Monthly Archives: January 2007

Missing factors in health education

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE good news from the medical sector is that Dr Azhar Faruqui, the enterprising director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Karachi, has taken the initiative to establish a paediatric cardiology unit at the NICVD.

This will be the first of its kind in Karachi. Lahore already has one such unit. Until now, infants needing cardiac surgery did not have many choices and many of them went abroad for simple corrective surgical procedures if their lives were to be saved.

Some medical professionals resent it that patients are taken to India when similar procedures can be performed here. But the fact is that the facilities here are very limited. Recently, Shabina, who runs the Garage School for children of the katchi abadis in Clifton and also arranges for the healthcare of her students and their families when needed, took Maxwell Happy, aged 14 months, to Chennai for a congenital heart problem that needed corrective surgery. Doctors in Karachi had refused treatment saying they did not have the post-operative care facilities to perform the operation on such a young child.

It is therefore heartening for children like Maxwell that the NICVD will be setting up a unit for paediatric cardiology. Dr Azhar Faruqui told media representatives that he plans hiring the services of foreign surgeons and anaesthesiologists for the paediatric unit.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education, Health |

War as Eqbal Ahmad saw it

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

EQBAL AHMAD, the academic, writer and activist, died over seven years ago. But even today, in the words of the American intellectual activist, Noam Chomsky, it is a “fascinating experience” to view major events of the past half century through his (Eqbal Ahmad’s) discerning eye”.

The Columbia University Press has facilitated this exercise by publishing The Selected Writings of Eqbal Ahmad (produced in Pakistan by Oxford University Press).
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Leave a comment | Posted in International Politics, War and Peace |

Teaching in mother tongue

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

NADIA is a bright and intelligent child of eight. Her mother — a housemaid — has a dream. She wants to educate her children so that they can lift themselves out of the grinding poverty that has been their parents’ lot. Happily that is what President Pervez Musharraf says he also wants. But probably, he does not have a clue as to how to go about it.

Take Nadia’s case. She attends a private school (charging a monthly fee of Rs300) near her home in a low income locality of Karachi. With her mother’s help she has learnt to read and write Urdu fluently. I talked to her about the moon and the stars and explained the concepts of tens and units – in Urdu. She understood what I told her perfectly since this is a language she is familiar with. That night she even went out in the courtyard to explore the celestial bodies.
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1 Comment | Posted in Education, Language |

Armed to the teeth, yet insecure

Reviewed By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn THERE was a time when wars were fought by standing armies on the battlefield. If a state had a sufficient number of well-trained soldiers with high morale who were well-armed with the best weapons … Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Book Reviews, Defence and Disarmament, Social Issues |