Stories about health

When bureaucrats and the media can never be friends

Prior to the devolution of the Ministry of Health to the provinces under the Eighteenth Amendment, it was easy as a reporter to cover the health sector at the federal level. This was because all departments were working under one ministry and had assigned officials to coordinate with media-persons. However, after the devolution, things have changed considerably. The health sector at the federal level has split into eight divisions. Even after two years of devolution, it is still difficult to figure out which department is functioning under which ministry or division. Most of them do not even have spokespersons or media ...

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Benefits of power yoga

Our body’s need for self-discipline has gone long ways of showing adverse effects when we do not give it its required dose of physical fitness. Power yoga is perfect for this as it develops our physical flexibility and nurtures strength of mind at the same time. I did not realise the importance of this till I began life after graduation as a working person and took up power yoga classes. Women of all ages come, nanis, dadis, newly-weds, single ladies, and for that one hour or so, they let go of everything else and focus on the moves while easing all ...

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What my 63-year-old boss taught me

Meet Keith Brown, a 63-year-old manager working in my company. Keith has recently moved to UAE to work as an Engineering Facilities Manager at McDermott Middle East Inc. I have known him since May 2012, when we started playing field hockey. I was astonished to know that a 63-year-old could play field hockey because this is one of the most physically demanding sports! A feat like this would be extremely rare in countries like Pakistan, India and UAE. It’s a pity that many of our grand fathers (or even fathers) are unable to even walk properly when they are as young ...

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I’m not bipolar, I’m not manic, I’m not depressed – I’m not!

A big hello to my fans and haters – it’s been a while! Unlike my usual cutting-edge rants and raves, I’ve dedicated this post to an issue I am familiar with: hypomania, with a healthy dose of generalised anxiety that has come to dominate my life – and yes, maybe that explains why my blogs are just so amazing. I’ve been to over 10 psychiatrists and counsellors over the years and having been diagnosed with everything from clinical depression to schizoaffective disorder to Bipolar II and more (boo doctors). I’ve really just come to live with who I am without the ...

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Don’t play God with the lives of innocent children

As the rest of the world rockets forward, we in Pakistan seem to be heading backwards. Neighbouring countries like India and Bangladesh having grappled with the issue of polio, are now on the path of enjoying a polio free ride. On the other hand, Pakistan is one of the three nations, along with Nigeria and Afghanistan, which still remains ridden with the polio endemic. Unfortunately, even struggling for complete eradication may not be possible under the current circumstances prevailing in the country. Recently, North Waziristan imposed a polio ban in the area as a protest against drone strikes. Apart from this, hundreds ...

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Every blood donor is a hero, are you?

June 14 is the day the world celebrates ‘World Blood Donor Day’ to honour and encourage those individuals who selflessly donate their blood with no expectations in return. Today, we commemorate this noble cause that helps save millions of lives around the globe. World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) was first observed on June 14, 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa as a tribute Karl Landsteiner. Landsteiner is a Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system and so we celebrate the WBDD on his birthday to honour his work. The theme of the 2012 WBDD campaign is ‘Every blood donor is ...

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My father’s battle with Parkinson’s

I still remember the first time I saw a tremor in my dad’s hand; we thought perhaps it was high blood pressure and immediately took him to the doctor. However, the tremors didn’t stop the next day, or the day after that. After a few tests the doctor recommended that we consult a neurosurgeon. Upon visiting one, we were informed that my father had Parkinson’s disease (PD) and his tremors would only grow worse with time – there was no cure. As the doctors broke this news, I tried my best to be strong for my father. Still, when I came home and watched ...

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Things you never say to an overweight person

We’re everywhere. Your odds of having to interact with us are increasing with every fast food “temple” that is erected in your city. A conversation with an overweight person can be a faux pas minefield, so here are a few tips to help you out. Have you lost weight? Never say that unless it’s an honest compliment and not an actual inquiry. Remember, someone who is overweight knows very well whether his physical dimensions have changed recently. If he hasn’t lost any weight, your statement will come off sounding shamelessly specious. Nobody likes a boot-licker, especially one lying so transparently that it feels like ...

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10 things I hate about losing weight

Yes, you read that right. Even though losing weight and being stick thin has been my childhood dream, there are many things that bother me whenever I decide to shed a few extra pounds. Here’s a list: The constant questions: What have you done? Tell me the trick. Is it dieting, or exercising, or both? Have you used some kind of a “totka” (home remedy)? There’s no way you can lose weight so quickly otherwise. The nagging aunties: Beta itna bhi dubla honay ki zarurat nahi (There is no need to become so thin) “You will get weak. It’s not good in the long run…blah blah ...

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Who you calling crazy?

Imagine being paralysed to a point that living your day to day life becomes a constant struggle and challenge. Imagine that a simple task that you do on any given day becomes an obstacle and causes great anxiety. No, I am not referring to being physically paralysed or having a physical impairment but rather the crippling impact of dealing with serious mental health problems. I find it difficult to speak so openly about this issue as someone very dear to me has been struggling with bipolar disorder and a severe form of anxiety since I was relatively young. This someone happens ...

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