Stories about dengue

As her doctor, could I have done more?

My ER shift started in chaos. “Does it have something to do with today being Friday the 13th?” I wondered, although not really being all that superstitious. I knew it was just a momentary thought. On bed 13 lay Aleya, a 13-year-old previously normal and healthy girl, and the youngest of 13 siblings. To add insult to injury, she got ‘tubed’ (intubated), unsurprisingly, at 1300 hours. But I get ahead of myself, so let’s start at the beginning. For the past 13 days, Aleya had been running a ‘very high’ fever, not confirmed by a thermometer.  “Jism bahut garam tha,” (The body was really hot) said her 18-year-old brother, ...

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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 ...

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Life in Pathar Colony: When will our government start providing housing facilities to the poor?

In my visit to Pathar Colony (situated in the recesses of H-12 Islamabad), I witnessed how challenging life was for its inhabitants living under feeble mud houses. A rainy season meant that they had to re-build their homes. With approximately 150 households thriving on no electricity provision, stingy water supply and utter poverty – the nomads dwelling the place have accustomed themselves to such an ascetic lifestyle. It is beyond the control of these people living in the slums that are deprived of such basic necessities, such as electricity and clean running water. Most survive on one meal a day, while working as hard manual labourers. The dominion of the powerful ...

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Will climate change cause more complex effects on sexual and reproductive health?

The Zika viral epidemic represents a perfect storm of climate change, disease, sexuality and reproductive health. In 2009, I was deeply interested in the effects of climate change worldwide. I work for a regional organisation and I was studying trends which I thought would impact women’s health and rights. Disasters – both natural and climate change induced were one of these trends. Three key events stood out in my memory; the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2008 Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the 2010 Pakistan floods. These incidents affected the partners we work with on the ground, and many had rushed in to deliver aid. A ...

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Preventing mosquito-borne diseases – Are you ready to #StopTheCount?

Anyone bitten by a mosquito knows what a nuisance they really are. The bites swell, they often itch for days and, if you are like me, you’ll scratch them over and over again till it becomes worse. However, mosquitoes can be dangerous as well, and it is important to understand the diseases they bring with themselves. Mosquitoes are the deadliest insect on the planet due to the diseases they transmit through their bites. Nobody wants to be a fear-monger but as per facts, a child dies from a mosquito-borne disease every minute. It has been two years since I have been involved in raising awareness ...

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Subramanian Swami, I guarantee you that the ISI did not fund PK

Dear Subramanian Swami, Unlike Aamir Liaquat, I do not wish to engage in a tirade of abuses and vitriol of hate. I will not mention any ‘dandas with jhandas’ or ‘pichwaras’ or ‘teesri hockey sticks’, but I simply hope to appeal to your ability to see reason. You claim that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of Pakistan has funded the Bollywood movie PK. You say that your sources trace the funds to Pakistan through Dubai. Sir, I do not know what you are smoking but please can I have some too? Who financed the PK film? According to my sources it is traceable to Dubai and ISI. DRI ...

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Ebola 101: Follow Nigeria, Pakistan

As Pakistan battles numerous infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid, tuberculosis and polio, the western media is taken over by the Ebola scare. With the recent media frenzy surrounding three suspected Ebola patients in Pakistan, the hysteria is now equally palpable at home. The question being asked is: Will Ebola hit Pakistan? Ebola is a severe viral infection with an average mortality rate of about 70%. The incubation period – the time between infection by the virus and onset of symptoms – is between two and 21 days. This means that it can take up to three weeks before the ...

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Did you know that basil leaves fight cancer and help you quit smoking?

While you might only think of basil as an ‘herb in your pasta sauce’, it can also provide various surprising health benefits. As we all know, the basil plant is the best and most beneficial plant that we can grow in our homes or in any garden. It is the perfect source of different vitamins and potassium. In addition, it also shields us from different diseases and harmful insects. A basil plant has immense benefits but I will be discussing the 10 major benefits a person can get from this plant. Bone Strengthen This plant is an excellent source of Vitamin K, the overlooked ...

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When you eat at an expensive restaurant, do you think of the poor?

A few days ago, a friend of mine got a job at a university and to celebrate the occasion, we decided to go out for dinner. Of course, it was going to be his treat. After a long debate over what to eat and where to go, we finally decided to have a buffet dinner at a restaurant close by. We decided the date and time and extended the invite to other friends as well. There were going to be seven of us. I lived in a hostel with another friend and so we decided to go together. We reached the ...

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Every 10th person in Pakistan has hepatitis

Over 15,000 dengue patients were reported in Punjab in October last year. A health emergency was declared in all public hospitals and even private health facilities were asked to accommodate dengue patients. Almost everybody in the Health Department had become a dengue-maniac.  This year, around 250 dengue patients have been reported in Punjab so far, with zero casualties. The efforts by the Punjab government seem to have worked. With Rs300 million, a separate programme in the Health Department, titled Prevention and Control Programme of Epidemics in Punjab has been launched to deal with dengue and other epidemics in the province. Government ...

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