Stories about disease

World Thalassemia Day: Is Pakistan not charitable enough?

My dear homeland not only lingers behind in valuable energy resources but also lacks in philanthropy and benevolence. Very few people endeavour to promote human welfare and even fewer perform charitable tasks in our society. We hardly desire or care about doing something to help the less fortunate. A spider bite may not be able to transform you into a superhero but a tiny needle prick and a little bit of your time definitely can. Yes, you can become a super hero and for that, all you have to do is donate blood. All of us know that giving blood provides an essential lifeline ...

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Forget polio, Pakistan is ‘BIGGER’ than India and size is all that matters!

A few days ago, a leading British newspaper carried a news story that stated: “The World Health Organisation certified the south-east Asian region – which includes India but excludes Afghanistan and Pakistan – polio-free after three years without a single new case being reported. The WHO said this meant 80% of the world’s population lived in polio-free regions, an important step towards global eradication of the crippling disease.” It is a massive coup for the people of India, for the people of those other countries now free of polio and for the world in general, for achieving an 80% eradication of the disease. ...

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Of Ghani’s greed and our gullibility

Greed is a disease that infects us all and there are plenty of scoundrels in Pakistan who take innocent people for a ride. However, as people have become more aware of these scams and are less gullible now, these lowlifes have evolved and become more sophisticated. What I will narrate below is perhaps one of the most high-tech and elaborated scams I have come across so far. I, myself, was about to fall prey to this fraudulent scheme and hence I know about its logistics first-hand. Fortunately, we had the common sense to understand, at an early stage, that something was wrong with the scheme ...

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Five easy solutions to all your digestive system problems

Nowadays, digestive disorders and stomach problems are as common as a cold or flu. Crohn’s disease, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are a few of the stomach and digestive diseases that have been on the rise recently. These problems can be extremely discomforting and the astonishing fact is that many people often overlook the most fundamental solutions while trying to tackle these issues. To put an end to this misery, I will be providing five solutions to a much healthier digestive system, which will help you lead a constraint-free life. Chew properly Remember, there are two types of digestion – mechanical and chemical. The mechanical digestion starts from ...

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Aids is a real disease, get out of your ‘conservative’ bubble and believe it!

Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV) is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse including anal and even oral sex, contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. There is no cure or vaccine for the virus and prevention is the key strategy to control the spread of the disease, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange programs. However, anti-retroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease. Raising awareness about AIDS is a big issue, especially in Pakistan, because this is still considered one of the biggest social taboos in the country. I remember just last year the media reported that 15 blood ...

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Beware, antibiotics are not the answer to every disease

A few days back, I called a friend and found out that she was suffering from a sore throat, yet again. Being a pharmacist, people talk to me quite frequently about the medicines they have been taking. This particular friend was tackling her sore throat with Amoxicillin and had disregarded the need for a prescription. Recently, however, she complained to me that Amoxicillin doesn’t work for her anymore. The truth is that she is not the only one. Most people don’t understand the dreadful consequences of misusing antibiotics. A sore throat, runny nose and fever are all inevitable gifts of the winter season ...

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Polio: Can Imran Khan help defeat the ugly villain in Pakistan’s story of survival?

On October 24, 2013 when I saw polio teams entering my colony – Musharraf Colony in Hayatabad – it was the first time I knew what they had come for. They had come to save lives. I ran home to tell my mother to get my little sister vaccinated. Polio – the villain It was only the night before that I had been peeping into one of the community halls where the elderly, adults and children from the colony had gathered because we were told that some goras (foreigners) were coming to deliver a talk. I had seen one of these lectures before but this time ...

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A doctor’s worst nightmare

It had been a pretty gruelling 30 hours. Her hands shook as she poured out a cup of tea for herself and tried to relax. Four patients had been admitted with final stage liver disease, the previous night. Two of them had died during the night, despite all efforts at resuscitation. One was recovering after suffering a massive bout of vomiting blood and the fourth was in a coma, but she was hopeful he would come out of it. Half of her night had been spent explaining the dismal prognosis of de-compensated liver disease to the patients’ relatives and attendants, and ...

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Fehmida’s beloved companion

Sitting thoughtfully, he smiled for no obvious reason. Or perhaps his thoughts had wandered off, from the hardships of the past few weeks since he had lost his job to the call he had received this very morning. Taking his cell phone out, which he kept like a prized commodity, he looked at it with a constant yet distracted gaze. He had listened through it with intent when Abdul Kareem, an old friend of his, briefed him about a domestic servant’s job, for which he was to come meet Ms Fehmida.  There was hope for him at last. He would finally ...

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Photojournalist Farrukh: A true inspiration!

I first met Farrukh when I was speaking at the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN) event in Karachi. I saw him sitting there on his motorised chair smiling and listening attentively. As soon as I was done speaking, I stepped down from the podium and went straight over to him to sit down and talk. Farrukh is an inspirational human being because he has not allowed his physical disability to slow him down. Below his neck, he only has command over one hand, with the rest of his body paralysed. However, he is a photojournalist who just had his first exhibition this year. Farrukh’s family ...

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