Thursday, April 25, 2019

Global children’s research hospital teams up with specialist centres in Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

80 per cent of the world’s paediatric cancer cases occur in low and middle income countries such as Pakistan and childhood cancer care in the country stands to improve as US-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a global leader in children’s cancer care and research, launches a series of partnerships aimed at enhancing the standard of oncology services in the country. 

St Jude’s Global has built a network of regional partnerships spanning over 50 countries to promote self-sufficiency and the sharing of knowledge, skills and best practices in paediatric cancer under a US$100 million initiative. 

A memorandum of understanding in Pakistan has been signed by Dr Carlos Rodriquez Galindo, executive director at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and Dr Adil Haider, dean of AKU’s medical college, at a ceremony on April 23. 

“The majority of children in the developing world still lose their lives to cancers that can be effectively treated. No child should die in the prime of their life and our partnerships with institutions like AKU will play a crucial role in realising our goal of enhancing paediatric cancer survival rates around the world,” Dr Galindo remarked.

As a member of St. Jude Global’s alliance, AKU’s healthcare professionals and researchers will benefit from a range of capacity building, research and knowledge-sharing initiatives aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s child cancer health system and at developing patient-centered initiatives across the continuum of care.

The partnership will see nurses, paediatric oncology specialists and intensive care unit staff at AKU’s teaching hospital benefit from specialised courses as well as hands-on training at the Memphis-based research hospital.

The research faculty will also participate in initiatives to generate new knowledge in the field and to develop collaborative projects with partner institutions in the global network.

The staff at AKU will also work with the Pakistan Society of Paediatric Oncology to extend the benefits of the global partnership to public, private and charity hospitals with paediatric oncology units in the country.

Early partners in the alliance with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital include Indus Hospital and the National Institute of Child Health.

“This partnership is for all children in Pakistan. Our specialists see some of the most complicated late-stage cases of childhood cancer cases and we’re keen to collaborate on initiatives that will raise the standard of oncology services across Pakistan,” Professor Zehra Fadoo, head of oncology services at AKU’s teaching hospital, stated.

An estimated 80 per cent of the world’s paediatric cancer patients live in low and middle income countries and the MoU is in line with the University’s commitment to achieve targets under goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals which seek a one-third reduction in cancer mortality and morbidity by 2030.

The university had entered into a similar agreement with Fred Hutch, another global leader in cancer research and care, in March 2019.

ACEP secretariat established in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The first-ever secretariat of the Association of Consulting Engineers Pakistan (ACEP) was inaugurated by Engr Jawaid Salim Qureshi, Chairman, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) while Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister, Engr Ashfaq Memon, and Engr Najeeb Haroon, MNA, were the guests of honour on the occasion.

The objective behind the establishment of the ACEP in Karachi was to highlight the role of this body of consulting engineers in national development. 

Speaking on the occasion, Engr Javed congratulated the ACEP for having established its own secretariat to help coordinate its activities on national level. 

He held out his firm assurance to engineers to protect their due rights besides other related matters like sales tax, foreign consultancy, positioning of non-engineers on engineer's posts and status of diploma engineers. 

The PEC Chairman informed about the changes he had initiated during his tenure and how the Council had been transformed into a vibrant, friendly and one-window operation service for engineers. 

He declared that the PEC planned to start an engineers’ bank for the welfare of engineering fraternity. Engr Ashfaq also commended the ACEP and committed his full support for resolving the issues of consultant engineers with the Sindh government. 

Engr Najeeb Haroon, MNA, advised all the consultants to come forward, sit together to work for the betterment of engineers’ community. 

Earlier Engr Siddiq Essa welcomed the guests and presented a brief on the history of the ACEP while Engr Ch Ghulam Hussain, ex-President ACEP, highlighted the role of the body in national development. 

On the occasion, Engr Khalid Pervez briefed about upcoming the ACEP Conference and CPD programmes.

Milk shops raided, fined in Nawabshah

By Rashid Zia Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The influential dairy farm owners have been found guilty selling health injurious chemical and water mixed milk after they broke the seals of their shops.

The milk shops selling sub-standard milk were sealed by Assistant Commissioner, Nawabshah, Nabeel Ahmed Sindhu, after a city-wide raid carried out to check milk quality on the directive of Deputy Commissioner, Abrar Ahmed Jaffar. 

Heading a team, the Assistant Commissioner along with veterinarian, Dr Tariq Noorani, conducted raids on milk shops following large scale public complaints in different city areas. 

The team found dairy shops selling milk prepared with various chemicals like detergent powder, urea fertilizer and other similar components. 

The dairy shops were fined and recovered Rs. 45,000 on the spot while huge quantity of sub-standard milk was destroyed and the shops were sealed. 

However some of the influential dairy farmers and milk sellers broke open the seals and started selling milk as usual. 

On the other hand, veterinarian, Dr Tariq Noorani, said that the samples collected from milk shops contained detergent powder, urea fertilizer and other disastrous chemicals the report of which was submitted with district administration.

Department of Sindhi established at SBBU

By Rashid Zia Qureshi
(Pakistan News &Features Services) 

Keeping in view the historic status of Sindhi language and its importance, use and expansion of language, the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University (SBBU) in Nawabshah has established the department of Sindhi along with creation of required faculty. 

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Tayyaba Zareef, while congratulating the university faculty and staff members said that the SBBU was the first university where department of Sindhi has been introduced. 

"We have to make efforts for the promotion of our mother tongue Sindhi,” she said, adding that establishment of such departments help in promotion and research on the language. 

The SBBU Vice Chancellor said that these departments work and research on the creation of different topic and the work done by teachers, writers and poets. 

She invited researchers to use their capabilities in the service of Sindhi language.

Economic benefits of mushroom highlighted

By Rashid Zia Qureshi 
(Pakistan News &Features Services) 

Senior Scientific Officer, Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Dr Sadia Munir has stressed the necessity for research on different varieties of mushroom. 

"It is essential as we still have no or little knowledge about the economic benefits of nushroom", she said while addressing a seminar ‘Cultivation and economic benefits of wild Mushroom’ which was organized under the auspices of Molecular Biology and Genetics Department of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University SBBU), Nawabshah. 

Dr Sadia Munir said that Mushroom output is seen in huge quantity in area of Thar but area people use poisonous mushroom than healthy mushroom due to lack of information about it. 

She said that not only food requirements could be achieved in case necessary attention is paid on mushroom production but it could fulfill economic requirements as well. 

The seminar, largely attended by the department students, was also addressed by Chairperson, Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, Dr Waazir Ali Metlo, Dr Khalid Husain Rind and others.