Tag Archives: disease

Simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancer death rates by one-third in a remarkable study

Vinegar cancer test saves lives, India study finds

By MUNEEZA NAQVI and MARILYNN MARCHIONE

MUMBAI, India (AP) — A simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancer death rates by one-third in a remarkable study of 150,000 women in the slums of India, where the disease is the top cancer killer of women.

Doctors reported the results Sunday at a cancer conference in Chicago. Experts called the outcome “amazing” and said this quick, cheap test could save tens of thousands of lives each year in developing countries by spotting early signs of cancer, allowing treatment before it’s too late.

Usha Devi, one of the women in the study, says it saved her life.

“Many women refused to get screened. Some of them died of cancer later,” Devi said. “Now I feel everyone should get tested. I got my life back because of these tests.”

Pap smears and tests for HPV, a virus that causes most cervical cancers, have slashed cases and deaths in the United States. But poor countries can’t afford those screening tools.

Continue reading Simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancer death rates by one-third in a remarkable study

The Future of Pakistan – By: Stephen P. Cohen

Comment by: Manzoor Chandio

Irrespective of what Mr Cohen predicts, Pakistan needs help of its own intelligentsia in correcting the house… any catastrophe that may hit the country from the Afghanistan-like state collapse to the Bangladesh-like break up, the ultimate sufferers would be the people… there could be mass killings… there could be mass migrations… there could be hunger and diseases in the wake of increasing eating mouths and shrinking economy… it is obvious Pakistan has failed to achieve state cohesion… the degree of discontent is much higher… killings in the name of religion, sects, politics, ethnicity are on the rise… most of the population is ill-equipped for the modern world because of illiteracy… more killings are taking place in Pakistan’s urban centers than in tribal areas because of people living in cities have yet not developed urban and metropolitan culture… intolerance is at the highest peak… the writer blames Pakistan has proved itself an irresponsible state in the community of nations because it harbours militants who then create troubles for other countries… as a result, the country has earned more enemies than friends in the world… why Pakistan has reached this state of affairs…?.. the writer traces the set of symptoms to its birth from a non-Muslim country… since then it revolves its survival to a very narrow-minded ideology of getting national cohesion that one religion (Islam), one language (Urdu), one national identity (Pakistani) and one patriot army is the binding force… the state is not ready to move away from this unnatural oneness… while on the ground natural Pakistan is different… it is home to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Pakistan’s 93 per cent people does not speak Urdu, Sindhis have 10,000-years old national identity of being Sindhi… Pakistani identity is only 64-year old… Punjabi elite hugged this policy of cohesion to get maximum economic benefit… their chauvinistic approach considers others as unpatriotic…

Read more » The Future of Pakistan – By: Stephen P. Cohen

Via – adopted from facebook

We lost our identity first and then we lost our faith. Does it matter now what we lost first? We know we have lost both.

by Anwar Iqbal

We don’t know how it happened but it did. Somehow our generation became a faceless generation. But before that we lost our faith. Or perhaps, we lost our identity first and then we lost our faith. Does it matter now what we lost first? We know we have lost both.

Like other people we too had names; names that showed we had parents who cared for us. Our names reflected our bound to a family, a community and above all to humanity. But first we adopted new idols, those that sipped blood and spat fire and brimstone.

Those were fearsome deities that loved suicide-bombings, beheadings, and firing-squads.

And all of this was not done in the name of religion alone. We had many idols, each named after a sect, an ethnic group, or a political cult. They had one common trait, an insatiable lust for power.

Soon after we adopted those new idols, we lost our identity, or we may have lost our identity first and then we took these new symbols of worship, abandoning the loving, merciful and benevolent God.

Yes, we still lived in cities, towns and villages. But living was our only distinction. We had nothing to be proud of. There was no bond, no love among us. We did not trust each other. But did it only happen to those living in our city? No. People in cities around us stopped trusting each other too. It was a strange disease that spread across the region and affected everybody.

Continue reading We lost our identity first and then we lost our faith. Does it matter now what we lost first? We know we have lost both.

Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain

Most people feel depressed and discouraged at some point or other in their life. Sadness, anxiety, grief — we all feel these emotions at various times in our lives. Sadness may be caused by a setback or a loss, while anxiety may be triggered by a threat or a challenge. It is perfectly natural for our emotions to wax and wane with the ups and downs of our lives, but when these feelings present for weeks or months, it could be a sign of DEPRESSION. People with depression may feel like they are losing control. They lose interest in life, feel sad all the time and have difficulty concentrating.

Depression can be happen to anyone. From 10 to 20 per cent of the general population will have to deal with depressing at least once in their life. Depression affects twice as many women as men, and usually occurs between the age 25 and 45. Depression happens in every culture, around the world, and no social or economic class spared.

Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a real disease and is characterized by three persistent factors.

1. Major feeling of malaise 2. Marked loss of interest in usual activities 3. Physical symptoms, including memory loss, fatigue, sleep problems, change of appetite, decreased sexual desire.

Depression is not uncommon. Depression is expressed through physical complaints such as persistant headaches, digestive problems, and fatigue.

For temporary feelings of sadness, taking a walk,  or doing a favourite activity can help. But for real depression individual should seek professional help.

People with depression tend to prefer solitude and are likely to with draw from family and friends. It is important to let them know that they  could on you for support. Also, be sure to encourage them to seek professional help. Take Multi-vitamins and multi-minerals daily. Cut sugar and sugar prodocuts, potato and potato products and refine carbohydrates such as: Cake, pastry, cookies etc, exercise half an hour daily, drink 8 to 12 glasses of fresh crystal clear clean water everyday, eat green leafy and colorful vegetables and fruits daily.

Pakistani expert develops innovative neurology method

by Suhail Yusuf

KARACHI: A Pakistani scholar has devised a non-invasive way to sense brain pressure which could significantly change the current paradigm of neurological care of those suffering from brain injury or disease.

Monitoring intracranial pressure (ICP) is the most important thing to assess brain injury, hemorrhage (internal blood flow), tumors and other neurological problems. But current methods to measure this pressure are highly invasive – requiring a neurosurgeon to drill a hole in the skull to place a pressure sensor or catheter inside the brain – and are thus restricted to the very severe cases.

Pakistani scientist, Faisal Kashif has devised a non-invasive technology for ICP monitoring in his PhD thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. The method is based on processing available clinical signals using a mathematical model of relevant physiology. It provides real time estimates of ICP and cerebrovascular impedance, the latter is an indicator of brain’s ability to maintain its blood supply.

“ICP is a key neurological vital sign and is affected in several brain pathologies – even in concussions and migranes – and this non-invasive method could help in monitoring a vastly larger pool of patients,” said Kashif. He further added that unlike the invasive approaches which require a neurosurgical facility, the non-invasive method can also be applied in emergency-care settings where most trauma patients are first brought. Having access to ICP in a timely manner can guide doctors to provide life-saving interventions. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Delusions of being Islamic

By: Humayun Gauhar

So long as we keep blaming others for our woes, so long we will not realise that the fault is ours for allowing others to take advantage of us. Pakistan pompously professes to be an Islamic Republic but doesn’t know what that means. Which Islam? The Islam of God or one of the 72 versions of the cleric? That is our core problem from which all other problems arise. We don’t know who we are and why we are. This leads to an erosion of self-confidence and self-esteem (except in rhetoric), the lack of which make us in thrall of alien ideologies and their political, economic and social constructs.

This poem on the Holy Quran written some 35 years ago by the ninth President of India, Dr Pandit Shanker Dayal Sharma, says it beautifully. It’s very good because it’s very true. I have translated it myself.

Amal ki kitab thi.

Dua ki kitab bana dia

It was a command for action.

You turned it into a book of prayer.

Samajhne ki kitab thi.

Parhne ki kitab bana dia.

It was a Book to understand.

You read it without understanding.

Zindaon ka dastoor tha.

Murdon ka manshoor bana dia.

It was a code for the living.

You turned it into a manifesto of the dead.

Jo ilm ki kitab thi.

Usay la ilmon ke hath thama dia.

That which was a book of knowledge;

You abdicated to the ignoramus.

Taskheer-e-kayenaat ka dars denay aayi thi.

Sirf madrason ka nisaab bana dia.

It came to give knowledge of Creation.

You abandoned it to the madrassah.

Murda qaumon ko zinda karne aayi thi.

Murdon ko bakhshwane per laga dia.

It came to give life to dead nations.

You used it for seeking mercy for the dead.

Aye Musalmano ye tum nay kia kiya?

O’ Muslims! What have you done?

Please don’t take kneejerk offence. Righteous rage before thinking is a hallmark of the ignoramus. Don’t focus on who says something but on what he says.

Look at the Muslim condition. They remain on the lowest rung of the ladder. The Jews, numbering less than the people who live in Karachi, are on the top rung. Why? Because they educated themselves, used their minds, recognised and understood the real levers of power, bought stakes in them and became the most powerful people in the world. The Muslims, on the other hand, remain mired in ignorance, waiting for divine deliverance without bothering to lift a finger, fooling only themselves by wallowing in their undoubtedly glorious past, deluded in their present illusions. They live on homilies and humbug.

Continue reading Delusions of being Islamic

Someone There to Rescue Pakistan!

By Saeed Qureshi

Excerpt;

Is there someone who can rescue Pakistan and its hapless people from the bloody clutches of Wolves and predators in the garb of humans? A massive deep drift and deadly decay is caving into the fabric of Pakistan and debilitating it like slow poisoning. …

…. Lawlessness in Pakistan and pointedly in Pakistan’s leading city Karachi seems to be a blood soaked legacy of the Rwandan massacre. There is no let-up in bloodletting between the rival factions or by the trigger happy shooters. One can draw the only conclusion from incessant wanton killings that either the government is an accomplice or it is not concerned about such manslaughters and target killings that have become the order of the day. ….

….. There is no use of projecting ourselves as nuclear power when the common man is caught in a fatiguing struggle of earning two loaves of bread for his starving children.

Why is the army fighting a war to serve the interests of other nations? It is a supportive fight for establishment of neo-colonialism whose agenda is to establish military bases, capture markets and to further their nefarious objectives of robbing and exploiting the untapped resources of the captive nations for their factories and mills.

The Pakistan armed forces are mandated to protect Pakistan and its people from external aggression. It is not obligated to fight in submission to the wishes and designs of foreign powers that nurse their own blighted concepts of self protection and priorities.

Why should Pakistan a poor and economically weak country become pawn and part of the global diabolic game that is hollowing her from inside like termite and one day the edifice would crumble to the ground?

Can the leaders of Pakistan both in power and out of power think rationally and patriotically to apprehend and foresee the horrendous dangers and threats lurking over its stability and existence? Would they continue their sinister and insidious musical chairs game of intrigue and greed to take turn in ruling the country and grabbing power by foul and dubious means?

Do they realize that Pakistan is in deep and dire straits? Do they have an iota of commonsense to comprehend the hurricanes that are ferociously blowing to tear this country into pieces?

Can they feel the pains and sufferings of the oppressed people of Pakistan passing every day through a life and death ordeal due to hunger, poverty, disease, unbridled and galloping cost of living and scarcity of items of daily use?

Do they know people are losing their lives because of bomb blasts and vendetta killings and gang wars? Do they know young girls are kidnapped on the way to schools and colleges and subjected to rape and sold to prostitute dens? Do they know every day 22000 young boys are molested by the sex predators in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan?

We call ourselves Muslims and that is what the Islamic demagogues exhort us from the pulpit and from lavishly decorated religious congregations, to become. What is the ground reality? These religious orators incite their followers and sect fellows to slander their opponents and even kill them.

These religious zealots never initiate or start a campaign or float a mission against the social crimes, against the blood-thirsty mafias, against the evil doers, the rapist, the thugs, the looters of public funds, the adulterators, the bribe takers and bribe givers, the up to neck corrupt parliamentarians, the easy to buy jurists, the corrupt bureaucrats, the sleazy generals and the robbers occupying the power corridors.

These religious preachers can interpret to hang a powerless woman for adultery but do not want to punish a muscular and powerful man who kidnaps her and ruins her life at gun point or knife. We believe in distorted version of religious injunctions that hardly bring us any relief, redemptions and justice against the heinous culprits. Where are we heading to?

How can a woman produce four witnesses to prove that she was raped or molested? How a young and teen age girl molested by savage men can brace against the perpetrators for dishonoring her? Why, in the first instance, the laws are not implemented in letter and spirit.

To read complete article → Upright Opinion (Saeed Qureshi blog)

Searching for an alternative – By Lal Khan

The theory of reconciliation that was devised in connivance with imperialism was to amicably divide the loot and plunder between the different warring sections of the ruling classes who had bought their way up in the structures of the so-called political parties

The mayhem and human slaughter that has been prevalent in Karachi for more than three decades intensifies periodically. Another wave of this dreadful violence has been unleashed in recent weeks. However, this gruesome spate of killings and devastation is not the cause but a symptom of the severely diseased social and economic system the harrowing crisis of which are now nudging society into the throes of barbarism. Those at the helm of the political pyramid of this system and the echelons of power seem to be clueless to put an end to this violence and forge a lasting peace. Or perhaps the political and the state structures are themselves embroiled in this mayhem and the conflicts that are exploding are the clash of different sections of finance capital representing their vested interests in the different belligerent factions of the political and state institutions. …

Read more → Daily Times

Situation dire as spending on health declines

By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Survey 2010-11 has painted a bleak picture of the health sector, particularly with regard to the infectious and other diseases.

According to the survey report, the HIV epidemic has moved from a low-prevalence to concentrated state with 90,000 to 100,000 people testing positive for the virus — about 0.1 per cent of the total population.

As the situation unfolds, the crisis among high-risk groups, especially the users of injected drugs, is getting deeper. The total number of full-blown AIDS cases stands at 3,050. A recent survey among the high-risk groups indicates an average HIV prevalence of 20 per cent among consumers of injected drugs.

The survey noted that Pakistan still ranked eighth among the countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the world. The disease accounts for 5.1 per cent of the total national disease burden.

About drug abuse, which is spreading fast and affecting the country in many ways, the survey said the menace entailed heavy social and economic costs. ….

Read more : DAWN

Pakistan is suffering from a disease known as Gangrene and AIDS

Reasons for disastrous situation of Pakistan

By Altaf Hussain

The factual reasons for the present disastrous situation or the root cause of the present weak scenario of Pakistan

Unfortunately, Pakistan is suffering from a disease known as gangrene. The common cause of either wet or dry gangrene is loss of an effective local blood supply to any tissue. Loss of blood supply means tissues are deprived of oxygen thus causing the cells in the tissue to die. The most common causes of tissue/blood supply loss are infections, trauma and diseases that affect blood vessels (usually arteries). Gangrene is a potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of the body tissue dies (necrosis). As a result of reduced blood supply, the organisms (the saprogenic microorganisms) causes wet gangrene which produces toxins. They spread throughout the body and as a result more parts of the body develop gangrene. And finally a time comes when the total blood flow of the body or blood supply system of the body collapses resulting in the collapse of the body as well. In early stages of gangrene, if diagnosed, could be treated through medicines keeping the fact in mind that you may not expect 100% success results. If any part or area of the body has suffered a lot from gangrene, it is advisable to cut that part of the body or that area of the body completely just to save and protect the remaining parts of the body for survival. This phenomenon of cutting a part is like a bitter pill to swallow. If you want the body to survive and remaining parts of the body which are not affected to be safe then it is better to cut that part or parts whether one or more hands, one or two legs or any other affected part or parts. This occurs within the body.

AIDS: The AIDS virus after entering inside the body through any means multiplies and multiplies. The body has three natural self defence mechanism. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) produces AIDS. HIV is not a disease but it is a virus that causes AIDS. The three natural defence mechanisms are (1) Skin, (2) Under the skin (hypodermis/subcutaneous) which is second line of defence and (3) when the organism enters into the blood, meaning inside the body, as it enters inside the body simultaneously body starts producing immune army. If the immunity is not present then human being cannot survive. Viruses are around us always and because of our immune system we don’t get affected.

In AIDS, HIV overcomes immune system that is the defensive system and destroys it and as a result it weakens the immune system. And that is why it is called AIDS and so the reason that a person having AIDS is not safe from any other disease because the auto system of the body collapses.

Without the immune system nobody can survive because cascade of organism are present everywhere around you in abundant and you intake continuously but you don’t get sick. The immune system saves us from bacteria, fungi and viral diseases. Unfortunately, our institutions are also suffering from gangrene and AIDS. When one has gangrene then it is advisable to save the rest of the body. One has to cut of the effected part of the body as there is no other treatment. If one has the finger, legs, hands or any other part of the body and thinks that as this is his or her part of the body and it can be cured then the entire body will get affected with gangrene. Our institutions, say that those that are affected, are our part and have been misguided and can be convinced to return are not aware of the fact that there is no treatment for gangrene. One can only save the institutions by cutting off the affected gangrene parts to save the rest of the body. Now if you cut off the leg then you can still walk with a limp but will certainly remain alive and if not then you will not even be able to walk and also will not survive. If you want to save the institution then drastic and ruthless actions are needed and one has to take the bitter pill. For example, if the gangrene-affected part touches a piece of cloth then it has to be burnt and cannot and must not be washed. Again the affected part has to be cut off and no other solution. Similarly, in case of other such diseases, like chicken pox, it is also advisable to burn the piece of cloth that has come into contact with the affected person.

It is your duty to decide whether you want to cut gangrene part and save the body or keeping the gangrene part and destroying the whole body. This is not my decision – it is your decision.

Continue reading Pakistan is suffering from a disease known as Gangrene and AIDS

Afraid of devolution? -by I.A Rehman

WONDERS never cease. In the second decade of the 21st century, the transfer of power to the units of a federation has been made controversial! Efforts are being made to help the centre retain the privileges that rightfully belong to the provinces.

No student of politics will deny that Pakistan broke up in 1971 largely as a result of the policies designed to make the centre strong at the expense of provincial rights and aspirations. Nor can anyone forget that the failure to restore to the provinces what has always been due to them poses the greatest threat to the state’s integrity today.

We are also familiar with the arguments employed while calling for making the hands of one ruler or another strong. It was said the country faced so many threats that a centrally organised security edifice alone could preserve its integrity. The centre alone had the mental and physical wherewithal to achieve economic progress. In an Islamic state there could be only one centre of power and Pakistan had a special reason to crush centrifugal forces and fissiparous tendencies which were being fanned by the enemies of the state — democrats, secularists, advocates of the nationalities’ rights, separatists, et al.

For six decades, the politics of Pakistan revolved around the federal question. Any stratagem that could prevent the state from becoming a federation was in order — the fiction of parity, the abolition of provinces in the western part of the original state, the imposition of martial law and the state’s declaration of war against the majority nationality and the smallest nationality both. No wonder almost all democratic movements in the country have had their origins in the federating units’ struggle for self-government.The central demand was that the centre should keep only three or four subjects such as foreign affairs, external security, currency and communications. All other subjects — internal security, local government, planning, education and social welfare — were to be restored to the provinces.

It is in this context that one should examine the national consensus on re-designing the polity by meeting some of the main demands of the federating units. The endorsement of the 18th Amendment by all shades of opinion in parliament is nothing short of a miracle. It not only marks a giant stride towards realising the promise of the 1973 constitution, in several respects it surpasses the 1973 consensus.

Continue reading Afraid of devolution? -by I.A Rehman

Russia Weighs What to Do With Lenin’s Body

By C. J. CHIVERS

MOSCOW, Oct. 4 – For eight decades he has been lying in state on public display, a cadaver in a succession of dark suits, encased in a glass box beside a walkway in the basement of his granite mausoleum. Many who revere him say he is at peace, the leader in repose beneath the lights. Others think he just looks macabre.

Time has been unkind to Lenin, whose remains here in Red Square are said to sprout occasional fungi, and whose ideology and party long ago fell to ruins. Now the inevitable question has returned. Should his body be moved?

Revisiting a proposal that thwarted Boris N. Yeltsin, who faced down tanks but in his time as president could not persuade Russians to remove the Soviet Union’s founder from his place of honor, a senior aide to President Vladimir V. Putin raised the matter last week, saying it was time to bury the man. …

Read more : The New York Times

Consuming too much sugar is not a healthy choice

Sugar Associated Disorders : Obesity, diabetes, depression, Heart disease, High Blood Pressure, Cancer (breast, colon or rectal cancer), Addiction, Allergies, Anxiety, Asthma, yeast infections, digestive problems, difficulty concentrating, colitis, ulcers, eating disorders, mood swings, edema, emotional problems, high triglyceride levels, hormonal dis- balances, insomnia, menstrual problems, vision problems, teeth decay, weakened immunity, acne, eczema, psoriasis, mental illness, liver dysfunction and muscle pain.

Skin diseases make lives a living hell in Sindh

Rare skin disease makes a family’s life a living hell

Report: Imran Soomro

According to residents of Tahir Bhatti village near Daharki, the man tried to set himself and his children on fire. Residents rushed to his house when they heard the children’s screams and saved the family from a gory death. “I cannot watch my little children in such pain,” said the father, “Death is better than such existence.” Bhatti said his children cannot sleep in the night or even sit because of their pain. “All day they just keep standing,” he said. The children, 11-year-old Yasmin, eight-year-old Naseema, seven-year-old Fahad and one-year-old Sohrab, have been afflicted with a skin disease for as long as Bhatti can remember. Bhatti is a daily-wage labourer. Having no means to get medical help for his children, he has no choice but to watch his children become sicker. …

Read more >> The Sindh Telegraph

Pakistan’s ugly secret – Pervez Hoodbhoy

There is a complete blackout on the effects of uranium mining in Dera Ismail Khan in south Punjab. Researchers too were defeated by the powerful nuclear establishment that keeps even health information as a national secret.

Sadly, absolutely nothing is known about disposal of nuclear waste in Pakistan. Are the authorities dumping low-level wastes in the sea or river? Where and how do they plan to bury the high-level wastes that will be lethal for thousands of years to come? Also, there is a complete blackout on the effects of uranium mining in Dera Ismail Khan in south Punjab. About 10 years ago, mine workers and other affected villagers had banded together after large numbers fell sick from lung disease and cancer. To the dismay of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, they managed to produce a petition for the Lahore High Court. But,as invariably happens, the powers that be forced them to withdraw their case and some token compensation was given. Researchers too were defeated by the powerful nuclear establishment that keeps even health information as a national secret.

There are, however, other aspects of Pakistan’s nuclear programme that I have focused upon earlier and bring up yet again:

Pakistan got nothing from The Bomb

About twelve years ago a million Pakistanis danced in the streets after six nuclear weapons had been successfully tested. They had been told that making nuclear bombs was the biggest thing a country could do. Burma is said to be trying to make a bomb and may succeed too, but surely the North Korean nuclear test gave rock-solid proof that we Pakistanis have been fed a diet of lies.

North Korea is a country that no one admires. It is unknown for scientific achievement, has little electricity or fuel, food and medicine are scarce, corruption is ubiquitous, and its people live in terribly humiliating conditions under a vicious, dynastic dictatorship. In a famine some years ago, North Korea lost nearly 800,000 people. And it has an enormous prison population of 200,000 that is subjected to systematic torture and abuse.

Why does a miserable, starving country continue spending its last penny on the Bomb? On developing and testing a fleet of missiles whose range increases from time to time? The answer is clear: North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles are instruments of blackmail rather than means of defence. Brandished threateningly, and manipulated from time to time, these bombs are designed to keep the flow of international aid going.

Surely the people of North Korea gained nothing from their country’s nuclearisation. But they cannot challenge their oppressors. But, Pakistanis — who are far freer — must ask: what have we gained from the bomb? …

Read more >> ViewPoint

Sindhis hard pressed by Disease, Poverty, Corruption, and Uncaring Government‏

WHAT SINDHIS SHOULD DO TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS AND SECURE FUTURE OF SINDH?

by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia

On Dec. 20, 2008, I had an opportunity to attend a discussion session on “Hepatitis” organized by Iqbal Tareen on in Washington DC.

The session was attended by many local Sindhis and several other Pakistanis. The main feature of this meeting was to exchange views and information with Dr. Thelma King Thiel (Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Hepatitis Foundation International (www.hepatitisfoundation.org). Although, overall, the focus of the information exchange was the impact of Hepatitis B and C world-wide, but the discussion were more focused on multiple-tragedies that have been inflicted on native Sindhis in their homeland of Sindh. Not only rural areas of Sindh suffer one of the highest poverty rate in Asia, a large number of Sindhis in several districts suffer higher burden of this disease compared to other areas of Pakistan. As if these two tragedies were not sufficient, we learnt that almost none of the resources and funds allocated by the federal and provincial governments has reached to actual victims of this disease. It was said that concerned journalists and social workers have written private e-mails to North American Sindhis that much of the funding distributed thus far has either fallen victim to corruption or used to hire officials and provide them with vehicles and other amenities. Shame on the government and newly hired officials for loosing the true sight of victims and continuing to engage in corrupt practices at the expense of the victims who need and deserve immediate attention.

A. “HEPATITIS IN PAKISTAN” PROJECT

A 5-page article/briefing was presented by Saeen Iqbal Tareen. The briefing included welcome remarks about Dr. Theil and others. Mr. Tareen expressed hopes that the session will be a beginning of an effective collaboration between Hepatitis Foundation International and the Forum Justice and Democracy in Pakistan. He urged that Pakistani Diaspora ought to take proactive measures to create awareness about the problem and seek financial and technical assistance.

A.1 DEPTH AND SIZE OF PROBLEM OF HEPATITIS IN SINDH

Pakistan does not an active and effective surveillance program to monitor tends of the Hepatitis group of diseases. However, every one agrees that the disease is extremely predominant in the rural areas of the Sindh province. According estimates about 7 million persons (16% of total population) in Sindh are tested to be Hepatitis positive with 1.5 million having active Hepatitis B reactive and another 1.7 million having Hepatitis C reactive.

A.2 CAUSES OF HEPATITIS SPREAD IN SINDH

The key factors for growth of this disease in Sindh are poverty, negligence, and lack of basic social services. The specific causes are repeated re-use of syringes and razor blades, and blood transfusion. The health care system in rural areas of Sindh is worst in Pakistan. The government monitoring of blood banks is so bad that most of them are not only unregistered but often carry expired blood supplies and screening kits. A research article by Janjua and Hutin (2005), Sindh has the highest rate of injection delivery (13 injections per person per year) with 47% of these injections are unsafe.

A.3 COLLABORATION BETWEEN NORTH AMERICAN AND SINDHI/PAKISTANI GROUPS

The initiatives that have been taken by the Hepatitis Foundation International (headed by Dr. Thiel) and Forum Justice and Democracy in Pakistan (Coordinated by Mr. Tareen) can open up opportunities to overcome diseases such as Hepatitis. The Foundation has a wealth of tools and materials for creating awareness and educating medical staff and general public on prevention of Hepatitis.

B. SINDHIS HARD PRESSED BY DISEASE, POVERTY, CORRUPTION and UNCARING GOVERNMENT

How can we North American Sindhis present a convincing case to people, governments, and organizations in North America to come to rescue of victims of these disease when see Sindhi officials taking away resources designated for the eradication of the tragic Hepatitis disease from rural areas of Sindh? Sometimes, one wonders, when will we develop an individual and collective consciousness to do what we repeatedly talk?

Crushed by many years of victimization and being ignored under Mr. Sharif’s government and General Musharraf’s dictatorship with MQM dominating all major decision-making apparatus in Sindh, they voted in overwhelming numbers to help the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to come to power. Tragically, even after PPP’s impressive victory, they have not received much relief from their continued misery. Other than some cosmetic hiring, Sindhis appear to have lost more ground due to the discriminatory policies of Karachi city government, which was illegally empowered by General Musharraf’s regime at the expense of people of local Sindhi surrounding villages and the provincial government.

B.1 POOR EDUCATION IN RURAL SINDH AND LACK OF TEACHING OF SINDHI LANGUAGE IN SINDH’s SCHOOLS

The state of education in rural Sindh continue to deteriorate. The standards of education in government schools in urban areas have fallen so bad that most parents prefer to send their children to private schools. In spite of the provincial laws that make Sindhi a compulsory language, the private schools flout these laws openly and refuse to offer Sindhi language in their schools. Several Sindhi experts now predict that children in urban Sindh are being deprived of the opportunity to learn Sindhi language. They forecast that in few decades, the Sindhi language be confined on those who live in rural areas.

B.2 LOT OF STATEMENTS BUT VERY LITTLE GOVERNMENT ACTION TO HELP SINDHIS

Every week, we hear government ministers issuing statements about initiating new programs, allocating billions to various sectors to create employment, protect Sindhi language, culture, and heritage, improve education and eradicate poverty and disease and yet the suffering of people continues unchecked. The plight of fishing community, Sindhi villages around Karachi, rural areas of Sindhis continues unabated. Last week the Fisher community of coastal areas announced that after waiting 10 months for their favorite People’s government to address their issues, they have given up hopes in this government and would re-start their movement to win their rights. The Haris (farmers) of Sindh have been demonstrating and demanding Agrarian Reforms. Many Sindhis now feel that other than making hallow statements, the officials of the present government are more interested in filling their pockets instead of representing their interests and bringing about changes that are required to solve their problems.

WHAT SINDHIS SHOULD DO TO SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS AND SECURE FUTURE OF SINDH?

Every day more and more Sindhis are questioning the wisdom of their vote in the last Pakistani election. People are wondering if their pragmatic decision to vote for PPP is so far proving to be a mistake. The party they thought was dynamic and well-prepared to face new challenges and steer effectively to restore justice to Sindhis is appearing to be more lethargic, confused, and afraid of taking any daring actions of substantial value to Sindhis. PPP finds it easy to announce that Kala Bagh dam has been shelved permanently but quite scared to ensure that language laws of Sindh are fully implemented. They find it easier to announce that they will tackle the huge problem of poverty in Pakistan, yet half of schools in rural areas of Sindh remain closed. Instead of offering protection to Sindhi villages around Karachi and creating jobs and educational opportunities for Sindhis in Karachi, they have adopted a “hands-off” approach in Karachi. This has allowed the mayoralty of Karachi unlimited power to sell Sindh’s assets in the name development and control who can reside in Karachi and who can receive education and health services. The people of Sindh wanted a reasonable compromises and win-win agreements and have no stomach for decisions that further surrender their rights.

Having been disappointed with the performance of Sindhi nationalist parties, PPP, and other mainstream parties such as PM, Sindhis have no choice but to think for new options and new leaders to secure their future in fast changing global conditions.

The situation is do hopeless that the option need of creating a new political party with mission to secure sovereignty of Sindhis over the decisions that affect their lives seems to be a viable alternative.

I find many parallels between the current situation in Sindh and the Canadian province of Québec. Just like Canada that has Liberal Party, Pakistan has the PPP. Just like PPP’s leadership has predominantly come from Sindh, the leadership of Liberal Party has mainly been from Québec. Liberal Party had a charismatic leader from Québec named Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (who was a French Canadian) we had Shaheed Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (who was a Sindhi Pakistani). In Canada, the Liberal Party was a populist federal Party just as PPP is a popular federal party.

The French Canadians, tired of waiting for the liberal Party to protect their cultural, language, and economic rights, created Parti Québécois in the Quebec province. The mission of this political party http://encarta.msn.com/encyclop edia_761588464/parti_quebecois.html

described at this web site is:

“Parti Québécois (PQ), or Québec Party, Canadian political party dedicated to political sovereignty for the province of Québec. The party’s main goal is sovereignty- association, whereby Québec would retain economic associations with the rest of Canada but be politically independent. Under sovereignty- association, Québec would share with Canada a common monetary system, free trade, and other economic agreements, but it would have the political authority to impose its own taxes, make all its own laws, and negotiate its own international treaties, conventions, and accords. The issue is highly controversial in the province and throughout Canada. In a 1995 referendum, Québec voters narrowly rejected sovereignty- association.”

If Sindhis feel that PPP has failed to protect their cultural, language, and economic rights, they could go for the establishment of a new Sindh Sovereignty Party. The mission statement of such a political party could follow the mission statement of Parti Québécois (PQ), as follows :

“The mission of the Sindh Sovereignty Party is to negotiate a new agreement with the Government of Pakistan based on the equality of nations; This agreement would enable Sindh to acquire the exclusive power to make its own laws, levy its taxes, eradicate corruption, and establish relations abroad at the same time to maintain with Pakistan an economic association including a common currency.”

I am sure there are other creative options to resolve the problems of Sindhis hard pressed by disease, poverty, Corruption, and uncaring government. I hope others will share their ideas as the time to discuss the changes that we need to survive as a people in future is now.