Rs1bn deficit budget: Punjab University students may pay for ‘hard decisions’

Rs1bn deficit budget: Punjab University students may pay for ‘hard decisions’

Lahore: The Punjab University is presenting an over Rs1 billion deficit budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 with a total outlay of Rs6.094 billion. It expects an income of Rs5.047 billion and the deficit stands at Rs1.047 billion (21 per cent).

The university is proposing increase in examination, registration, migration and degree fees between 10 per cent and 20 per cent to the Syndicate which is meeting for approval of budget on Saturday (today). PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran is scheduled to chair the meeting.

The PU, on the recommendation of the budget committee, is proposing a 10 per cent increase in the rate of registration/examination fee for students of affiliated colleges and 15 per cent increase for private candidates. It is also proposing 20 per cent increase in examination fee of private candidates of B.Com examination; 18 per cent increase in migration/degree/equivalence and verification fee; and urgent migration certificate fee at double the ordinary migration.

In order to generate revenue from its own resources, the PU is also proposing that seats may be reserved for donors in teaching departments. It states that donation for per seat may be fixed based on the market demand of the programme.

The PU is also proposing that an estimated subsidy of Rs235 million on university services – transport, internet and hostels – should be reduced by gradually increasing the rate of these services. It proposed that the electricity charges for students (On Campus and Hostels) be enhanced by Rs25 per month, student bus charges by Rs50 per month, employee bus charges by Rs80 per month and bus ticket rate be doubled from Rs10 to Rs20 – to meet the ever-increasing prices of POL/electricity etc.

The PU is also proposing to the Syndicate to increase rent of shops/canteens/kiosks at the rate of 10 per cent per annum and the income should be credited into varsity’s main income account.

Overall, the varsity’s budget committee has proposed some 15 measures to generate revenue that also include starting short/refresher courses, market-based consultancy and testing services, swimming courses, fitness centre facility, outsourcing of auditorium and video conference, playgrounds to private schools and colleges, commercialisation of Press and Publication Department, setting up a souvenir shop. It says departments be asked to invest their surplus funds and utilise income for their departments’ development.

The PU budget committee has also proposed three austerity measures – ban on creation of non-teaching posts; no increase in the operating allocations except in POL and utilities; and rationalisation of establishment expenditure.

According to the PU budget estimates, the university expects a total income of Rs5.047 billion comprising grant of Rs1.695 billion from the Higher Education Commission; Rs82.036 million as a grant for Tenure Track System and Rs3.27 billion (65 per cent) to be generated from its own sources.

The committee has stated that the Punjab government has zero per cent allocation for the PU recurring demands. As for grants from the HEC, the committee has informed the Syndicate that the government was increasing pay, allowances and pension on a yearly basis, whereas it was not picking the full liability of these increases. It said even the annual inflationary impact was not considered while allocating recurring grants by the PU.

On the expenditure side, the PU has calculated Rs3.179 billion (52 per cent) to be paid to the university employees under the head of pay and regular allowances. It plans to spend Rs392.614 million (six per cent) on other benefits and facilities; Rs557.527 million (nine per cent) on pension; Rs452.9 million (seven per cent) on conduct and remuneration of examination, Rs527.23 million (nine per cent) on utility charges; Rs100 million (two per cent) on lump sum provision for research; Rs199.239 million (three per cent) on scholarships for faculty and students; Rs292.992 million (five per cent) on other current expenditure and Rs392.57 million (six per cent) on development expenditure.

Failure to meet Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) criteria: 7 colleges barred from taking students

Failure to meet Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) criteria: 7 colleges barred from taking students

Islamabad: Upon the advice of the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHRS), the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) barred seven medical colleges, which did not come up to the council’s criteria, from providing new admissions.

According to the PMDC website, the medical colleges are: Pak Red Crescent Medical & Dental College, Lahore; Al-Tibri Medical College, Karachi; Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Mirpur (AJK); Mohammad Medical College, Mirpurkhas, Sindh; Abbottabad International Medical College, Abbottabad; Independent Medical College, Faisalabad and Women Medical College, Abbottabad

“These colleges did not fulfill PMDC’s basic requirements such as ensuring the minimum required teaching staff, so we had to bar these colleges from providing new admissions,” an official of the division said.

Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Secretary NHRS said that the PMDC had been asked to ensure strict vigilance in this matter.

“We asked the PMDC to scrutinise even those medical colleges which had obtained a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to ensure that the council’s regulations were followed in letter and spirit,” he said.

He added that the federal government would review the performance of PMDC and was also set to amend the PMDC Ordinance 1962.

The council regulates medical education and registers medical professionals under this ordinance, and is an attached department of the NHRS ministry.

Mr Elahi said a policy would be formulated after consulting the NHRS State Minister Saira Afzal Tarar which would discuss whether NOCs should be provided to new medical colleges or a ban should be placed on their registration.

Currently, 128 private and public sector medical and dental colleges are providing education in Pakistan. The PMDC official website shows that 40 of these colleges are registered in Punjab, 37 in Sindh, 24 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and three each in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, a senior official in NHRS said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was probing the registration process of 19 medical colleges which had been registered in a single day during the tenure of the previous government.

“The probe is still in process, but once it is completed, we will know whether the colleges had been awarded the NOCs on merit or not,” said the official.

These medical colleges had also been refrained from providing new admissions by the PMDC till NAB cleared them, he added.

The following medical colleges have been prohibited from providing admission, and their names have been issued on PMDC’s official website.

Allama Iqbal Open University AIOU to establish six new campuses in northern areas

Allama Iqbal Open University AIOU to establish six new campuses in northern areas

Islamabad: Allama Iqbal Open University will establish six new campuss in northern areas for facilitating its students and upgrading its academic network. Initially the campus building will be constructed at Gilgit and Skardu during the upcoming financial year, said a news release issued on Sunday.

Speaking the earth-breaking ceremony of Gilgit campus, Gilgit Baltistan Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah said the AIOU was playing leading role in enhancing literacy rate in the northern region through distance learning system. He also lauded the consistent and dedicated efforts of Dr Sangi and its team for expending the university network in the country’s remote regions, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir. On the occasion, AIOU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi informed that construction of building at Gilgit will cost Rs 30 million. Dr Sangi said AIOU had played a pivotal role in promoting education in Gilgit-Baltistan and other remote parts of the county.

The Gilgit campus will be equipped with latest state-of-the-art technology, including computer labs, video conferencing systems, examination hall, class rooms, information counters, library and internet facility. The campus will facilitate thousands of students of AIOU who live around the region. The campus is a part of the university’s strategy to promote job-oriented education and to ensure access to equal quality education across the country, Dr Sangi said.

Meanwhile speaking the tutorial meeting, Gilgit Baltistan Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar announced the donation of 10-kanal piece of land for the construction of university campus in Hunza Nagar on immediate basis. He assured that their government will fully support the AIOU in its educational pursuits, especially ensuring quality education and extending academic network in northern areas.

Prof Sangi assured him that the AIOU will be exploiting all available resources to provide best possible educational facilities to its students in remote regions.

US: Cervical Cancer Vaccines Cut Rates of HPV Infections (Watch video report)

US: Cervical Cancer Vaccines Cut Rates of HPV Infections (Watch video report)

CHICAGO — The U.S. introduction of a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in 2006 has reduced infections with the human papillomavirus or HPV – the sexually-transmitted virus that causes the disease – by more than half among girls and young women, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday.

The results were better than expected and may even suggest that unvaccinated individuals are benefiting because of a drop in the number of infections circulating, the team reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

“This report shows that HPV works well, and the report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates,” Dr Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement.

Frieden said only a third of U.S. girls aged 13-17 have been fully vaccinated with HPV vaccines, which include Merck’s Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix.

That compares with far higher vaccination rates in other countries such as Rwanda, where more than 80 percent of teenage girls have been vaccinated.

“Our low vaccination rates represent 50,000 preventable tragedies – 50,000 girls alive today will develop cervical cancer over their lifetime that would have been prevented if we reach 80 percent vaccination rates,” Frieden said.

In the study, a team led by the CDC’s Dr. Lauri Markowitz used data from a large health survey to compare rates of infection with certain strains of the HPV virus among girls and women aged 14-19 in the four-year period before the introduction of the vaccine (2003-2006) and after its introduction (2007-2010).

The study largely reflects the impact of Merck’s Gardasil. In 2006 it became the first HPV vaccine to win U.S. approval.

Gardasil protects against four HPV strains known to cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Glaxo’s Cervarix won U.S. approval in 2009 and protects against two of the most common cancer-causing strains of HPV.

The researchers found the vaccine worked even better than expected, reducing by 56 percent the number of infections caused by strains of HPV covered by the vaccine among women and girls aged 14-19.

Markowitz said the higher than expected response rate could be the result of so-called “herd immunity,” in which the vaccine is also reducing infections among those who are not vaccinated. Or it could mean that the vaccine was working even among women who had not received the full three doses, which included about 49 percent of women in the study.

The CDC recommends routine HPV vaccination for boys and girls at age 11-12. But only about half of all U.S. girls have gotten at least one of the three recommended shots, and far fewer boys have gotten the first dose of the vaccine.

According to the CDC, HPV infections cause about 19,000 cancers each year among women in the United States, of which cervical cancer is the most common. HPV infections also cause about 8,000 cancers a year in U.S. men, of which throat cancers are the most common.

Scientists Create 3D Roadmap of Human Brain (Listen to audio and video report)

Scientists Create 3D Roadmap of Human Brain (Listen to audio and video report)

Researchers use a special tool called a microtome to cut slices from a brain preserved in paraffin wax into tiny slivers 20-micrometers thick. (Courtesy of Amunts, Zilles, Evans et al.)

Researchers use a special tool called a microtome to cut slices from a brain preserved in paraffin wax into tiny slivers 20-micrometers thick. (Courtesy of Amunts, Zilles, Evans et al.)

Listen to audio report

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The nooks and crannies of the human brain are now on display in 3-D, offering scientists an invaluable tool in the quest to better understand brain form and function.

The project is called BigBrain. In three dimensions and intricate detail, it reveals the anatomy of the brain as never seen before.

“These are images of a 3-D reconstructed human brain with a spatial resolution of 0.02 millimeters. So this is even thinner than a thin human hair, and it allows [us] to see the microstructure of the human brain in 3-D space,” said Katrin Amunts, director of the Vogt Institute for Brain Research at Germany’s Heinrich Heine University, a partner in the project.

BigBrain Project Provides 3-D Roadmap of Human Brain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The scientists would like to understand the relationship within the structure of the brain, its function and behavior.

“It is necessary to have all the reference brains, which have this very high microscopic resolution and therefore we created such [a] reference brain,” said Amunts.

The BigBrain model on Amunts’ computer screen belonged to a 65-year-old woman who had no neurological problems.

To create it, the researchers first cut the brain into 7,400 slices, each 20 micrometers thick, then stained each slice with a special dye so all the cell bodies were visible.  After that, the slices were digitized and carefully realigned.

“This involved us in both manual activity in shifting broken pieces of the data into the right spatial location and then a large amount of computational analysis,” said Alan Evans at McGill University, who was in charge of digital reconstruction, “which allowed us to overcome the distortions, both the geometric and optical, to reassemble the data into a coherent three-dimensional form.”

The resolution on the reference brain is 50 times greater than the standard brain scans currently available. Its images allow scientists to better visualize what’s happening in certain areas of the brain. BigBrain paves the way to understanding how the brain’s anatomy contributes to language, learning and other processes, or how its shape relates to chemical signaling or gene expression.

Amunts says BigBrain offers, for example, a platform to measure the thickness of the cerebral cortex, which changes as one ages and has been associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.

“So having a gold standard, reliable data, on how thick the cortex indeed is will help to perform such studies in humans, in living human subjects, where the cortical thickness is also measured,” she said.

Access to BigBrain is free online and will be available to the public. Her team is now at work on two more model brains that capture even more details of individual cells.

Syria’s Soaring Temperatures Threaten Children’s Health

Syria’s Soaring Temperatures Threaten Children’s Health

A boy is seen drinking from a puddle created by a burst water pipe in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal districtA boy is seen drinking from a puddle created by a burst water pipe in Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal district

A boy is seen drinking from a puddle created by a burst water pipe in Aleppo’s Karm al-Jabal district

GENEVA — The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns soaring summer temperatures in conflict-ridden Syria and neighboring countries of refuge are putting millions of children at risk of disease.

According to UNICEF, overcrowding and worsening hygiene are threatening the health and well-being of some four million children affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says children inside Syria and in the region lack safe water and good sanitation.  And this, she says, puts them at risk of falling sick with diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, measles and other diseases.

“In Syria, the availability of safe water is one third what it was before the crisis.  There are more than 4.25 million Syrians displaced within the country and the situation is particularly dire for those who live in overcrowded shelters with inadequate, damaged or overwhelmed water and sanitation systems.”

Mercado says similarly dire conditions exist in refugee camps like Domiz in Iraq.  She says the camp was built to house around 25,000 people, but now is hosting almost twice that number. She says the outlook for children living under the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions of the camp in scorching heat is very worrisome.

She says a similar scenario exists in Jordan’s Zaatari camp, home to at least 120,000 Syrian refugees. She says temperatures in both countries are expected to soar to the mid-40s centigrade in the height of the summer.

“In Lebanon, multiple families share small apartments or live in makeshift settlements with little access to safe water and basic toilets and poor waste collection. Women and children often walk long distances to collect water that in many cases may be unfit for drinking. As the conflict triggers ever more population movement, UNICEF is accelerating efforts to provide sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services, reaching almost nine million people since the beginning of the year.”

Mercado says UNICEF is running a shortfall of $124 million for its humanitarian operations for Syrians this year.

Female Hormone Estrogen Blocks Ebola Virus Infection

Female Hormone Estrogen Blocks Ebola Virus Infection

Female Hormone Estrogen Blocks Ebola Virus Infection

Female Hormone Estrogen Blocks Ebola Virus Infection

Researchers have discovered that drugs containing female estrogen block infection with the Ebola virus, a deadly disease for which there is no cure.  Scientists stumbled upon estrogen as a potential weapon against Ebola while looking to find new uses for old drugs.

Ebola hemorrhagic virus is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, the continent where the disease is endemic.  The infection, discovered in 1976, is extremely deadly, with a mortality rate of up to 90 percent.  And amid concerns that the highly lethal virus could be weaponized by bioterrorists, scientists have been looking for ways to prevent infection with Ebola.

Lisa Johansen, director of research programs at Zalicus, a biotechnology company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says she and researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland and at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville screened 2,000 existing drugs, looking for chemical compounds that were effective against Ebola.

Investigators discovered that a number of human-made drugs, including selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMS, blocked Ebola’s entry into cells in lab cultures and in mice.

But it wasn’t the estrogen drugs’ hormonal activity that thwarted the Ebola virus, preventing infection.

Rather, Johansen says it was the compound’s chemical structure, and the structure of a number of other drugs, that hindered the microorganism, something that surprised researchers.

“I think that’s one of the things that’s exciting…When we looked at our inhibitors, we found that a lot of them are entry inhibitors.  And a lot of them have the structure even though the mechanism is for something completely unrelated,” Johansen said.

SERMS are so-called designer drugs designed to act like estrogen without negative side effects.  For example, Tamoxifen is an older SERM used to treat breast cancer and the newer Reloxifen is approved for the prevention and treatment of the bone-weakening condition osteoporosis.  But they have potentially serious side effects such as an increased risk of other types of cancer.

Johansen envisions using SERMS and other repurposed compounds in a number of situations to prevent infection and death.

“I think they could be used both by a civilian population where outbreaks are as well as potentially by the military if they were in an area where there was an outbreak and they went in to intercede, or if somebody used them for bio-warfare,” Johansen said.

An article on using estrogen drugs and other compounds to prevent Ebola virus infection is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

UN: Epidemic of Violence Against Women is Global

UN: Epidemic of Violence Against Women is Global

A pedestrian walks over an illustration to draw attention to domestic violence against women, on International Women's Day in central Istanbul, Turkey

A pedestrian walks over an illustration to draw attention to domestic violence against women, on International Women’s Day in central Istanbul, Turkey

GENEVA — The World Health Organization says physical and sexual violence against women has reached epidemic proportions, affecting more than one-third of all women globally.  A new study just released by WHO shows violence against women is widespread and pervasive, cutting across different regions and all income levels in society. The data is part of a report just unveiled in Geneva.

The study finds one woman in three in the world will experience physical or sexual violence sometime during her lifetime by someone she knows – a husband, a boyfriend, a family member or friend.

The report says women of all ages, young and old alike, are subject to violence. The World Health Organization calls violence against women widespread and pervasive. It says it is a global health problem of epidemic proportions.

In an analysis of international homicide statistics, the study finds that a husband or a close partner is responsible for 38 percent of the murders of women worldwide.

Claudia Garcia-Moreno, lead specialist of Gender, Reproductive Rights, Sexual Health and Adolescence at WHO and one of the authors of the report, says physical and sexual violence against women takes a tremendous toll on the health of women. She says 42 percent of women beaten up by their partners suffer injuries.

“Women who have experienced physical or sexual violence were two times more likely to be depressed or to have problems with alcohol use compared to women who have never experienced this violence. They were twice as likely to have had an abortion. They were one and one half times more likely to have had a sexually-transmitted infection and in some regions to be affected by HIV. And, they are also more likely to have low-birth-weight babies,” said Garcia-Moreno.

This is the first systematic study of global data on the prevalence of violence against women by both intimate partners and non-partners. The World Health Organization, in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council, has collected data from 81 countries in 2010.

The study finds the worst affected regions are Southeast Asia, the eastern Mediterranean region and Africa, where rates of violence against women from an intimate partner hover around 37 percent. For combined intimate partner and non-partner sexual violence, the data show Africa, with 45.6 percent, has the worst record, followed by Southeast Asia, with 40.2 percent.

But the report dispels the notion that violence is a problem only in the developing countries. It shows 32.7 percent of physical and sexual violence against women occurs in high-income countries.

Intervention options

In addition to responding to women who are affected, Garcia-Moreno says measures are needed to stop the problem from happening in the first place. She highlights three areas of intervention.

“One is the prevention of child abuse and maltreatment. We know that children who are abused or who are exposed to their parents abusing each other are more likely to end up in an abusive relationship either as perpetrator or as victim…The second area is empowerment of women. Access to secondary education we know is protective, access to jobs, employment, other economical opportunities…The third area of intervention in terms of prevention is the issue of social norms. There are many countries in which this form of violence is seen as acceptable,” said Garcia-Moreno.

The World Health Organization notes talking about violence against women is taboo in many countries, and so the abuse continues.  It says awareness and open discussion of the problem is key to prevention.

New WHO guidelines stress the importance of training all levels of health workers to recognize when women may be at risk of partner violence and to know how to deal with the problem. It says the enactment and implementation of more and better laws are necessary to curb violence against women.

Mandela’s Care Spotlights S. Africa Healthcare Needs for Elderly

Mandela’s Care Spotlights S. Africa Healthcare Needs for Elderly

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s most famous senior citizen, Nelson Mandela, has spent nearly two weeks in a Pretoria hospital for a lung infection, and is receiving the best possible medical care, said President Jacob Zuma. But few others among South Africa’s rapidly growing elderly population are faring so well. Advocates for the elderly say the services for senior citizens have dramatically decreased in the last two decades.

At 94 years old, Nelson Mandela has received round-the-clock medical care for more than six months in the comfort of his large home in a leafy, wealthy Johannesburg suburb. By all accounts, the anti-apartheid hero is doted on by his staff, his family and by top South African officials.

Mandela is not the standard by which South Africa’s treatment of its weakest members should be judged, though, according to advocates for the elderly. Rather, they say, the nation’s growing elderly population is increasingly marginalized by a government that has focused its health care on the young.

Growing elderly population

South Africa’s elderly population is at an all-time high. The last census says about five percent of South Africans are over the age of 65. At the same time, nearly 30 percent of the population is younger than 15.

Monica Ferreira, who heads the International Longevity Center South Africa and is the former director of the Institute of Aging in Africa at the University of Cape Town, says one example of this tilt in care for the young is that the nation has just eight registered geriatric doctors.

“There were all these geriatric clinics all over the place, there were all these support groups for older people with hypertension and diabetes, there was geriatric community nursing. Now, in [19]94, all this was stopped.  All the geriatric nurses were re-deployed to vaccinate children and so on. So the government’s priorities changed totally. They wanted to bring down the infant mortality rate. They wanted to give children the best opportunities in life, in survival as well,” said Ferreira.

Multiple public health needs

Joe Maila, spokesman for the National Department of Health, said the government does care for its elderly population, but acknowledged that the department must perform triage when it comes to public health needs.

“We are not discriminating against them; despite that we don’t have necessarily a lot of doctors and what-not,” said Maila. “But it’s just that we have taken the issue of, for instance, the issue of HIV and AIDS, and, you see, we take it very seriously, that all the time we talk about it. And therefore that the people that are more vulnerable, the people who are more in trouble about it, are young people and women. It does not mean that we do not take care of the elderly. That is not true at all.”

Nursing professor Hester Klopper is CEO of the Forum for University Nursing Deans of South Africa. Klopper said the government’s policies for the elderly are excellent – but that the reality is far different. For example, she said, the elderly face long waiting times at understaffed clinics.

Mounting responsibilities

The elderly are traditionally revered in South African society. But in the past few decades, South Africa’s elderly have taken on a new role as they shoulder the responsibilities of a generation lost to AIDS. Many South African households are now headed by the elderly, and Klopper said it is common for children to be raised by their grandparents.

“So the older person is really caught in a very tight and a very difficult position in our country. There is no activism for them. They are almost silent,” she said. “And then, of course, the other part that we see is because of the older person that is so dependent on the grant that they get from government, they are very careful not to speak out against anything that government does.”

That is exactly what was encountered when approaching several elderly South Africans outside the nation’s largest health care complex, Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

A gentleman who gave his age as 64, but whose halting shuffle and missing teeth made him look much older, said he did not think the nation’s elderly were treated well. But he said he didn’t want to be seen as complaining about the government upon which he must rely.

So off he shuffled, alone, into the hospital.

American Medical Association: Obesity is a Disease

American Medical Association: Obesity is a Disease

A competitor prepares to audition for thereality television programme "Dance Your Ass Off", during which overweight or obese contestants hope to lose weight by dancing, in New York

A competitor prepares to audition for thereality television programme “Dance Your Ass Off”, during which overweight or obese contestants hope to lose weight by dancing, in New York

The largest U.S. doctors’ group said obesity is a disease. The decision, announced this week by the American Medical Association at its annual meeting, could lead to increased funding for obesity research and help people obtain insurance coverage for treatment for obesity.

The AMA said obesity requires a range of medical interventions for treatment and prevention. Most insurance companies do not cover visits to a nutritionist or doctor to treat obesity.

The U.S. obesity rate increased nearly 50 percent between 1997 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also said nearly 30 percent of American adults are obese and that childhood obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years.

The World Health Organization estimates that globally, at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.

Dr. Patrice Harris from the AMA said, “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”

Obesity is linked to cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. It also increases the risk for cancer.

Malaria Risk Spikes for World’s Poorest Children

Malaria Risk Spikes for World’s Poorest Children

Children living along the Thai-Burma border come to a malaria clinic in Sai Yoke district, Kanchanaburi Province, to get tested

Children living along the Thai-Burma border come to a malaria clinic in Sai Yoke district, Kanchanaburi Province, to get tested

LONDON — The poorest children in the world’s most impoverished communities are twice as likely to contract malaria as the least poor, according to a new study published in the Lancet medical journal Wednesday.

Researchers say the study, led by Britain’s Durham University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggests that alleviating poverty could protect children from malaria.

Durham University Professor Steve Lindsay, who led the research, says the study highlights a possible new approach to tackling the often fatal mosquito-borne disease.

“What is novel about this is thinking about malaria not just through getting bed nets out or better medicines,” Lindsay said. “But we can actually improve or reduce malaria by assisting development in these communities.”
Young girl with malaria rests in a clinic in South Sudanese state of Nothern Bahr el Ghazal.
The research published on Wednesday is based on an analysis of nearly 5,000 English-language studies published over the past three decades. Those studies were conducted in poor communities in Africa and Asia, focusing on children up to the age of 15.

The youngsters were ranked by several factors including family assets, such as whether they have access to a bicycle or radio, levels of education, and skill sets.

By linking levels of malaria to socio-economic status, the research finds that the poorest people are hit the hardest. As an example, Lindsay explains how inadequate housing impacts the spread of malaria.

“80 percent of malaria transmission occurs indoors at night,” he said. “So if you have a nice house where it is not so leaky, you have got screening on the doors, and you may have a ceiling, then you will get fewer mosquitos coming indoors.”

Other development factors also play a role, like eating a nutritious diet or having an education, which helps people make informed decisions about malaria prevention, said Lindsay.

The study is an attempt to unite the scientific and development communities, so that the two can work together to tackle malaria.

“We are being a wee bit provocative here with our hypothesis,” said Lindsay. “First of all, scientists need to look at what are the mechanisms for where development, in its broad sense, is protective. And then look at ways of intervening — better housing, better education, helping to improve the general welfare of communities and how that might impact and reduce malaria.”

More than 2.5 billion people are at risk of malaria. The disease is endemic in more than 100 countries around the world.

Mass Comm Dept organizes award ceremony for Aspiring Media Critics & Magazine Competition – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Mass Comm Dept organizes award ceremony for Aspiring Media Critics & Magazine Competition – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Mass Comm Dept organizes award ceremony for Aspiring Media Critics & Magazine Competition - Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Mass Comm Dept organizes award ceremony for Aspiring Media Critics & Magazine Competition – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

The Department of Mass Communication and FJS organized an award ceremony for Aspiring Media Critics & Magazine Competition on Friday 31 May 2013. The event was attended by Chairperson Mass Communication, faculty and students. Acting Vice Rector, Dr Sufian Aslam and Dean of Humanities, Dr Waseem Anwar were the guests of honor.

The Aspiring Media Critics class competition was specially designed to educate students to observe the messages in media and write critiques in context of the videos produced by the Media Education Foundation. The critiques covered a variety of subjects, including Public Opinion and Political Communication, Media, Violence and Conflict, Media and Gender, Social Media and Digital Communication, Commercialism and Media Merchandising. A number of magazines sent their entries for the magazine competition.

Fatima Masroor won the Aspiring Media Critics Competition while magazine, Mom to be won the Magazine Competition. Photography-based magazine ‘Exposure’ and cinema magazine, ‘Virtuoso’ shared the second position. Dr Sufian Aslam and Dr Waseem Anwar distributed letters of appreciation among the winners.

This year, give your Zakat to the cause of education – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

This year, give your Zakat to the cause of education – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

This year, give your Zakat to the cause of education - Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

This year, give your Zakat to the cause of education – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Through the gift of education, people can break the shackles of ignorance and poverty and build a life of respect for themselves and their families. The first ever verses revealed by Allah Almighty highlight the importance of education:

“Read: In the name of thy Lord Who createth,
Createth man from a clot.
Read: And thy Lord is the Most Bounteous,
Who teacheth by the pen,
Teacheth man that which he knew not”.

Sadly in our country this gift is a luxury that many cannot afford despite being talented and deserving. We at FCC have been serving the cause of education for almost 150 years. Our student body is financially as well as socially diverse and we pride ourselves on our merit standards.

We have a current student body of 6,323 where Muslim students comprise nearly 87% of this total number. With household average monthly incomes ranging from as low as zero to20,000 Rupees, a large number of these bright youths struggle to complete their education.

Your Zakat to FCC’s Zakat Fund (Certified) can help these Muslim students live a life of dignity as educated individuals.

Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, the poor and needy being the recipients. By giving your Zakat to the cause of educating needy students, you serve your community and improve not only that individual’s life but also his or her family’s future.


National Training Workshop on Application of Molecular Diagnostics – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

National Training Workshop on Application of Molecular Diagnostics – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

National Training Workshop on Application of Molecular Diagnostics - Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

National Training Workshop on Application of Molecular Diagnostics – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

The Department of Biological Sciences is organizing a three-day workshop on the Application of Molecular Diagnostics For Livestock Based Food Pathogens, from Wednesday 19 June to Monday 24 June 2013.

The organizing committee includes Dr Kauser Abdulla Malik, Dr Mashkoor Mohsin Gillani, Dr Muhammad Irfan, Dr Mian Wajahat Hussain and Dr Hamid Saeed. The speakers and trainers are Dr Mashkoor Mohsin Gillani and Dr Muhammad Irfan. The training is sponsored by the Endowment Fund Secretariat, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and FCC and is targeted at stakeholders in livestock-based industries, assistant disease investigation officers (AIDO), food inspectors, and personnel related to public health.

Prof Muhammad Ali presents paper at DW’s Media Dialogue on Pakistani Media – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Prof Muhammad Ali presents paper at DW’s Media Dialogue on Pakistani Media – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Prof Muhammad Ali presents paper at DW’s Media Dialogue on Pakistani Media - Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Prof Muhammad Ali presents paper at DW’s Media Dialogue on Pakistani Media – Forman Christian College FCC University FCCU Lahore

Professor Muhammad Ali of the Mass Communication Department, presented his research paper at the DW’s Media Dialogue on ‘Pakistan’s Media Landscape: The Effects of Liberalization’ in Bonn, Germany. The conference was opened by Prof Dr Chtistoph Schmidt, head of the DW Akademie, at the DW headquarters.

Deutsche Welle (DW) is Germany’s leading international broadcaster with its headquarters in the city of Bonn. In the light of his research, Prof Ali spoke about the trends and challenges the Pakistani media faces in a changed, post-liberalization era.

Reflecting on the history of the Pakistani media, Prof Ali differentiated his empirical findings on three broad lines–liberalization’s effects on the contents of TV programs and working of journalists; the challenges journalists face now and the future of TV in Pakistan. His presentation was well-received by an audience comprising academicians, media practitioners, public relations officials from foreign diplomatic missions and media students from various international universities and colleges. Prof Ali also visited various departments of the DW, including the department that deals with stories mainly originating from and relating to Pakistan. He had a detailed discussion with the DW journalists on various aspects of Pakistani media and DW’s reach in Pakistan.

Other distinguished speakers present at the conference talked about digital and social media, self-censorship, the media’s role in a Pakistan-US perspective and comparative reviews of significant events’ coverage, etc. Prof Dr Michael Krzeminski of the Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Bonn presented the concluding remarks.