VC Khyber Medical Univesity KMU Peshawar visits IMS Kohat
Women play a pivotal role in Pakistani society and any obstacle to fulfilling this role must be removed. This year, the EU and its Member States were highlighting women’s empowerment in Pakistan. In close cooperation with Rausing Executive Development Centre (REDC) and Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), the Netherlands Embassy, on behalf of the EU, sponsored a mentoring event titled “Women Mentoring Women in Business”.
This one-day conference brought together eight female business mentors with forty female business students from eight business schools in Lahore with the aim of enhancing women’s leadership role in business. It was highlighted that sustainable growth in Pakistan is not possible without realising the full economic potential of women. LUMS and EU looks forward to remaining strongly engaged in supporting this endeavor.
LUMS has been declared as one of Pakistan’s top places to work as ranked in the Rozee.pk Top Employer Rankings 2013. Representatives from the LUMS Human Resource Department were invited to an awards ceremony on Sunday, March 9, 2013 to receive the award. LUMS got the number one rating in the Top Three Employers in the Education and Training Industry category.
The Rozee.pk Top Employer Rankings 2013 is the result of a comprehensive survey of 15, 000 professionals and students from across the country. Tremendous care was taken to ensure the statistical integrity and impartiality of the survey and no sponsorships were accepted to conduct this study. A customised report specific to LUMS was also prepared by the Rozee.pk team.
The LUMS HR team also participated in the Punjab Job Fair 2014 organised by Rozee.pk on the same day. The HR team set up a stall at the fair and dispersed information about job opportunities at LUMS and answered queries of the various jobseekers attending the fair.
Dr. Faqir M Bhatti, Scientific Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Mathematics (CASM) was the plenary speaker at the International Workshop on Discrete Mathematics (IWODS2014) at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad on March 5-7, 2014. He spoke on Graph Energy at the workshop and mentioned that some time around the turn of the current century, a dramatic change occurred and graph energy started to attract the attention of a remarkably large number of mathematicians and researchers all over the globe. Twenty years ago, only a few mathematicians would know what graph energy is and only a few of those would consider it as a topic worth their interest.
Investigation of Graph Energy is important due to its applications in Chemistry and networking. During his talk, Dr. Bhatti described that graph energy is an invariant that is calculated from the eigenvalues of the adjacency matrix of the finite graph which is dealing with spectra of graph. Laplacian Matrix, Signless Matrix, Distance Matrix, Incidence Matrix and He-Matrix are also used by researchers to compute the behavior of Graph energy and various applications.
Dr. Bhatti also mentioned that the Department of Mathematics at LUMS took a lead in Pakistan to introduce Graph Energy as part of the graduate level course in Mathematics.
LAHORE: Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran has expressed deep sense of sorrow over causalities in drought-hit Tharparkar desert and said that it was deplorable that many children had to lose their lives because of the negligence of Sindh government. He was addressing a meeting to review arrangements for provision of relief goods by Punjab University to the victims of Thar drought in Sindh. Dean Faculty of Science Prof Dr Haris Rashid, Dean Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences Prof Dr Ehsan Malik, Dean Faculty of Oriental Learning Prof Dr Ismatullah Zahid, Dean Faculty of Life Sciences Prof Dr Tanveer Akhter and a large number of heads of various teaching and non-teaching departments were present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, Dr Mujahid Kamran said that it was very unfortunate that we had to face such situation despite having prior intimation and resources. He said that it was the tradition of the current PU administration to play its role when the nation faced crises and disasters. He said that PU set up exemplary relief camps to facilitate displaced people of Swat valley in Sawabi and provided relief goods to flood victims in South Punjab. He said that PU administration had also set up permanent Disaster Relief Fund to cope with such situations. He said that PU would provide potable water, food and other necessary relief items to Thar-drought victims and instructed to set up committee to finalize relief measures. Later, Dua was offered for elimination of drought and for the rest of departed souls in eternal peace.
LAHORE: Punjab University Hailey College of Commerce’s former principal Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed has said that the beginning of M Phil and PhD programs at HCC was a great achievement. He was addressing the 88th Foundation Day ceremony of HCC at the college’s Lawn late on Sunday. PPP leader Dr Jahangir Badar, Principal HCC Dr Liaqat Ali, former PU Dean Faculty of Commerce Azhar Ikram, Social Worker Raja Munawar, former member WAPDA Manzoor A Sheikh, former chairman Technical Board Mian Shan Ahmed, a large number of renowned businessmen and old Hailians were present on the occasion.
The 88th Foundation Day ceremony was aimed to pay tribute to the services of Mr Ahmed to the college and commerce education. Mr Ahmed said that HCC was a sea of knowledge and that’s why Old Hailians were proud of it. He said that the politics he learnt from Jahangir Badar helped him manage things at various turns of his life. Mr Azhar Ikram, Manzoor A Sheikh and Mian Shan Ahmed lauding the services of Mr Ahmed said that he was always helpful for others and that’s why he was loved by all. Earlier, Dr Liaqat Ali presented progress report of the college. Students presented Kalam-e-Iqbal and poems and renowned humorous Zahid Fakhri presented funny poems which added color to the ceremony.
LAHORE: A delegation of Turkey’s Afyon Kocatepe University consisting of its Vice Secretary Prof Dr Kenan Cagan, Assistant Prof Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Technology Dr Baris Gokce and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Dr Abdur Rahman called on PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran on Monday at his office.
PU Registrar Prof Dr Amin Athar, Director External Linkages Dr Maria Maldonado and deans of various faculties were also present on the occasion. The meeting stressed the need to enhance collaboration in various academic spheres and exchange programs and issued various issues of mutual interest.
LAHORE: Punjab University Registration Branch has issued registration cards to private candidates at their addresses who are appearing in B Com Part 1 annual examinations 2014. However, registration cards had not been issued to the candidates who had already been registered or there is duplication. The PU spokesman said such candidates are advised to withdraw their names from one college so that they could be issued private registration cards. It is pertinent to mention here that Tuesday March 11 is the last date to send admissions forms (by mail) for B Com Part 1 2014 with single fees while last date for submission of admission forms (by hand) is March 19 with single fees. The candidates, who had not received their registration cards, are requested to contact PU Registration Branch for issuance for registration number during the office hours so that they could submit admission forms in time.
LAHORE: The Young Nurses Association (YNA) on Monday resumed their protest for the regularisation of their jobs, in front of the Lahore Press Club.
These protesting nurses had been working on contractual and ad hoc bases.
YNA leaders, including the association’s president, Rozina Manzoor, said the protest would continue until the acceptance of their demands, including regularisation of jobs.
Meanwhile, Director General (Nursing) Rukhsana Kamal told APP that a meeting with the YNA was held on March 9 in which the Punjab Health Department told them that it would adopt a lawful procedure to fill the vacant posts of nurses through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), as regular appointments in BPS-16 could not be made through an executive order.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and activists also joined the nurses in their protest, and demanded that the government regularise them immediately.
PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry said that the nursing profession, like most of the professions, is a victim of the PML-N government’s negligence.
He said that it was a matter of shame that the PML-N government on the International Women’s Day announced a package for women, but it contained nothing for the ordinary women.
He said that it was also shameful that daughters of Pakistan had been forced to come out on streets to demand their basic rights.
He said that the government first compelled lady health workers to come out on streets and now the nurses have been forced to do the same.
PTI MPA Shanila Rout said that she, along with leader of the opposition, would prepare a move against this injustice in the Punjab Assembly and demand restoration of the contracts of these nurses. She said that move would also be made for a proper service structure.
She also said that the nurses were the daughters of this country and it was the duty of every Pakistani to protect their rights.
PTI Punjab Information Secretary Andleeb Abbas also addressed the protesters and said that the demand gap for doctors in Pakistan was 40 percent, and that for nursing was 80 percent.
“It is ridiculous that the government is not regularising them.”
She further said that the PTI would raise a voice against the injustice not only by participating in the strike but also raising the issue in the Punjab Assembly, where all PTI MPAs would force the PML-N government to take corrective measures on the issue.
ISLAMABAD: Dr Saeed Elahi has assumed charge as chairman of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). He was appointed the chairman for a period of three years by President Mamnoon Hussain, who is also the president of PRCS.
On his first visit to the PRCS national headquarters, Dr Saeed held meetings with the management and the staff members of the Society. PRCS Secretary Dr Mahboob Sardar gave a detailed presentation to the chairman about the PRCS activities. Sardar assured the new chairman his full cooperation and hoped that the Society would grow further under his leadership and guidance. Dr Saeed appreciated the work of PRCS in mitigating the sufferings of the most vulnerable. He said that PRCS is a national humanitarian organisation and a source of the country’s recognition all over the world.
He stressed the need for more commitment and dedication to bring further laurels for PRCS and Pakistan. He vowed to make PRCS more vibrant to cope with the natural disasters. Later, the secretary general introduced the PRCS officers with to new chairman.
RAWALPINDI: This garrison city boasts of three major public sector hospitals, but for circumstances beyond their control, patients have to rely on mushrooming private medical centres, clinics and laboratories.
The situation is in contrast to the avowed unrelenting efforts of the provincial government to provide healthcare to the suffering humanity at public hospitals.
Thousands of patients, including many from adjoining as well as far-flung areas, daily visit Holy Family Hospital (HHF), Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ).
Representing a significant leap forward in the filed of health facilities, the government has recently established Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology (RIC) as well as a renal transplant centre of international standard, both costing multimillion rupees. But a majority of sufferers calling daily at the public sector hospitals is advised to see specialist/professor doctors privately and get more authentic medical tests from particular labs outside, according to information gathered from patients, hospital staff and other relevant quarters.
An estimated 6,000 to 7,000 patients daily visit the outdoor patient departments (OPDs) of HFH, BBH and DHQ, where facilities like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scan and complete range of hepatitis tests are missing.
“Only DHQ has CT scan facility, which is overburdened, as patients are also referred from HFH and BBH,” a source in the Health Department told APP, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The CT scan is conducted at the hospital free of cost, while private laboratories charge Rs 5,000 to Rs 9,000, depending on the nature of the case.
The lone MRI machine installed at HFH has been dysfunctional for the last four years, according to the staff, for non-availability of funds.
Consequently, patients have to spend Rs 7,000 to Rs 12,000 on the tests from private laboratories.
“PCR quantitative (low-priced) medical tests including biopsy are conducted at the hospitals, but for the PCR qualitative or expensive, patients are referred to private facilities,” a source said.
Making startling revelations, sources said that around 70 percent of the laboratories were functioning without appropriate equipment and without maintaining required temperature at the facilities.
“The situation renders results of tests highly doubtful; so putting precious lives at risk,” a doctor revealed.
According to sources, the Executive District Health (EDO) Office has no record of registered or unregistered private medical centres and laboratories, whose number runs into hundreds.
As many as 80 per cent of private medical centres, clinics and laboratories are said to be owned or being run on partnership basis by doctors working at the government hospitals. And doctors grab 50 per cent commission on the cases they refer, sources say.
Talking to APP, patients coming from distant localities complained that they faced great difficulties in getting treatment as facilities of MRI, CT Scan and Hepatitis related tests are missing at the government hospitals, forcing them to go to private laboratories. Zaheer Abassi, an attendant of a sick child at HFH, said private labs are charging upto Rs 12,000 for MRI, a price most families cannot afford.
He and many others suspected manipulation on the part of people in the hospital administrations to create such condition as would enable them to divert patients to private facilities for tests for the sake of personal gains.
“The MRI machine at HFH remains out of order but unfortunately nothing has been done to repair and restore it,” Abbasi said.
A massive global decline in bee populations has given beekeepers and scientists cause for concern. A scientist from Hamburg says that the introduction of tiny book scorpions could keep bee populations alive.
Behind an unassuming grey door in a first-floor corridor of the Otto Hahn School in Hamburg, a student bee farm is hidden away. It’s a converted classroom, complete with a transparent beehive that lets pupils observe the insects’ behaviour. Assorted beekeeping equipment is stowed in every available space.
Around a dozen students come here regularly to work on research projects they’re doing as part of the national German science contest, the Young Researchers Competition. But, they’re not working on bees.
Instead, they examine book scorpions: small dark brown arachnids that are up to five millimetres long. They’re named for their large pincers, which jut out from their bodies and make them resemble scorpions.
The students want to find our how they can encourage book scorpions to permanently settle inside beehives. The hope is that they can help fight one of the worst enemies of bees: the varroa mite.
“We have a problem with the varroa mite”, explains biology teacher and hobby scientist, Torben Schiffer, who is supervising the pupils. “All the beehives are infected and more bees are dying than can be raised by the beekeepers.”
Worldwide bee deaths
Many scientists believe that the varroa mite is one of the main causes for the recent mass deaths of bee populations around the world, a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The varroa is a small parasite, also known as the vampire mite. It sucks blood from bees and their larvae. In doing so, it transports bacteria, fungus and pathogens to the bees.
Experts estimate that Central Europe now has twenty-five percent fewer bees in comparison to thirty years ago, while in the US populations have declined by around a third.
Bees are important for maintaining biodiversity, especially in their role pollinating flowering crops. Losing them could result in a shortage of fruit and vegetables as well as threaten crops that are important for feeding livestock, such as alfalfa for instance.
Up until now, beekeepers have used chemicals such as formic acid in their fight against the varroa mite. But Torben Schiffer believes that the chemicals harm the bees themselves.
Watching the book scorpions at work through a microscope is like observing a gruesome battle. The animals quickly approach the varroa mites, grab them with their large pincers and paralyse them with poison. They then drain their prey with their mandibles while already creeping towards their next victim at the same time.
Back in 1951 the Austrian zoologist, Max Beier, documented symbiotic relationships between bees and book scorpions from which both organisms would benefit. The bees are cleaned of parasites while the book scorpions have plenty to feed on. Nowadays however, few beekeepers know about the small brown animals.
Torben Schiffer believes that the arachnids were driven out by chemicals originally designed to fight varroa mites. Another problem, he believes, is that many beekeepers use beehives made from plastic, which don’t provide a suitable habitat. “You’ve got to have wooden hives in order to have a micro-fauna,” Schiffer told DW. “The babies of the book scorpions need to have very small prey animals and they are found in natural materials like wood or hay.”
However, some experts view Schiffer’s findings with scepticism. They question whether book scorpions really are a viable answer to the varroa problem. “It’s very impressive to see how the book scorpion attacks varroa mites under lab conditions”, said Peter Rosenkranz, an expert on the varroa mite at the University of Hohenheim. “But in order to make a real impact, it won’t be sufficient to kill off a few individual mites.” Between spring and autumn varroa mite populations can grow by a factor of fifty or more, Rosenkranz explains.
“The mites have to be put under permanent pressure,” he told DW. “Based on the existing data, I doubt that book scorpions would be able to do this.”
According to Peter Rosenkranz, independent scientific research on the book scorpion is needed to determine its effectiveness against varroa infestations.
The Beenature project
Still, Torben Schiffer is determined to continue with his own research. He has set up a group called the Beenature project, which researches the breeding habits, application and beehive compatibility of the animal. Schiffer also wants to start a global conversation among beekeepers in order to gradually re-establish awareness of the book scorpion.
At the same time he’s urging beekeepers to apply more sustainable methods to their trade in order to strengthen the bees themselves: “These days, bees are kept in plastic hives”, he said. “They’re treated with acid, chemistry and neurotoxins. And they only get sugar in order to survive the wintertime because the beekeepers take out all the honey.”
Schiffer, who is also a beekeeper in his free time, likens his methods to going back in time.
“We must leave the bees their honey and build them hives made out of wood,” he said. “We must look at what the bees need, and not what the humans want.”
Pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute have founded a joint research center where scientists will study how well natural products are suited for making antibiotics.
The development of new antibiotics is long overdue, says Andreas Vilcinskas. That’s why the biologist from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology spearheaded the close cooperation with the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi.
Antibiotics are important for fighting infections, like tuberculosis, successfully. But there are always less effective drugs. Several strains of bacteria are increasingly resistant and common antibiotics are no longer effective. That is a huge problem around the world, says Vilcinskas.
Learning from nature
In the future, researchers have to consider other strategies to develop effective drugs. In recent years, “more money has been invested into research, but fewer drugs have been developed.” Now the motto is to ”learn more from nature” and to study successful organisms and “how they protect themselves from dangerous pathogenes,” says Vilcinskas.
Together with Sanofi, the fourth largest drugmaker in the world, Fraunhofer researchers want to develop antibiotics, which are based on natural substances, like classic Penicillin.
But, in this case, the unusual focus of the Fraunhofer-Sanofi project, says Vilcinskas, is that it is exclusively looking at substances from insects. With more than a million species, insects are the largest animal group on Earth.
There is “an enormous cupboard of drugs” out there, the researcher says, pointing to maggot therapy, for instance. The therapy is already approved around the world as a medical treatment and is even available over the Internet.
“Maggots can accelerate healing, but no one knows exactly how the saliva of the worms heals a wound up to 18 times faster,” he noted.
Insects in dirty places are particularly interesting
Insects that have had to adapt to living environments containing a lot of pathogenes, like bacteria and fungus, are especially interesting for drugmakers, says Vilcinskas; for example, rat-tailed maggots.
“They are the only animals that can live in manure” and that’s why they have an excellent immune system so that they do not become ill. “We examined them and proved it.”
The goal is to make such drugs in large quantities and bring them on the market. Unfortunately, the investment is too big, says Andreas Vilcinskas.
“Drug development takes 15 years on average and costs hundreds of millions,” he explained.
Only the large pharmaceutical companies are willing to invest so much, Vilcinskas says: “that’s why Fraunhofer is working with Sanofi.”
To begin with, the researchers from Fraunhofer and Sanofi will work in the latter’s labs in Frankfurt before moving into a new building in Giessen in 2017.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women, but few people realize men are also at risk. A lack of awareness and screening programs compounds the problem for male breast cancer patients.
Miguel Rein was completely unaware men could get breast cancer before being diagnosed in 2012. The 53-year-old Paraguayan import-export worker had no family history of the disease.
“I had a strong urge to scratch myself on the chest. At first I thought it was just a sting or an insect bite. But then the itch turned into something hard,” Rein says as he remembers the symptoms that appeared two years ago.
Each year 600 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in Germany, compared with 74,500 women. That’s a very small number of men, says Professor Sabine Kliesch, a urologist and spokesperson for the German Society of Urology (DGU).
But, she points out, education has the potential to save lives. Unaware they can be affected by breast cancer, men tend to wait longer before seeking medical treatment.
One in five
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicted in its World Cancer Report 2014 that, at the current rate, by 2030 one in five men globally will develop cancer before the age of 75, and one in eight men will die from the disease.
A man’s likelihood of becoming a breast cancer patient increases with age, but younger males can also be affected. Germany, along with most Western nations, has no screening program in place, like the mammogram services offered to women, to detect breast cancer in men while it is still in the early stages.
“Governments must show political commitment to progressively step up the implementation of high-quality screening and early detection programs, which are an investment rather than a cost,” says Bernard Stewart, co-editor of the WHO report.
While researchers are unsure why men suffer from breast cancer, Kliesch says there are a number of known risk factors for men, including a family history of breast cancer among female relatives.
Those who have the little-known Klinefelter Syndrome are also at an increased risk of contracting breast cancer. A genetic disease in which a man has one or more additional X chromosomes, men who suffer from Klinefelter Syndrome have a 15 to 50 percent higher chance of getting breast cancer.
The notion that breast cancer only affects women often leads to men going untreated for longer. Television advertisements, online and magazine campaigns all target women, reminding them to check themselves for early signs of breast cancer. And that’s exactly what men need to start doing, says Kliesch, “just like they check their testes for signs of testicular cancer.”
She says men need to take two minutes in the shower to have a feel and check for early warning signs. “If men realize [their breast] has changed size, has a hard nodule, or if there are secretions coming from the mammilla [nipple], then they should go straight to the doctor to get it checked,” Kliesch emphasizes.
While Rein is now in remission, and “doing fine,” he does have one message for men. and their wives: “Men should go straight to the doctor if they have any doubts. Wives are often the first to notice there is something different about their husband’s breasts or nipples.”
Having symptoms, Kliesch adds, is not necessarily indicative of having breast cancer, but it is a reason to get checked out by a general practitioner.
Just like in women, early detection gives men the best chance of treating the cancer effectively, she says.
Men and women are treated in a similar manner. Gynecologists also treat male breast cancer patients “because they have the most experience with breast cancer treatment,” Kliesch says. Removal of cancerous tissue, or breast removal operations, are also commonplace for male patients.
When detected in the early stages, the prognosis for breast cancer in men is similar to that in women of the same age whose cancer is at the same stage. Currently, around 84 percent of men with breast cancer will live five years beyond their diagnosis.
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