Stories about world health organisation

You think you’re cool because you smoke?

Picture this: Brad Pitt puts a cigarette between his lips; he takes a puff and blows smoke out of his mouth. Tom Cruise takes out a pack of cigarettes, lights one up and for a moment, his face stands illuminated behind the flame of his lighter. Heartbroken Shah Rukh Khan smokes a cigarette one after the other, the ashtray on his side full of cigarette butts as he sits thinking about his beloved. Or better yet, Robert De Niro throws a cigarette butt on the floor and crushes it aggressively. How appealing does that sound? Now imagine this: a skeleton lying on a death bed, frail and ferociously coughing, ...

Read Full Post

People of Thar have no food or water, but thanks for the free WiFi, PPP

Recently, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) inaugurated the first free WiFi villages in Tharparkar. The project, which will cost $2 billion and is projected to be completed in 2019, involves the production of 660 megawatts of electricity through the process of coal mining. An investigative article published in The National Geographic in 2014 states: “Coal provides 40% of the world’s electricity. It produces 39% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It kills thousands a year in mines, many more with polluted air.” Even though WiFi has become such a necessity in today’s world, the question that arises is: do the people living in the villages ...

Read Full Post

Don’t touch my bakra!

Eidul Azha is probably one of our most anticipated holidays in the yearly calendar. Depending on one’s inclination, people normally plan for this religious duty months in advance. Its popularity is also due to the high level of interest that children take in the festivities and it would not be incorrect to say that it is more of children’s Eid than ours. Personally, I am not inclined towards it – I guess the sight of animal blood, urine and faeces all over our cityscape is not very appealing to me and we have our efficient government to thank for this. We have had roughly 69 Eids ...

Read Full Post

Labour Day: The continuous plight of our workers

Labour struggle and issues in Pakistan receive little attention. This issue is not glamorous enough for the mass media and nor does it drive up ratings. In all fairness, a country in the middle of a battle against violent religious extremism has other priorities. The fact that this Labour Day will be observed like every other public holiday is a sad reflection of our society. Some major incidents have taken place over the last few months with regards to the rights of workers. However out of these, only the PIA case stands out as one which gathered significant attention. The management at Nestle’s ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s complete lack of planning creates the ideal environment for violence

A loud blast followed by an explosion in Quetta on Wednesday left several persons dead and others severely injured. The scene was a polio vaccination centre, and the explosion took place near a group of vehicles which were being loaded with vaccination supplies. Twelve of the dead belonged to the police, two to the paramilitary, while two were civilians. Fifteen people died at the hands of a suicide bomber whose remains were later collected from the site. The police and paramilitary personnel killed had come to the polio vaccination centre to escort the polio workers since polio teams are so commonly subjected to attacks ...

Read Full Post

Remembering Pakistan’s silent killer on World Pneumonia Day

In recent times, Pakistan has, unfortunately, earned a notorious reputation where health care is concerned. Be it polio or hepatitis C, we continue to make headlines for being the country with the highest number of cases, around the world or in the region. It is not surprising then that Pakistan has the third highest death rate for pneumonia in the world, particularly in the paediatric population. Pneumonia is an acute infection that affects the lungs. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even fungi. It presents with cough, difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, and wheezing with or without fever. According to World Health ...

Read Full Post

When businesses flourish at the expense of poor hygiene standards

Cleanliness and hygiene are probably the least important segments to be taken seriously in our society. Be it our government-run offices, hospitals, parks and privately-owned eateries, grocery stores, and entertainment areas. Due to a lack of awareness and absence of strict law enforcement, businesses are least bothered and easily get away by either bribing the food inspectors or paying off the little monetary penalties that the government impose on them whenever a certain concerned government official decides to do his/her job for a change. The recent raids on Pizza Hut and KFC in Peshawar and Fat burger, Pearl Continental (PC) and Avari in Lahore and the following ...

Read Full Post

Moving on from trauma, moving on from Peshawar

The Taliban’s brutal attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 claimed the lives of over 140 people including 132 children. While hundreds of survivors of this mass shooting need physical rehabilitation resulting from bullet wounds and other physical injuries, the psychological impact of this traumatic event may have a long lasting effect on school children, both in Peshawar and across the nation. It is imperative that the trauma victims must get immediate psychiatric help, and secondary support be provided to children in other parts of the country who, although geographically distant, may still be troubled by this ...

Read Full Post

Two decades of battling breast cancer

The early 1990s at Franklin Township Public Library, New Jersey – two wonderful mothers separately take their children out for a day of fun and learning, with books. Fully engrossed in story time, one toddler looks up from the reading to meet a stranger’s eyes. It was another child his age, with short black hair and the undeniable look of a similar, intelligent mischievousness. That’s when it began. Our mothers soon became fast friends, and we spent most of early childhood in each other’s company. These were the modest beginnings of my lifelong (best) friendship with AR*. Little did we understand the depth of ...

Read Full Post

The curse of the green passport

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently recommended travel restrictions on Pakistanis travelling abroad to prevent the spread of the polio virus, as Pakistan continues to be one of the few remaining countries where polio is still considered a threat. This aforementioned restrictions seem to be a last ditch effort by the public health agency to curb the spread of the virus from a country that has been unable to run a sustained inoculation campaign due to a variety of reasons which are better left unsaid. However, what I am concerned about more is the effect that these travel restrictions will have on Pakistani travellers who are already ...

Read Full Post