Category Archives: Books by ZM

The SIUT Story — Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible launched

By Shazia Hasan

guest-contributorKARACHI, June 14: “I was only following my emotions but she had the backing of research and proper data before asking me to explain how exactly I intended to offer free treatment to my patients. I was at a loss,” recalled Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi at the launch of The SIUT Story — Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible while referring to its author Zubeida Mustafa at the Mohatta Palace Museum here on Friday.

“When we started our free dialysis work, she was back on the request of her editor at Dawn newspaper, Ahmad Ali Khan sahib, firing more questions that I didn’t have the answers to,” he shared.

“Our first kidney transplant was done quietly. We kept it from the media and when she found out, she was mad at us for being so secretive,” he laughed, adding that then it was Mrs Mustafa herself who also helped guide them on ethical things and how to tackle the issue of tissue transplantation, etc.

“Thank you for writing this book, which immortalises our philosophy that every human being has the right to healthcare and dignity,” Dr Rizvi said.

Senior journalist Ghazi Salahuddin said that he knows Dr Rizvi from the time when he was a young student at DJ Science College actively involved in students’ union. “He still believes in the dreams he had back then,” he said.

Praising the author of the book, he said that Mrs Mustafa came to Dawn from an academic background. “Not just this book but all her well thought out writings over the years are the product of extensive research and data collection,” he said.

“It is great that she could do this for SIUT now. The book is like a revolution in a society where there is no value of life leave alone the concept of human dignity,” he added.

Former Karachi commissioner Shafiq Paracha called Dr Rizvi’s passion to help people gain health regardless of their being rich or poor or belonging to any religion or belief “Divine Madness”.

He narrated an incident from former President Pervez Musharraf’s time when Dr Rizvi’s name came up for health minister and the doctor was determined to make the government officials drop the idea. “He took us on a round of the hospital trying to explain how much he was needed there only until one of us understood that it wouldn’t be wise to spoil one kind of good to start another,” said Mr Paracha.

“Dr Rizvi is that island of hope which balances our society,” he added.

About the author, he said that he was grateful to her for introducing us to the people who make the “impossible possible”.

Finally, Mrs Mustafa said that in Karachi where losing lives had become a common occurrence there was the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation that is dedicated to saving lives. “It gives us hope. It had to be celebrated,” she commented.

She said, “I am glad that I wrote this book now after doing so much research on this place. The research I did over the years has helped settle all my doubts about its running. It is not just any charity hospital. It is a model hospital and the philosophy behind it can help build other such institutions.

“Being part of the public sector, there is also no element of commercialism attached to it. The treatment offered at the SIUT boasts foreign standards. The technology brought here from the West is also adjusted to local needs. It is laudable that they started from eight beds and have become what they are today through need-based extensions.

“The experts at the SIUT were just normal people who received proper training before putting it to good use. Foreign experts come here as well to train the doctors here. They also treat the patients at the hospital. It is compassion of the people working here that has raised the value of humanity at SIUT. But this team works so well because it has a great leader,” she said gesturing towards Dr Rizvi.

Meanwhile, it was suggested that an Urdu edition of the book also be brought out so that it can reach a bigger readership. Mrs Mustafa said that she would consider the suggestion.

Source: Dawn

Pakistan’s healthcare history: a unique chapter

guest-contributorBy A.B. Shahid

June 15, 2013
When devotion overtakes every other consideration what one ends up doing is setting an example that inspires others to follow suit with even greater zeal. The story of Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplant (SIUT), very ably and comprehensively narrated by renowned journalist Zubeida Mustafa in her book entitled “The SIUT story”, too is about the admirable devotion and commitment of those who run the SIUT.

What is particularly commendable about the book is its coverage of every aspect of SIUT with relevant details. Besides, the book is a ‘must read’ for all physicians, surgeons and hospital attendants because it gives them important message – humanity must be served without any distinction, and the most deserving are the poverty-stricken; serving them is the route to salvation and Professor Adibul Hassan Rizvi is a living example thereof.

How in 1972, an eight-bed unit of the Civil Hospital, Karachi was transformed into SIUT – an internationally recognised medical centre – is the story of a remarkable struggle that succeeded because of the commitment of Dr Rizvi and his team, to serving humanity, especially the down-trodden, and at the same time steadily raising the standards of care in many fields besides the delicate area of kidney-related illnesses.

The book highlights in detail the success of SIUT, given a historic background wherein healthcare never got the importance it deserved in a country like Pakistan that has the reputation of having one of the world’s highest rates of population growth. The book begins, and very rightly so, by summarising this sad track record to show how inspite thereof SIUT made the ‘impossible’ possible.

The author sums up the philosophy of SIUT very well when she says “The idea is to be as self-sufficient as much as possible and provide the institution with state-of-the-art technology without any ostentation.” That’s why there are no private wards in the SIUT, nor do its senior doctors have private offices. This profile has been hugely helpful in SIUT benefiting from the world’s top-ranking medical institutions, physicians, and surgeons.

Organ donation is imperative for transplant, which can be exploited as an irreligious act by those who place saving lives – the prime human obligation – at a low priority. SIUT was able to pre-empt such a disastrous move back in 1998 by obtaining legal and religious support for it when the father of a diseased young man set a great tradition by deciding to donate the organs of his son to give the ‘gift of life’ to those who needed them.

This great act and many thereafter, provided the beginning for SIUT’s transplant service in which it made great strides and has now become a world renowned institution. This initiative convinced institutions abroad about the sincerity, commitment and futuristic approach of the team at SIUT in reaching new heights in medicare and making it a truly humane service.

The support SIUT receives from global medical experts has been dealt with extensively by the author giving both the details of the experts from the US to Australia helping SIUT, and their very encouraging assessment of the services the SIUT offers, as well as its achievements in this context. Some of the messages coming from top-notch medical specialists assure you that not everything is wrong with Pakistan’s medical services.

Encouraged up by global support and the commitment of its physicians, surgeons and paramedical staff, SIUT now offers a variety of treatments and therapies including dialysis, endoscopy, oncology, nephrology, ultrasound, haematology, renal failure, lithotripsy, prostrate surgery, organ transplant, and more and has elaborate diagnostic expertise and requisite technologies therefor.

The ability to offer a variety of therapies is rooted in a knowledge sharing base – teachers, laboratories and libraries – building which has been an ongoing task. Besides setting up teaching facilities, a library with over 5,000 books and subscribing to 125 medical journals, a landmark was the setup of Zainul Abideen Institute of Medical Technology. In 2009, HEC too recognised SIUT as a degree awarding education institution.

In spite of all the negatives that Pakistan has been suffering from, SIUT has earned global recognition as a forum for global conferences. In 1994, SIUT organised the first International Symposium on Urology, Nephrology and Transplant. Since then SIUT has been hosting international conferences that are attended and addressed by renowned foreign medical experts, and add to the knowledge-base of SIUT’s team.

Besides medical treatment, SIUT has set up the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Culture (CBEC) – a forum of physicians and sociologists devoted to designing the core values of the profession. Until CEBC’s setup, in Pakistan the need for institutionalising a forum to define and impose ethical practices in the medical profession was not realised. CEBC now holds regular sessions for physicians as well as for visiting students.

Education programmes and publications of the CBEC forum led to global recognition of this centre, and Dr Farhat Moazam and Dr Aamir Jafery of the CBEC were elected to global forums on biomedical ethics. More importantly, CBEC also helped the WHO Task Force on this subject in upgrading its global guidelines on organ transplantation – no small achievement for a Pakistani institution.

The author has allocated a chapter to the role played by donors, both big and small, without whose help SIUT could not become what it is, given the consistent inadequate funding of the health services by the state. Among institutional donors, the first to begin contributing back in 1980 was the Bank of Credit & Commerce Int’l Foundation (now called the Infaq Foundation), under the leadership of the late Agha Hassan Abedi.

Besides many reputed contributors special reference is made to Suleman Dawood, the Haroon family, the Cowasjee Foundation, and to Dewan Farooq who financed the setting up of Zainul Abideen Institute of Medical Technology. Then there are thousands of donors in Pakistan and abroad who regularly donate sums to the SIUT besides helping in acquisition of medical equipment.

This wide scale of public support is the manifestation of the peoples’ confidence in the way SIUT is run by Dr Rizvi and his team. To institutionalise the recording, accounting and appropriate use of donor funds, back in 1986, SIUT had established the Society for the Welfare of Patients of Urology and Transplant, which is overseen by an independent Board of Governors.

The book concludes with comprehensive indices about virtually every aspect of SIUT services, expert opinions thereon, SIUT’s connections and affiliations and, very rightly, also includes a roll of honour listing the many national and international awards bestowed upon Dr Rizvi and his team of able physicians, surgeons and paramedical staff who performed with unmatched commitment and devotion to serve humanity.

Source: Business Reorder

Tyranny of Language in Education comes under discussion

By Zubeida Mustafa

The recently launched book, “Tyranny of Language in Education” by Zubeida Mustafa (published by Ushba Publishing) has created an interest in the subject. On Monday 20 June, 2011 FM 105 broadcast a programme on the subject in which anchorperson Tahseen Fatema talked to Mehtab Rashdi, Asif Noorani and Zubeida Mustafa on this subject. We present the talk here. Continue reading Tyranny of Language in Education comes under discussion

Book Review: Tyranny of Language in Education

By Zohra Yusuf
Source: Newsline

The Language Divide

When the Bengali language movement started, leading to the killing of students on February 21, 1952, no one – and certainly not the establishment in West Pakistan – thought that in the second decade of the 21st century, this date would begin to be commemorated by the UN as International Mother’s Language Day. Bengalis have been known to be passionate about their mother tongue. But apart from the passion, perhaps they realised early on that language is an instrument of power and control. Consequently, they rejected vociferously, Governor-General Jinnah’s decision to make ‘only Urdu’ the national language of Pakistan. It’s also worth noting that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, experienced his first arrest at the hands of Pakistani authorities when, as a student, he led a protest following Jinnah’s ill-conceived public speech in Dhaka.
Continue reading Book Review: Tyranny of Language in Education

Education facing ‘tyranny of language’

By Imtiaz Ali
Source: The News

‘Be not the slave of words’ was the advice given by Scottish literary Thomas Carlyle over a century ago, and can be applied to Pakistan today with respect to language in education. Be not the slave of language or rather, be not under the tyranny of language, was the topic of discussion at Saturday’s launch of Zubeida Mustafa’s latest book “Tyranny of language in education, the problem and its solution”, at the Karachi Press Club.

During the event, speakers critiqued the dominance of the English language in Pakistan’s prevailing education system.

Senior journalist and writer Zubeida said that education essentially played the role of equaliser in terms of opportunities, but in Pakistan it was reinforcing the division of society.
Continue reading Education facing ‘tyranny of language’

Book launch: ‘Teach children in their mother language, build their self-confidence’

By Mahnoor Sherazee
Source: Tribune

After extensive research and a great deal of groundwork, Mustafa launched her book ‘Tyranny of Language in Education: The Problem and its Solution’.

Author: Zubeida Mustafa. Photo Credit: Athar Khan / Express

KARACHI: Are we restricting our children’s cognitive development by teaching them in a foreign language in primary schools? Dawn columnist Zubeida Mustafa certainly believes so.

After extensive research and a great deal of groundwork, Mustafa launched her book ‘Tyranny of Language in Education: The Problem and its Solution’ at the press club on Saturday.

“In education, the medium of instruction is not given enough importance whereas cognitive development is closely related to language,” she told The Express Tribune. “Using English as that medium right from the start, in primary school, is harmful to that relationship.”
Continue reading Book launch: ‘Teach children in their mother language, build their self-confidence’

Education in mother tongue stressed

Source: Dawn

KARACHI, May 28: An impassioned discussion on the subject of education was witnessed at a seminar held at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday. The event was part of the launch of a book titled Tyranny of language in education: the problem and its solution by Zubeida Mustafa.

Dr Aquila Ismail, a former teacher of the NED university, in her introductory remarks to the book and its contents said language was a medium of communication and the thought process was related to the language in which a child dreamed.
Continue reading Education in mother tongue stressed

INTERVIEW: “Parents want education for their children but feel helpless.”

Source: InpaperMagzine,Dawn
What is the education sector’s biggest failure?

It has failed to teach our children the value of human life and dignity as well as to impart economic skills to the majority. Most significantly, it has proved to be the dividing factor that has stratified society.

How can we fix this?

Revamp education. Remove inequities. Focus on the teaching — what you teach, how you teach and in which language you teach.
Continue reading INTERVIEW: “Parents want education for their children but feel helpless.”

Possible solutions

A major achievement in the study of the failure of our language and education policies
By Dr Tariq Rahman
Source: Jang

Tyranny of Language
in Education:
The Problem and its Solution
By Zubeida Mustafa
Publisher: Ushba Publishing, 2011
Pages: 234
Price Rs. 200

Like many concerned Pakistanis, Zubeida Mustafa has been worried about the unjust and dysfunctional education system of the country. Unlike most of us, however, she started investigating the phenomenon and wrote a series of
Continue reading Possible solutions

non-fiction: The language disconnect

Reviewed by Murtaza Razvi
Source: InpaperMagzine, Dawn

The timing of this book is very appropriate given the parliament’s passage last year of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives the provinces more say in their own affairs. Zubeida Mustafa forcefully argues for the adoption of a language policy that acknowledges the many languages, seven major ones, that are spoken in Pakistan and have their majority speakers concentrated in respective geographical locations.

So far only Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has taken the initiative to implement mother-tongue teaching in schools as the first and compulsory language. Being a multi-lingual province, not very unlike the other provinces, the proposal is to teach Pushto, Hindko, Seraiki, Khwar and Kohistani in respective districts where speakers of these languages form a majority. The initiative is so equitable and democratic that it would please everyone concerned and needs to be emulated by the other provinces.

The book relies heavily on research to arrive at the conclusion drawn by experts, universally, that small children are best taught in their mother tongue. There are various recommendations coming from many experts in the field, including Pakistani and international scholars and concerned institutions, to back up the argument that runs through the book.

Naturally all vary as to at what point should a second or a third language be introduced; however, experts agree that at the nursery and kindergarten level children should only be exposed to their mother tongue, or the predominant language in the child’s environment, as the medium of instruction.

Detailed recommendations of a British Council report for school teaching in Pakistan prepared by Hywel Coleman and those by Dr Tariq Rahman are included in the book. These are then augmented by the author’s own recommendations as a third option. In Pakistan the anomalies in the education system are many but policy makers have done little to address them. The writer points out, in conjunction with experts on the subject, that apathy on the part of policy makers is due to the fact that they belong to a social class whose children will never go through the public school system but most likely attend elite English medium schools.

Herein also lies much controversy, as the writer points out the very anomaly of running two parallel education systems where English medium schools remain the choice of the elite and Urdu and Sindhi medium schools the only options available to the rest of Pakistanis. Those attending the elite schools may be well versed in global knowledge and have better English-language skills but they remain generally alienated from their own mother tongue (and even Urdu) as well as their country and culture in many cases.

As for the vast majority that goes through the public school system, the quality of the syllabi taught there hardly prepares them for practical life. Their less than good proficiency in English, which remains the criterion for securing gainful employment, handicaps them. Zubeida Mustafa and Zakia Sarwar, the latter a prominent teacher specialising in teaching English language, are of the opinion that teaching English at the primary level does not show desirable results because in public schools “poor teachers will teach poor English.”

The book is academically well researched, and a solid attempt at kindling the much needed debate on the use of native languages as the medium of instruction, starting at the primary level. As pointed out by the author, acknowledgement of ethnic and religious pluralism that exists in Pakistani society will only strengthen the state and its institutions. Imposition of tyrannical measures laced with a heavy dose of ideology in the name of national unity denies the diversity that exists in
the citizens’ identities, and which they guard jealously.

Tyranny of Language in Education:
The Problem and its Solution
By Zubeida Mustafa
Ushba Publishing, Karachi
ISBN 978-969-9154-22-5
234pp. Rs200