

Invest in agriculture S

ome encouraging developments are happening in the agriculture sector. This is good and reassuring because one of our most important national dreams rests on the development of agriculture where more than half our population are. We have long recognised that as a small and independent nation, it is critically important for us to achieve food self-sufficiency and security. As a late starter on the path of modern development, we were compelled to focus more on the sectors other than agriculture for immediate returns. We have so not been able to harness the sector’s full potential. But the time has now come when we must earnestly invest in the sector. The challenges that our farmers confront today like lack of irrigation water, increasing crop attack by wild animals have made agriculture less and less viable over the years. The subsistence farming that we practised is becoming smaller by the year, hampering the overall agricultural production. Goongtong or emptying households in the rural pockets of the country has been one of the major upshots of agriculture becoming less sustainable. Even as we speak, there are thousands of young people looking for employment in town and cities. This too is the result of agriculture failing in communities. Investment in agriculture could be one of the most profitable businesses. It could also provide employment to thousands of Bhutanese. Ultimately

agriculture could be the sector with the potential to stop large-scale movement of people from rural to urban areas. There is today a need to pursue systematic intervention in the areas of irrigation, human-wildlife conflicts, and access to finance. Large scale or commercial farming could be difficult for the people otherwise. And there is, perhaps more importantly, a need to identify and create market for the farmers. Some of the experiments that we have launched are already showing signs of promise. Spring paddy cultivation, which the agriculture ministry tried on a commercial scale earlier in Sarpang this year, produced more than 77 metric tonnes of paddy. The ministry has plans to grow rice three times a year with the 15 months cycle, especially in the southern parts of the country. If we are successful, it will add significantly to Bhutan becoming food self-sufficient. We could be able save by cutting down on imports by much. In Pemagatshel, four gewogs of norbugang, decheling, dungmaed, and Chimoong have started growing winter chilli on a commercial scale. The ministry should render any manner of support that the farmers may need. If we can encourage our farmers with easy access to market, we will not have to fly in chilis from across the border. If we make agriculture viable, our youth will return to the farms.

From Asia

Editorial/Kuensel, Bhuttan


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I Friday, October 27, 2017

Study finds shortcomings in Canadian regulations governing use of sugar claims C

onsumers believe products with "no added sugar" claims are healthier and lower in calories. But is there evidence to support this belief? In a new study published in Applied Physiology, nutrition, and Metabolism, researchers at the University of Toronto report that prepackaged food and beverages labelled with claims such as "no added sugar" or "reduced in sugar" can have lower sugar levels than products without sugar claims but may not have notable reductions in calories and some can contain amounts of sugar considered in "excess" by the World Health Organization. Jodi Bernstein, lead author of the study and Phd student in the department of nutritional Sciences, says there is "misalignment" among consumer perceptions, how regulations define "added sugar," and the relative amount of free

sugar in products -- that is, sugar no longer in its naturally occurring state such as the juice from an orange versus an orange in its wholefruit form. Under the current Canadian Food and drug Regulations, labelling on food products must "be accurate, truthful and not misleading." However, under these same regulations fruit juice -- a significant source of free sugar -- is commonly considered a fruit ingredient, not a sweetener. Fruit drinks, or products with fruit juice, can still carry a "no sugar added" claim even if they contain excess free sugar. Bernstein was surprised that 15 of the 16 fruit preserves and all 234 fruit juices and juice drinks with "no sugar added" claims, had excess free sugar. Using data from the University of Toronto's Food Label Information Program (FLIP), the re-

searchers determined the differences in calories and nutrients of Canadian prepackaged foods and beverages with and without sugar claims. Overall healthfulness of the products was scored based on nutrients to avoid -- calories, saturated fat, sodium, sugar -- and nutrients and components encouraged for consumption -- fibre, protein, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. Over 3000 products including puddings, yogurts, cereals, fruit drinks, salad dressings, and sweet condiments (fruit preserves and syrups) were evaluated; 635 products had at least one sugar claim. Products with sugar claims had better healthfulness scores than similar products without claims but nearly half of these products still contained excess free sugar. Bernstein advocates for changes to the current nutrient labelling guidelines. "Stricter criteria" are

needed, she says. Bernstein and her colleagues propose sugar reduction or no added sugar claims should only be on products "with calorie reductions and without excessive free sugar content," and that meet an overall "healthy" criteria. "This research is particularly well-timed given the emergence of dietary guidelines suggesting the need to limit free sugar intakes and the increased interest in reducing sugar consumption among Canadians," the authors say. Last year Health Canada released its Healthy Eating Strategy to "engage the public and stakeholders to seek feedback and input on a proposed front of package labelling approach aimed at helping Canadians make healthier and more informed choices, particularly on sugars, sodium and saturated fats." Courtesy: ScienceDaily

The imperative of vaccination V

accination is one of the most effective public health interventions and it has been instrumental in saving lives and greatly changing the burden of many infectious diseases over the past 100 years. However, the very effectiveness of vaccines has made some diseases rare, and most of us are less likely to witness first hand the devastating consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases. This fact, combined with misinformation, suspicion about vaccines, and mistrust of governments and health authorities, have prompted many parents to override concerns about the diseases themselves and oppose the vaccination of their children. Although vaccination is usually recommended by local health authorities, in many countries immunisation rates for diseases such as measles have dropped well below the 95% threshold set by WHO. This threshold is deemed necessary to maintain the herd immunity that guarantees protection for babies too young to be vaccinated, elderly people, immunosuppressed individuals, and those who cannot be vaccinated for other medical reasons. In the past year, low immunisation rates have caused a surge in the number of cases of measles and related deaths in several countries, such as Romania, Italy, and France. Similarly, the drop in vaccination is the cause of two cases of tetanus reported in Italy in recent months, after the disease had not been seen in the country for more than 30 years. The rise in cases of vaccine-preventable diseases secondary to lower immunisation rates is becoming a serious

public health problem and as François Chast, head of pharmacology at Paris hospitals (Paris, France), said, “It is urgent to fight the speeches of anti-science and anti-vaccination lobbies that play on fear, they show nothing and rely on a few, very rare side effects to discredit vaccines that save millions of lives.” To tackle this worrying and unjustified drop in vaccination rates, some countries are considering, or have already implemented, the introduction of mandatory vaccination for children. Following the example of the state of California, USA, and Australia, the Italian Government passed in June, without prior public consultation, a law that made vaccination for ten diseases (polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B, measles, varicella, mumps, and rubella) mandatory for children aged between 1 and 16 years. In 2020, after collection of new data on vaccination rates, the government will re-evaluate whether or not vaccination for measles, rubella, varicella, and mumps should still be mandatory. Unvaccinated children are not allowed to attend kindergartens and must be vaccinated before starting primary school, or their parents will incur heavy financial penalties. France will adopt a similar policy by making vaccination mandatory for 11 diseases (including also meningitis C) from 2018 onwards. Australia has gone even further with its so-called no jab-no play (banning the enrolment of unvaccinated children in preschool and childcare centres) and so-called no jab-no pay (under which parents of unvaccinated children lose government benefits and welfare rebates)

policies. The introduction of mandatory vaccination has sparked controversy among parents who feel deprived of their freedom to make decisions about the health of their children. A concern raised by such vaccine-hesitant parents is the chance of adverse events, such as neurodevelopmental problems, potentially linked to vaccination. In reality, although vaccines, like any medical intervention, can have adverse events, these outcomes are so rare that they are, by far, outweighed by the benefits of vaccination. As Michael Gannon, the president of the Australian Medical Association (Barton, Australia), said, “You are 10 000 times more likely to be brain damaged by measles than you are by its vaccination.” Unfortunately, the anti-vaccine movement seems to prefer to ignore the bulk of scientific evidence in support of the safety of vaccines. Public health problems such as the surge in cases of vaccine-preventable diseases need to be addressed with strong interventions that maximise societal benefits; making vaccination mandatory, albeit temporarily, should not be seen as an infringement of personal rights. nobody would rationally advocate for vaccination if there were alternatives or if scientific evidence showed that the risk of adverse events outweighed the protection against infectious diseases. But the reality is that vaccines are still one of the safest options to prevent infectious diseases and judgement should be based on facts, not unfounded fears. Editorial/The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Sindh AIdS Commission to start ... Continued from page 1

In view of the challenges posed due to HIV/AIdS epidemic and the findings of the Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance (IBBS)-2016-17 report, things are being taken up for the due remedial measures on a priority basis. I understand that the much awaited notification related to the formation of the HIV/AIdS

commission will be issued by the due office latest by the end of november. He said that the Commission will have the powers and functions to formulate, institute and implement provincial HIV and AIdS-related public awareness programmes; HIV and AIdS policy, which could be reviewed and amended, if necessary, every three years after widespread consultation.

"The commission in question, under the law, may make rules providing protocols for counseling, testing, care, support, treatment tailored specifically and separately for all members of the Most at Risk Populations, for children, and for women who are vulnerable and at risk for HIV infection," dr Chachar added. Responding to a question the programme manager said that

newly released IBBS report was certainly a call to address the issue of spread of the dreaded diseases among the high-risk group. "Circumstances on the ground have made our task difficult, but SACP is trying to see some integrated efforts on behalf of the various department concerned," he added. Continued on page 9


I Friday, October 27, 2017

Creating hope for thalassaemia patients By Our Correspondent


ARACHI: PBM Managing director, Barrister Abdul Wahid Shaikh stated in his brief interaction with newsmen at Omair Sana Foundation (OSP) that the Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal (PBM) is supporting about 28,000 thalassaemia patients across the country in managing the hereditary blood disorder. He visited the facility last week to know about the services and facilities of the nGO related to management and control of dreaded diseases among children of Sindh. during his visit, Mr Shaikh also cut a cake with children suffering from thalassaemia, who celebrated their birthdays at OSF with dr Saquib Ansari, General Secretary of the Foundation, who is a medical expert and researcher in blood diseases. PBM Md hinted that his office has planned to establish a thalassaemia treatment and management centre for 1,000 patients at Karachi and the purposes of his visit to OSF included weighing of options in regard to the establishment of the new set up. “If things go in the right direction the proposed centre will be first of its kind while

KARACHI: PBM MD Abdul Wahid Shaikh cutting a cake with thalassaemia children during his visit to Omair Sana Foundation, recently. — ST photo

partnering a private sector organisation”, he remarked. newsmen were told that PBM had already established three thalassaemia centres at Islamabad, Chakwal and Muzaffarabad with a total capacity for 1,000 registered patients. “In addition, indirectly, we are helping another 27,000 patients by arranging

blood transfusion for them as well as by providing medicines for iron chelation and other related interventions.” On this occasion, he also mentioned the PBM initiative for the development of a national registry of thalassaemia patients. "At present, like in the case of other diseases, we are relying on the methods of estimation, in-

stead of having a real-time document of the total number of thalassaemia patients." “We are aiming at compiling everything related to the diseases so that strategies could be effectively out on ground.” He further said that there was a need to make integrated efforts to check the births of children with thalassaemia major. "It is estimated that 5,000-7,000 children are born with thalassaemia major every year in the country which is certainly a matter of grave concern, particularly when there is a shortage of resource and above the all the country has no culture of voluntary blood donation, which is the lifeline for the children suffering from the blood disorder," he remarked. Adnan Majeed Khan, regional director Baitul Maal Sindh, was also present on the occasion. dr Ansari said that there was a dire need to address the causes of the disease by taking on board all the stakeholders from the public and private sectors. "The law about the mandatory premarital screening of couples is already available in Sindh and any propagation of that could be very helpful," he added.

‘Mental health of population important for a country’s progress’ By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Like various organisations in the city, the psychiatry departments of higher learning also held separate events in regard to World Mental Health day to raise awareness of mental health issues in the country. World Mental Health day is observed on October 10 every year. The theme for the day this year was mental health in the workplace. Speakers at a relevant forum at the dow University of Health Science (dUHS) said that mental illness is increasing worldwide involving an estimated spending of

$ 2.5 trillion per year on treatment. Participants of the seminar were told that dUHS will undertake a national survey related to diseases in association with other institutions including the statistic bureau of the government to determine the rate of prevalence of mental illness in Pakistan. A design for the survey has also been developed and work will start from Sindh province, it was added. Prof dr Syed Haroon Ahmed, Prof dr Sadia Qureshi, Prof dr Razaur Rehman, dr naeem Siddiqui, dr Haider Iqbal spoke at theseminar, among others. A walk was also held to uphold the importance

of the day. dr Sadia Qureshi, head of the dUHS psychiatry department, said that the concept of physical first-aid should be considered as mental first- aid, because people with mental disorders may also suffer from major harm due to no emergency relief. dr naeem Siddiqui said that minor things also cause mental stress, while a continuous mental stress converts into serious disease. He said that being very active on ‘social media can also be a reason for mental illnesses.’ Professor Razaur Rehman said that a pilot project is ready for a na-

Improving life of autistic individuals By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Speakers at a seminar, recently, stressed the need for creating awareness about autism in masses and increasing the health professionals’ understanding about the disease. The seminar was organised to mark the launching of Autism Spectrum Welfare Trust office at Karachi and launch Autism Awareness Campaign in Sindh. Rukhsana Shah, Chairperson of the Trust, spoke about the lack of awareness about autism and learning disabilities among doctors, teachers and parents all over the country. The Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation which had

sponsored the establishment of the Trust in Lahore in 2015, has funded the Karachi office now, participants were told. Mahvash Jahangir Siddiqui gave an account of the work done by the MJS Foundation all over Pakistan. Chief Guest on the occasion, dr Zulfiqar Shallwani, secretary to the government of Sindh for Special Education, counted the efforts of the government of Sindh in the field not only of autism, but all disabilities in general. He said that in April, the first Autism Centre was set up in Karachi at the existing Special Education Centre in Gulistan-eJauhar, while a separate state-of-

the-art building was being constructed on the site. A school for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AdHd) and learning difficulties is being set up at the Korangi Centre of Special Education, while a similar facility is under consideration at Thatta. He added that government is setting up a centre for down syndrome and neuro developmental disorders at nawabshah, where medical colleges and dHQ hospitals would be involved to ensure sustainability and growth of the centre. Sanam Hafeez and Asma Ahmad also spoke at the seminar which was attended by a good number of teachers of special and mainstream education schools, doctors, parents, professionals and members of the civil society.

tional survey related to mental illness and soon regular work will be started. In the meantime, at a panel discussion organised by the psychiatry department of the university of Karachi, Vice Chancellor Prof dr M Ajmal Khan said that depression should no more be a taboo in the society. He said that a healthy body needs a healthy mind, every person should strive to resolve problems but when he surrenders himself, he develops psychological issues. "Such disorders also decrease a person’s life span," he noted. dr Uzma Ambareen said that a

society having anxiety and confusion can never progress, while its tolerance level also deteriorates. She said that people having symptoms of depression must consult psychiatrists before it’s too late. dr Saadia Qureshi said that a youngster is presented for counseling when he/she has already passed through phases of depression. " A lot of issues including domestic problems, fight between parents and disturbed marital life are the root causes of depression among youth," she added, suggesting that the family members and the society should keep the youth away from depression.

A clean air challenge for China's ports: Cutting maritime... Continued from page 3 ● Switch ships to cleaner fuels: Right now, most ships are powered by heavy fuel oil. But by 2020, China aims to double its LnG-fueled vessels, a move supported by adding LnG facilities to port terminals. ● Connect seaports with railways: Freight right now is unloaded from ships and carried inland mostly by trucks. Trucking, an emissions-intensive process, could be avoided if railways were directly connected with ports and operations synced for greater efficiency. In recent years, WRI China has focused on promoting low emission zones not only in urban land areas, but also in coastal areas, researching how to reduce emissions from ships.

What we see so far is that this not only requires better policies, technologies and financing solutions, but also knowledge and awareness from China's government, industry and the public. As the first step, we have developed guidelines to evaluate emission inventories and the social impact of maritime air pollutions. By working with partners, we are conducting training program in several Chinese cities such as Qingdao and Guangzhou, with the aim to test our methodologies and influence the policies by science-based evidence, and finally seek to scale our efforts regionally among maritime stakeholders and achieve a healthier coastal environment. Courtesy: WRI


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degrees, and diplomas


medals conferred

ST photos by A G Khalid DUHS faculty members

Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro addressing DUHS Convocation held last week.

By Mukhtar Alam KARACHI: dow University of Health Science (dUHS) conferred 1,457 graduates and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in medical and paramedical disciplines to graduating students of class of 2017 at its 8th convocation last week. At the convocation held at the Ojha Campus of the university, with Sindh Health Minister dr Sikandar Mandhro, who is also the pro-chancellor of the university, one Phd, two MPhil and two MS and 6 MBA degrees were also given. The governor of Sindh, Mohammad Zubair, who is also the chancellor of public sector universities in Sindh, was to preside over the ceremony, but he could not make it. The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries from different walks of life and senior academicians and parents of graduates. Attired in special robe and wearing hoots, the graduates availed every opportunity to express their pleasures. The graduates were reminded by the dUHS Vice Chancellor, Prof Muhammad Saeed Quraishy, that they were beginning a new journey, that of service and dedication to the practice of medicine and its allied healthcare fields. “You are about to enter a different stage of your lives”, the vice-chancellor said. 13 graduates who were declared as the Best Graduates, received especially prepared shields and gold medals on behalf of

dUHS from Sindh Minister, dr Mandhro. 84 more graduates were presented with gold, silver or bronze medals for securing one of the top three positions in their respective academic programmes. dr Iqbal Khayani was awarded doctor of Philosophy degree in EnT, while Asif Iqbal Khan and Samina Baig got Master of Philosophy degree in Molecular Pathology and Microbiology, respectively. According to official data, a total of 756 candidates belonging to dow Medical College, dow International Medical College and Sindh Medical College passed the MBBS examination, out of which only 169 (22.35 per cent) were males. The breakdown of graduates who received degrees at the convocation: Masters-56, Postgraduate diploma-82, MBBS-662, BdS-225, Pharm d-69, BS-157, doctor of Physiotherapy-48, BBA-17, BS Generic nursing-37, BS nursing -46, Post R n nursing-43, Associate of Applied Sciences-12. dUHS registrar, Prof Amanullah Abbasi administered the oath, which defined the tenets of ethical practice. Chief guest, dr Mandhro in his address to the convocation said that quality healthcare was right of every citizen of Pakistan. “It is heartening that dUHS under the leadership of its dynamic vice chancellor, dr Quraishy, is providing good facilities and faculties for education and training all its students equally”, Mr Mandhro added.

Ready to serve the country

Prof Saeed Quraishy handing degree to a graduate.

While pointing out to the graduates that they were the leaders of future and the nation expected a lot of selfless services from them in the medical-realm, the minister said, “You must also endeavor for quality researches leading to the betterment of people’s health and the better image of the country as well.” Earlier, Chairperson of the convocation organising committee, Prof dr Zarnaz Wahid, in her address said that dUHS was not only admitting students from Sindh and Pakistan, but also offers admissions to applicants from abroad, like UK, USA,

Canada, UAE and Saudi Arabia. “Our objective is to excel and come at par with international standards of education. Our entire energetic faculty, along with our VC, sets the bar higher each year to achieve our academic goals in order to ensure a glorious future for our graduates.” She said that dUHS not only aimed at producing good qualified doctors and health professionals, but also at producing good leaders in the field of medicine and good human beings, with a feeling of compassion and social service. Acknowledging the medical

expertise and academic administration quality of dUHS VC, dr Wahid said, “We, at this University, are fortunate and blessed to benefit from Prof Saeed’s expertise not only in academics, but he has also been a beacon of inspiration in all aspects of education in its true sense.” Addressing the outgoing graduates, she said that they, as graduates, were the real investment and pride. “With the application of your skills and knowledge attained here you will serve as ambassadors around the globe. And one day, a few of you may be chairing a session as grand as this.”


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O C AT I O N 2 0 1 7

Dr Sikandar Mandhro presenting a shield to Prof Saeed Quraishy

A graduate after receiving a medal from the chief guest, Dr Sikandar Mandhro.

Agha, Bushra Akhtar, Ishrat Bibi and Beena Amir Ali (third). BS OT – Syeda Farheen Hassan (first), Mahnoor Anwar and Shazia Haider

The Vice Chancellor ....... It is a great pleasure for me to be with you here today, on this memorable occasion of the 8th Convocation of the dow University of Health Sciences. For the parents of the graduates, it’s a truly memorable day when your child is about to graduate and is looking forward to the next chapter of their lives. My deepest appreciation is for you, as you have been a crucial part of their journey here today- a journey which did not begin with acceptance into this University, but rather, at the moment of their birth. I am certain that your children have realized that they would not be here today without your love, support and encouragement along the way. So hats off/ congratulations to the parents of this graduating class! dear graduates, you are about to enter the most uncertain and probably the most exhilarating period of your lives. Graduating from a university is an impressive achievement; And graduating from one of the leading University of the



feel happy to congratulate the fresh and energetic graduates and post graduates on this occasion of 8th Convocation of dow University of Health Sciences. Graduation not only brings joy for the graduates and post graduates but also places a great responsibility on their shoulders. Expectations of the whole nation from graduates of dow Uiversity are high because of the good standard of education they have received in this respected institution. I take this opportunity to remind you all that the professional medical degree and diplomas that you proudly possess now require a lot more responsibility and devotion in work compared to other professions. People are entrusting you with their lives and the lives of

(second), Atam Zehra (third). Post Rn – Kiran Bano, Muhammad Zeeshan and Shumaila Jilani (first), Uzma Mehdi, Samreen Suleman

country and the world, signifies an impressive achievement. This is an institution characterized by high standards of excellence. dow University has produced graduates of various national and global prestige, and looking at this young and eager class today, I am sure we will continue to do so. Remember dow has prepared you for a life of purpose and meaning. You are graduating at a moment of great challenges faced by not only our nation, but the whole world. However, you are a blessed generation in so many different ways, with unimaginable opportunities available to you, as compared to the past. Seize those opportunities! Be open to trying something new and fight for what you believe in. I am sure you will uphold and live up to those responsibilities extraordinarily, and with great responsibilty. Ultimately, if you uphold the tenets of humanity and charity, and fight for those less fortunate than you, then I can assure you that you too will have a life that is full of purpose and

their loved ones, which puts a great obligation on your shoulders. The province of Sindh also needs your expertise in improving the overall healthcare system. I hope that all new graduates will uphold the honor and dignity of their profession reflected in their hard work and devotion, and will always abide by the oath taken by them at the convocation. Medical education requires continuous learning and research and I am assertive that you will keep yourselves updated with recent advancements for optimal patient care. Here, I commend dr Saeed Quraishy, Vice Chancellor and his entire team for their efforts for the continuous betterment of this institution. I wish you all success in your endeavors. Muhammad Zubair, Governor of Sindh and Chancellor of DUHS.


(second), Seemab Shahid and Shehnila Amin (third). BS Generic nursing – Kaamila, Ihtashamul Haq and Saba Faiz (first), Anum, Ijaz ul Haq, nazish Jabeen and Muhammad Ramzan (second), Habiba, Jasmeen, Qurat ul Ain, Vijash Kumar and Tariq Aziz (third). BS dCP -- Areeba Khan (first), Hafsa urf Ateka (second), Zarmeena Gul (third). BS P&O -Taha Ahmed Khan, Oneeba Shamsi (first), Fizza Faiz and Mehwish Zakir (second), Kinza nishat and Hadiqa Yasoob (third). dPT – Syeda Javeria Pasha Hassan and Fatima Zahra (first), Saba (second), Sanilah nasir and Abdul Hameed (third).

meaning. Your Journey at dow University may have come to an end, but now you have the opportunity to be a part of a whole World that’s greater than just yourself. Mark this occasion as a starting off point to make us proud citizens of this nation, and the world, by restoring faith and humanity to the delivery of healthcare. And finally, my deepest appreciation and acknowledgement to my dynamic team of teachers and staff at dUHS who has worked tirelessly day-in, day-out , not only to make this convocation memorable but also by imparting great knowledge and skills to the graduates of class of 2017. They have successfully prepared them to handle the challenges that this nation and the world faces. And I am very sure that these remarkable team of teachers will always be accessible to the graduates. Thank you & Congratulations to the Class of 2017. May Allah Bless You All.

t gives me immense pleasure to congratulate the Vice Chancellor of dow University of Health Sciences, Prof Saeed Quraishy, his entire team and faculty for organising the eighth convocation ceremony. dow University is one of the most renowned and reputable medical institutions of Pakistan. I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all the graduates on this auspicious and grand occasion; and, in particular, to the teachers and the parents who have been there throughout as a backbone of the students, providing them encouragement and facilities. All the graduates have persevered through years of hard work and fatigue to finally arrive at this point in time, which is really just the start of their lives. They should honor their efforts, take pride in their accomplishments and serve their country with devotion and dedication. I hope that the education and training that they have received at dow University will guide them to attain the highest and loftiest goals in life. They should follow their seniors who have played a vital role in improving the health care system of Pakistan. dow University is one of the top most medical universities not only Sindh, but the entire Pakistan. It has progressed gloriously ahead by achieving excellence in


Position-holders Candidates who were declared the best graduates and awarded with shields and gold medals included Hina Arif (Best MBBS graduate 2017), Samar Fatima (BdS), Sanobar Hayat Khan (BBA), Rimsha Iqbal (BBA), Muhammad Zeeshan (Post Rn), Saba naz (BS-Generic nursing), Tamseel Tanwir Awan (BS Medical Technology), Fatima Zahra (dPT), Sadia Sami (Phartm d), Hadiqa Yasoob (BS P&O), Kinza nishat (BS P&O) and Amenah Salim (BS OT). Top three position holders who received gold, silver and bronze medals were: MBBS - Hina Arif of dMC, Asna Shahab of dIMC and Iqra Ahmed of SMC (first positions), Rabeeha Abbas of dMC, Shafaq Tariq of dIMC and Soha Haque of SMC (second) , Anum Humayun and Javeria Junaid of dMC, nadia Hassan of dIMC and Huma Khan and noor Ayoub of SMC (third). BdS –Samar Fatima and Syeda Rida Hasan of dIKIOHS, Mahnoor Jawaid of ddC and Huma Hassan of dIdC (first), Alizey Shahid and Ayesha Mahmood of dIKIOHS, Zulaikha Hanif of ddC and Rabeia Aziz of dIdC (second), Emal Heer and Sunaila naz of dIKIOHS, Beena Tabassum and Eesha Mahmood of ddC, Rimsha Ashraf of dIdC (third). BBA - Maham Rehan, Aillia Saher, nida Sheikh and Urooj Hayat (first), Mahrez Mohiuddin, Syeda Laila Ali, Moattar Riaz, Areeba Ashraf and Ghulam Asadullag Shabbir (second), Jahangeer Khan, Muhammad Talha Khan, Sadaf Imtiaz (third). Pharm d -- Anam Fatima (first), Afiya noor (second) and Sadia Sami (third). BS-MT -- Hoor ul Ain Rounaq, Tamseel Tanwir Awan, Anam Bibi, Madiha Khan, Anila naz, Amna Yasmeen and Afshan Tariq (first), Humaira Siddiqui, Sidra tul Muntaha, Mehar Bano and Khadija Arif and Hamna Shafqat (Second), Maha Akhtar, Mehak nasim, Alisha

all aspects of academic activity to produce these prestigious medical and allied health care graduates. I wish to see the Vice Chancellor and the entire faculty of dow University working for greater progress now and into the future. I am satisfied that dow University does not compromise on quality education and has produced professionals that are entirely devoted to their field of study. A convocation is an important landmark, especially for thosse new graduates who have earned the degree by investing their enregies and consistent hard work. It is a day of motivation and the beginning of their career. dUHS has been producing brilliant graduates who have served humanity in the most vital way- not only in Pakistan but abroad as well. I am confident that dow University will continue to produce dynamic doctors and outstanding professionals in the future as well. The government is committed to facilitating all these talented individuals in gaining the best possible education and rewarding them for the fruits of their hard work and devotion. I wish these graduates the brightest future and I know they will live up to the expectations of their teachers, parents and the nation. Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh.


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KU conference emphasises sustainable, inclusive development goals By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Vice Chancellor Professor dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan speaking at the inauguration of a three-day international conference at the University of Karachi (KU), underscored the need for making policies for sustainable development and involvement of key stakeholders in solving the environmental issues. The conference titled ‘Towards Inclusive Governance and Efficient Institutions for Sustainable development’ was organised by Applied Economic Research Centre of KU last week. The vice chancellor remarked that the environmental issues are one of the dangerous issues that the world is faced with in the contemporary era. “Those days are gone when environmentalists were considered to be the only stakeholders of resolving environmental issues, today economists and sociologists are also key stakeholders to resolve this greater challenge”, he added and suggested that every one on the planet needs to play his or her individual roles for resolution of the pertinent issue. Further, he said, “Good governance plays a pivotal role in a country’s progress. Accountability, rule of law, transparency and provision of facilities on equality are the main features of good governance”, he added. “Societies who gave equal opportunities of livelihood to its citizens have prospered in

Sindh AIdS Commission to start ... Continued from page 4

He said that SACP while reengaging the non-governmental organisations, after a gap of a couple of years due to a paucity of funds, will ensure that they reached the greater number of HIV infected people and those who are vulnerable to the infection. “We will ask them to increase their service delivery package coverage up to 80 per cent, instead of coverage of 35 per cent as required in the past.” He further said that screening of people belonging to high-risk groups against HIV and provision of necessary counselling and treatment will certainly increase in the coming three years as the AIdS response centres at district level are being put into effect, in addition to district task for on AIdS. Replying to another question, he said that the number of confirmed HIV cases has been swelling during the last few months, which could be attributed to the fact that SACP was penetrating in the high-risk population. "We have been creating awareness about the disease and making the hidden cases understand that only their early reporting for screening, counselling and treatment to SACP will enhance the chances of longevity and quality of their lives," he asserted. –MA

KARACHI: KU VC Prof Dr M Ajmal Khan being presented with a shield by AERC Director Dr Samina Khalil. — ST photo

the history of the world.” He noted that in Pakistan, new policies are made and changed in few years, which undermined the process of sustainability in Pakistan. “There is a dire need of sustainability in our policy making process. Goal of sustainable development is only possible if we make the policies sustain and remain intact despite transfer of power from one political government to other”, dr Khan emphasised.

In his keynote address, Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Perry John Calderwood said that Canada accepted 35,000 Syrian refugees last year and will accept similar number of refugees during this year too. The High Commissioner noted that the gender equality was a must feature for an inclusive society. “There are nearly 200 countries in the world. Many of the world’s largest countries have never had a woman leader.”

director AERC Prof dr Samina Khalil welcomed all the foreign guest speakers and diplomats in the conference. Presenting details of their research paper, Ishtiaq Ahmed and Ali Azam, said that sustainable development was not only the key for future generations’ survival but also most an urgent concern in view of global warming. Manzoor Hussain Memon, Muhammad Abdul Kalam and Khalid Khan stated that the corruption is considered an enduring dilemma especially for developing countries and is one of the main indicators of assessing quality of governance. Speaking on the second day of the conference, American Consul General Grace W Shelton said that USA was funding gender equality initiatives in developing countries including Pakistan. She said that USA considers the gender equality as a tool of development and is working on it both domestically and internationally. Australian High Commissioner in Pakistan Margaret Adamson in her address praised Pakistan in terms of women empowerment in the field of politics, comparing it with her own country. “Pakistan is a leader in elevating women to national leadership. In Australia, despite being one of the first countries to grant women the vote, it took time till 2010 for women to fill the highest offices of the Prime Minister and Governor General. But we are still not at parity in parliament”, she added.

Remembering Sir Syed in on his 200th birth anniversary By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Paying tributes to the services of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan on his 200th birth anniversary, speakers at an international conference, recently, said that he was a reformer who worked in the background of European imperialism for the uplift of the then prevailing society and its economic conditions in the sub-continent. The conference titled “Literature, History and Culture: South Asian Perspective and Sir Syed Ahmed Khan” was organised for three days by Urdu department of the University of Karachi in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission and Anjuman-eTaraqqi Urdu Pakistan at KU. Speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, KU VC Prof dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan said that Sir Syed was one of the architectures of the modern day India and Pakistan. “He taught us how to sustain our presence in tough times without compromising our dignity and honor.” Prof Khan further said that Sir Syed’s wisdom and knowledge was a guiding force for the Muslims of the subcontinent after they were drowned out from the politics of subcontinent after the war of independence (1857). The vice chancellor congratulated Prof dr Tanzeem-ul-Firdous, Chairperson of the Urdu department, for successfully organising the conference. In his keynote address, Prof dr Jaffar Ahmed, former director Pakistan Study Center at KU, said that

KARACHI: KU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr M Ajmal Khan speaking at the inaugural session of a conference on Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. — ST photo

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was not only considered to be a meaningful bridge between the two centuries but he is a name of dialogue between the east and west. “He emerged at that point of time when there was a great civilisation crisis among the Muslims of the subcontinent. He successfully managed to absorb the knowledge and wisdom of the 19th century and transferred it to the 20th century.” The professor further noted that Sir Syed founded such institutions which were the beacon of knowledge for the upcoming generations. The rapid scholarly work by Sir Syed contributed to the development of education, history and dialogue, he remarked further. dean faculty of social sciences at KU, Prof dr Muhammad Ahmed Qadri said that many unjustified fatwas were issued against Sir Syed, but, undoubtedly, he was a coura-

geous person who is alive in history. "Antiques, speeches, manuscripts and archives are present In different parts of the world which must be brought to KU and included in research work," he suggested. Prof dr Tanzeem-ul-Firdous highlighted the life and works of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, saying that the conference was first of its kind in the history of KU’s Urdu department, and thanked the Vice Chancellor, HEC and Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu for their much-needed support. In the later part of the conference, Prof dr. Ibrahim Muhammad Ibrahim Al Syed from department of Urdu, Jamia Al Azhar (Egypt), presented his research paper and remarked that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was a great leader and reformist of the subcontinent. “due to Muslims’ backwardness in education, he advised them to stay away from politics in the 19th

century so that they could completely focus on their educational uplift. due to this step, Muslims started to progress in the educational field. “Sir Syed visited Egypt in the seventh decade of 19th century and published his experience in Egypt in 4 editions of his magazine “Tehzeeb-ul-Ikhlaq”. Urdu literature and language was introduced as a subject in only one university of Egypt i.e. Cairo University in 1938, but now Urdu literature and language are being taught in seven universities of the country and the work of Sir Syed and Allama Iqbal are included in their curriculum.” Research Scholar from McGill University, Canada Zahira Sabri said that Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in subcontinent and Ismail Gasprinski in Russia, both did exceptional service in the field of education in the background of European imperialism. “Both of them aimed towards the societal and economic uplift of their nations, reformed their education system and spread awareness among masses through their writings, published work and magazines.” Talmeez Fatima Burney, a research scholar from USA stated that the concept of collective time espouses Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s reformation movement. “Khan’s propensity for literature diverts him towards reformation for society. not only because delhi was considered one of the cultural epicentres or because he was a contemporary of Ghalib, but due to the constant decline of Indian Muslims.”

10 I ROUnd-UP

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KARACHI: Prof Sahar Ansari, Dr Ikramul Haq and other poets after a mushaira organised by Students Welfare Organisation at Khaliqdina Hall, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: Organisers and participants after the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition entitled ‘Pakistan Behind The Headlines’ held at Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, last week. — ST photo

KARACHI: Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar along with senior KMC officers meeting a delegation of the United Nations Association of Pakistan led by its president Moohi Shaheen in his office, last week. — ST photo

KARACHI: KU Dean of Social Sciences, Prof Dr Muhammad Ahmed Qadri along with senior journalists and teachers at the launch of a students magazine “Newszine 16” of Mass Communication department of the university, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: DMC Central Chairman Rehan Hashmi talking to a delegation of environmentalists in his office, recently. — ST photo

KARACHI: KWSB MD Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi meeting the office-bearers of a labour federation at his office, recently. — ST photo

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need for environmental preservation emphasised By Our Correspondent KARACHI: Speakers at a meeting of Shura Hamdard, Karachi chapter, urged the government to take measures leading to improved environmental conditions in the country as environment is an important determinant of a healthy society. The meeting was held with Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi in the chair at a local hall. Malik Liaquat Ali Tabassum, Chairman, Pakistan Ideology Thinkers Forum, Peshawar said that the improvement of medicines was not enough for health care, but it required clean water, pure food and an environment without pollution for the health of the people. Former Senator and President, Brooks Pharma (Pvt) Limited, Abdul Haseeb Khan said that one might prepare a good medicine and dispense it properly, but if the stomach is empty because of non-

KARACHI: Abdul Haseeb Khan, a pharma industrialist, speaking at Shura Hamdard meeting, recently. — ST photo

availability of bread due to poverty, no medicine would give relief to the affected person. “The success of public health care system depended on abolition of poverty and hunger in the country. Health and education sectors have been badly overlooked by successive governments, absence

of health policy and solid healthcare system in the country was a clear proof of official negligence and lack of interest in public health by the government,” he lamented. ‘Medicines are being sold openly without doctors’ prescriptions and receipts, the condition of government hospitals is going

from bad to worse and nobody is going to take responsibility to remove this distressing situation as code of conduct is not being followed anywhere,” he said, adding that all stakeholders – government, civil society, physicians and manufacturers of medicines should perform their due roles regarding

requirements of public health. Prof dr Akhlaque Ahmed, former pro Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, asked how much research is being done by Pakistani manufacturers. While more than 20 multinational companies used to introduce new medicines and products in the markets, because of their huge investment in research work and that’s the secret of their success. Commodore (Rtd) Sadeed Anwar Malik was of the view that research was being done on medicines in Pakistan, but it was not up to the standard of western research. “Pakistani doctors in America are doing wonderful research on lever diseases, which is going to be completed soon,” he said and added that the government should keep an eye on medical researches and encourage this process and establish maximum free dispensaries in the country. Khursheed A Hashmi and Sheikh Usman damohi also spoke at the occasion. Answering the question, Abdul Haseeb Khan said that Hakim Said always gave emphasised research work and research on medicines is being carried out in Hamdard and some other institutions too.

Authorities remain undeterred Continued from page 1

The officer added and recalled that the WHO mission had also recommended establishment of co-ordination mechanism, with inter/multi-sectoral approach. The other recommendations of the Mission included environmental cleanliness measures along with biological and chemical control of mosquitoes; regular entomological surveys to assess the vector burden and apply appropriate measures to control at an early stage; strengthening of cases management and reporting services; establishment of an early warning system. In addition to giving a detailed action plan the WHO mission had also called for development of appropriate Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials with focus on the exact case definition and prevention measures, without creating a fear in the person reading that message. Speaking at a workshop that the Prevention and Control Programme for dengue in Sindh (PCPd) had organized for media persons in last June, its then manager, dr Masood

Solangi, said that the provincial government had been moved for allocation and release of Rs50 million for Karachi Metropolitan Corporation so that it could meet the fuel cost of vehicles carrying sprayers, chemical and diesel for preparation of the fumigation solution during a comprehensive fumigation activities that had been planned from July-december, 2017. Ironically, the said amount has not been released so far, confirmed sources concerned both at PCPd and KMC. When contacted, PCPd Manager dr Abdul Rashid told Social Track that cases of chikungunya have increased in the recent weeks, but it is understood that the winter chill was slowly setting in and the number of dengue as well as chikungunya cases will come down in the days to come. "Though remedial measures against the chikungunya spread does not come directly in the domain of PCPd, we have been approaching the KMC and other civic agencies for improving the environmental sanitation conditions and checking the mosquito breeding sites."

Maintaining that the collection of data related to chikV cases was not a job his programme, the manager said that whatever data the PCPd receives from the Karachi health services directorate are passed on to the media honestly. The overall reporting from hospitals both in the case of dengue and chikungunya virus infections, what he felt, were not upto the mark –courtesy non-seriousness on the part of the health facilities. However, he added that since the death rate due to chikungunya is very negligible, healthcare providers do not find it necessary to report the cases to Karachi health directorate positively. The only defence against the mosquito borne diseases is to remain guarded against them and ensure they are destroyed both outside and inside the houses. He informed that the Civil Hospital Karachi has recently started providing rapid testing facility against chikV, while the provincial health department has also been requested to provide 20,000 chikungunya rapid testing kits for various hospitals in the

province including Karachi. On the other hand, Senior director Municipal Services, Masood Alam, says that it was not possible for the financially short KMC to ensure any regular spray of insecticide across the city, under a protocol. We have about 60 vehicles for carrying out fumigation, but funds are not adequately available, he added and said that KMC needs Rs 3,600 for a spray trip of 30 minutes, involving diesel for mixing with medicine, petrol for vehicles and fuel for generators working behind the fumigation machines. "When there are pressing needs we do deploy our units with some extra financial allocations made by Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar," he mentioned and informed that Sindh government has once again been requested to sanction special funds so that the issue of mosquito borne diseases could be addressed befittingly in Karachi. Replying to a question, he said that apart from the vehicular arrangements, about 400 manual spray machines were also handed to union councils some years back, but little is known about their present status.

Water crises in Pakistan; the governance challenges By Faiza Sohail


he upcoming years are alarming for the world as it might be facing an absolute water scarcity. The potential water resources are insufficient to meet the reasonable water needs around the globe. There might be an additional and an acute water shortage conditions in localised countries that once had been abundant in water supply. Countries like Pakistan are likely to observe water scarcity in different regions and provinces. Last year, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources

(PCRWR) warned that the country may run dry by 2025, if the authorities don't take immediate action. Rising water problems are directly linked to the rapid population growth, deforestation, urbanisation and lack of awareness on the importance of water. Agriculture is Pakistan’s backbone and the water flowing in the channels is its blood line. Water shortage will result in a spiraling effect on the prevailing level of agriculture and poverty, ultimately leading to economic and social problems. Rising temperature and climate change are two major causes of water shortage. The an-

nual rainfall pattern is not typical anymore, the country is facing water dearth, and a prolong drought has been observed. due to drought and more dependency on ground water for irrigation,



the water table is expected to go down which will root water constrains for the population. nevertheless, the rising water shortage possesses serious challenges for government of Pakistan. Government is at the verge of taking immediate measures to tackle the upcoming challenges. As population increases the demand of water automatically in-

creases. Installation of dams and maintaining existing dams is a task for the government to achieve. Pakistan hasn’t built any new dams since 1960 thus, a proper water storage facility is necessary to overcome the crises around the corner. There is a dire need for construction of Chasha and Kalabagh dam, as suggested by experts, which will produce enough water to fulfill the rising water demand. Authorities introduced several schemes in 2014 in the cities of Sheikhupura and Sargodha and saved up to 50 percent of water used in the rice fields, without compromising on production. Government should ini-

tiate more such projects all over the country for water safety. Also, the dispute over Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan has not yet been resolved; blame game has worsened the situation. This problem was also considered by World Bank but it did not bring about any concrete results. Authorities’ poor management and lack of interest has made the water resource projects, a serious issue requiring urgent attention. Policy-makers should devise policies to manage water distribution system. Steps are needed to be taken to curb the illegal extraction of water and ensure its equitable distribution.

Friday, October 27, 2017

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto talking to a patient after inaugurating the NICVD satellite centre at Tando Muhammad Khan, recently. — ST photo

nICVd opens door in Tando M Khan By Our Correspondent

TAndO M KHAn: The national Institute of Cardiovascular diseases (nICVd) Karachi has initiated operations of its second satellite centre in interior Sindh – Tando Muhammad Khan, last week. The new centre was inaugurated by Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at a ceremony at Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Cardiac Care Hospital, Tando Muhammad Khan, which was attended, by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Health Minister Sindh dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro, among others. Speaking at the ceremony, nICVd Executive director dr nadeem Qamar said that the new centre was a big step on a long pathway of medical advancement in the city of T M Khan. “nICVd has started totally free of cost major cardiac facilities for the people at their doorstep in T M Khan.” He said that more such nICVd centres with comprehensive heart care facilities will be in place in other cities of the province, including Sehwan, Sukkur, nawabshah, Khair-

pur, Hyderabad and Mithi, in a year's time. Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah appreciated nICVd and held the development of the facility, a step towards bringing the public-sector forward as the standard bearer and leader in the provision of tertiary cardiac care. “After first Satellite Centre in Larkana, this is also a great achievement of the institution to inaugurate a new major cardiac facility in Tando Muhammad Khan.” Health Minister dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro said that nICVd had been able to meet a long-standing need of people by establishing the new centre at T M Khan. “Sindh government is dedicated to providing accessible and efficient health services to the community.” On this occasion, PPP chairman, Mr Bilawal said that the facility established at T M Khan was in consonance with his party’s policy aimed at providing quality healthcare facilities to the masses at their doorstep. “The services, including provision for interventional cardiology, will be a huge support for the natives of Tando Muhammad Khan and its peripheries”, 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: Phone: 021-36366759

Social Track October 27, 2017  
Social Track October 27, 2017