Category Archives: Society

Engro Corporation — I Am The Change

“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (Quraan 13:11)

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Many of us are prone to complain and moan; about how our country is going in the doldrums the government is corrupt and inefficient, the people are uneducated, the roads are filthy, there is poverty all around, etc. However, very few realize that the change that they are seeking will come from none but themselves. Luckily for Pakistan there are many who decided to stop complaining and become agents of change.

In 2012, Engro Corporation launched a small initiative to recognize these true stalwarts of society who have worked tirelessly to improve access to education, health-care and livelihoods for Pakistan’s poorest of the poor.The initiative aims to collaborate with the corporate and the philanthropic sector of the country and help individuals and institutions who are pioneering initiatives to improve lives across the spheres of Livelihoods, Education and Health.

I Am The Change (IATC) celebrates those who decided it wasn’t enough to moan and groan but to start the rebuilding of our nation one brick at a time. These heroes would have served their causes without fame and recognition but to magnify these causes we need to highlight them, to support them, and to spread their deeds far and wide.

I had the opportunity to meet some of these heroes last year during a bloggers meet that Engro organized at T2F. This year, I was invited to the awards ceremony by Xenith Public Relations, along with very limited people from the Social Media community. I wish there had been more of Social Media representation at the dinner who could have spread the word far and wide through our collective ‘pens’.

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The event was an extravagant affair, some may even call it a bit over-indulgent. However, as a Trustee of a charitable trust (Ihsaas Trust), I understand to some extent why Engro wanted to splurge on it. The ugly truth is that money attracts money. The dinner was for the high and mighty of society, a bid to attract them and to get them to fill out pledge forms to support this cause of highlighting the heroes of society. And sadly those type of people don’t show up to eat daal chawal outside your local masjid. However, I still think the event could have been equally grand with a little less spent on decor, food and ‘shashkay’. For 10% saved off the cost of the event, we could change several lives at Ihsaas Trust or any of the IATC award winners.

This year’s recipients included the Azat Foundation in the category of education, working to provide education and youth empowerment opportunities to individuals from various areas of Baluchistan including Noshki, Kharan, Awaraan amongst others.

In the category of Livelihoods, the award was given to Orangi Pilot Project that continues to focus on urban development and works with the underprivileged in the arena of micro-finance and micro-enterprises, helping set up small businesses such as embroidery, footwear manufacturing and other small cottage industries reaching out to over 100,000 individuals through various projects. The winner in the category of Health was Child Life Foundation (CLF) — an NGO providing comprehensive child health care services from emergency care to prevention. CLF provides free medicines, essential oxygen systems, medical monitors and most importantly trains doctors and nurses to help save the lives of children at imminent risk reaching out to approximately 800 child-patients every day.

1 IATC May 20152 IATC May 2015 3 IATC May 2015 5 IATC May 2015

Previous winners of the IATC Awards in the various categories include organizations such as The Dream Foundation; The Garage School; Patients Welfare Association; Karachi Vocational & Training Centre; Child Aid Association; KhwendoKor (Peshawar); Akhuwat (Lahore).

CEVMK8yVAAAU1oTSpeaking at the occasion, Ali Ansari – outgoing President & CEO, Engro Corporation said, “We strongly believe in empowerment of communities by highlighting change agents who are working in high-impact areas such as education, health and livelihoods. Pakistan has a growing young population which will be in need of job opportunities. Coupled with the fact that half of the country cannot read or write and up to 25 million children not having access to school, the country is faced with an education, health and livelihood emergency. In this scenario it is imperative that we join hands to empower agents of change who are working to improve these social issues – IATC is a partnership platform that creates awareness and provides recognition to the unsung heroes from across Pakistan in order to support and multiply their efforts.”

The IATC platform also announced a major development in terms of cross partnerships with different corporate organizations of Pakistan which included Coca-Cola, Mitsubishi Corporation, National Foods, K-Electric amongst others. The winners of the competition were selected based on the scope of their social work; level of impact, number of beneficiaries and the ability to replicate the program amongst other key considerations.The IATC award entails a financial grant along with aiding the NGO in terms of its capacity & organizational development whilst also ensuring employee volunteerism activities.

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The evening included Ayesha Tammy Haq moderating a panel discussion with Ali Ansari and representatives from the corporate sponsors: Abrar Hassan from National Foods Limited, Kimihide Ando from Mitsubishi, and Zohair Sharif from Asiatic Public Relations representing Coca-Cola.

The one message that I found very useful from Ali Ansari’s speech was:

Corporations have slowly now realized that one solution that the world is looking for is Social Change. And that CSR is not just about lip service and throwing money at causes, but getting involved and really fostering change. Engro Corporation is on the right path with the I Am Change initiative. Let’s hope that more and more corporates join in to spark off a domino effect.

Outbreak of ‘Brain-eating Amoeba’ in Karachi – Information and Prevention FAQ

 

Health Alert!

Outbreak of ‘Brain-eating Amoeba’ in Karachi

 

This is in response to queries regarding the recent Out break of Neagleria fowleri also known as ‘Brain-eating amoeba‘ in Karachi. Following information is provided for your health and safety:

What is Naegleria?

Naegleria is an amoeba (single-celled living organism) commonly found in warm freshwater (for example, lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Only one species (type) of Naegleria infects people: Naegleria fowleri.

 

How does infection with Naegleria fowleri occur?

Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue. You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water.

Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water and contaminated tap water) enters the nose, for example when people submerge their heads or cleanse during religious practices (wuzu), and when people irrigate their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap water.

 

In what water temperature does Naegleria fowleri cause infection?

Naegleria fowleri is a heat-loving (thermophilic) microbe. It grows best at higher temperatures up to 115°F (46°C) and can survive for short periods at higher temperatures.

 

Can I get a Naegleria fowleri infection from a disinfected swimming pool?

No. You cannot get a Naegleria fowleri infection from a properly cleaned, maintained, and disinfected swimming pool.

 

When do Naegleria fowleri infections most commonly occur?

While infections with Naegleria fowleri are very rare, they occur mainly during the summer months of July, August, and September.

 

Can infection be spread from one person to another?

No. Naegleria fowleri infection cannot be spread from one person to another.

What are the symptoms of Naegleria fowleri infection?

Naegleria fowleri causes the disease primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. In its early stages, symptoms of PAM may be similar to symptoms of bacterial meningitis.

Initial symptoms of PAM start about 5 days (range 1 to 7 days) after infection. The initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within about 5 days (range 1 to 12 days).

 

What is the actual mechanism of death from Naegleria fowleri infection?

The infection destroys brain tissue causing brain swelling and death.

 

What is the fatality rate for an infected person who begins to show signs and symptoms?

The fatality rate is over 99%.

Is there effective treatment for infection with Naegleria fowleri?

It is not clear. Several drugs are effective against Naegleria fowleri in the laboratory. However, their effectiveness is unclear since almost all infections have been fatal, even when people were treated with similar drug combinations.

What should I do if I have been swimming or playing in freshwater and now think I have symptoms associated with Naegleria fowleri?

People should seek medical care immediately whenever they develop a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and vomiting, particularly if they have been in warm freshwater recently.

 

What swimming behaviors have been associated with Naegleria fowleri infection?

Behaviors associated with the infection include diving or jumping into the water, submerging the head under water or engaging in other water-related activities that cause water to go up the nose.

 

How can I reduce the risk of infection with Naegleria fowleri?

Swimming-related risk

  • Use chlorinated and boiled water.
  • Hold your nose shut, use nose clips, or keep your head above water when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
  • Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
  • Avoid swimming in waters where you suspect poor hygiene and insufficient chlorination.

Non-swimming-related risk

If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses (for example, Wuzu), use water that has been:

  • previously boiled for 1 minute and left to cool or
  • filtered, using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller or
  • purchased with a label specifying that it contains distilled or sterile water.

 

Courtesy:
Dr. Kamran Dawood
Consultant Microbiologist and
Head of Microbiology and Infection Control Department
Patel Hospital

Further Reference: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/general.html

 

Medical Disclaimer: This is general information provided for educational and awareness purposes. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

20 Ways to Reinforce Good Behavior in Children

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Cross Post by Erin Kurt

Why is it easier to say something to our kids when we’re angry at them than when they are doing what we want them to do?

Picture a lazy Sunday afternoon and you’re reading your favorite magazine while sipping a cup of tea. Your children are in the next room playing a game together, having a wonderful time and getting along famously. What are the chances that you would get up, walk to the next room and say, “It’s so nice to see you two having such a great time together”? Probably slim. Why? Because when we parents are happy and content ourselves, we aren’t particularly motivated to move from what’s making us content.

Now imagine that your children in the next room begin screaming and arguing. Your heart begins to beat faster, anger begins to swell inside you and thoughts like, “What is going on? Why can’t they just play nicely? I was having such a relaxing time by myself!” begin to run through your head. Now you are motivated – you are MAD! What are the chances of you getting up, stomping into the next room and yelling at the kids to, “Be quiet!”?

Unfortunately, the outcome of this “Speak only when we see negative behavior Syndrome” is that our kids mostly hear from us when we have something negative to say rather than positive feedback. They receive the message that they are just annoying to us.

The antidote? Positive verbal and non-verbal reinforcement.

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Here are 20 ways to show or tell your children that you appreciate their positive behaviors.

  1. “Thanks for wiping the kitchen counter so nicely”
  2. “I think you got ready for school in record time this morning!”
  3. “I loved how you persevered after getting frustrated with your homework tonight.”
  4. “I saw you on the soccer field. You played hard!”
  5. “It was so nice dining out with you tonight.”
  6. “Have I told you lately how much I appreciate how you keep your room so tidy?”
  7. Give a rub on the back after your child has done something you asked.
  8. Give your child a wink and a smile after they accomplish something difficult to show you are proud of them.
  9. Give your child a thumb or two thumbs up after you see him/her completing a task around the house.
  10. “Good job on that math test, Julie. I know you studied hard.”
  11. “I’m so proud of how you _______________.”
  12. “I’m so proud to call you my son/daughter.”
  13. Write a special note and put it in your child’s desk at school.
  14. Write a special note and put it in your child’s lunch bag.
  15. Smile at your child and stroke their hair after they have made a good choice about something.
  16. Buy a “just because” toy, game, or puzzle and attach a note or card expressing the reason you are giving the gift. Do they always hang up their coat which keeps your house tidy? Do they always finish their homework on time?
  17. “That puppy really likes you!”
  18. “Dad and I were so proud of the way you behaved tonight at our friend’s house. You were polite and tried to join in the conversation.”
  19. “Wow, how creative. I like how you used the color purple here”
  20. Leave a heart-shaped note in your child’s jacket pocket thanking him/her for a job well done on a task they always do around the house.

In order to remind themselves to use praise, some parents find it helpful to make a note and put it where they can see it often. The note might read, “notice the positive” or “catch ’em doing good.”.

Catch your kids being good. It will have a profound effect on the atmosphere in your home. Whatever it takes, I assure you it will be worth it.

How do you reinforce the behavior in your household? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of ErinParenting.com and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. Erin has also recently launched the Stress-Free Parenting Club, a private, exclusive club for women. For other great tips and to receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit http://www.erinparenting.com.



Help the Children’s Cancer Hospital Karachi buy blood bank equipment

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54776 I received the following email request from the Children’s Cancer Hospital for help in fundraising for the purchase of equipment required in setting up their own blood bank.

Dear All
Alhamdolillah, we are establishing our own blood bank at CCH. Pakistan Baitul Mal and SSGC has recently helped us in getting main equipments. We are in need of some more equipments. Plz find the attached list of required equipments highlighted in yellow. I would appreciate if we can find the donors for these equipments. Looking forward for your help.
Kind regards

Blood Bank Equipment-1

Those interested in donating please contact me via email or inbox me on Facebook.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EQUIPMENT CAN NOT BE BOUGHT FROM ZAKAT MONEY.

 

UPDATE:

Alhamdulillah I have been informed that the team has received donations to cover all the equipment.  You can still help the hospital by donating to their efforts.

PPMA Circular regarding PIC case and the effect on Pharmaceutical exports from Pakistan

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PPMA Circular No. 016/2012PPMA-logo

February 10, 2012

To:        All Member Companies of PPMA

LETTER FOR THE EMBASSIES

Dear Members,

As you may already know regarding the unfortunate deaths reported at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in the past few weeks.  We, the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA), the representative body of the Pakistan pharma industry have been shocked by this tragedy and have full sympathies with the affected families.  We have been having contacts and meetings with the authorities and also with the technical personnel in our member companies all over Pakistan.  The main purpose of the contacts and meetings was to

1. To ascertain the facts

2. To review the Quality Assurance/ Quality Control and cGMP guidelines and SOPs for validation.

These measures would be vital to prevent any further mishap of this nature.

Coming now to the facts; the samples were sent to the government labs as well as independent labs in the UK and Belgium.  So far we have seen reports of one batch from a particular company being contaminated.  However, we are unable to share the details as the matter is subjudice as the Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken Suo Moto notice of the entire matter.

We would like to mention here that due to lot of hype created by the media, panic has been created in the public’s mind that all locally produced medicines are spurious and sub-standard.  We started getting enquiries from the foreign buyers of our medicines, asking our manufacturers to clarify the matter.  In at least two cases, the orders have been cancelled by the foreign buyers.  We held press conference in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad where we stated the facts of the matter with a view of restraining the media not to spread the misinformation campaign as it would shatter the trust that the National pharma industry has built in the public over several decades, and would lead to its collapse, paving way for counterfeits to fill the vacuum that would be created in the market.  The National pharma industry is exporting to over 60 countries and the total exports are around USD 170 million.  40% of the leading brands of medicines marketed by MNCs in Pakistan are manufactured by National companies under contract manufacturing. This is reflective of the quality manufacturing of the National industry and the trust reposed in it.  We would like to mention that the exported drugs also undergo stringent quality control checks in their respective importing countries (case in point, Afghanistan where all batches are quarantined for 15 days by their Ministry of Health and then released for marketing after QC clearance), suggesting additional safeguards for the patients.

Incidence like this one, though unfortunate, happens even in developed markets and big MNCs have recalled contaminated batches, after deaths were reported.  We strongly feel that the entire industry’s image should not be damaged because of once in a lifetime incident like this one.

We hope that we have been able to give our viewpoint, and would like to assure you that the PPMA is doing whatever it can to prevent such an occurrence in the future.  Our members have already started the process of re-validation in their manufacturing process.  We seek your understanding and support in the matter.

Thanks and regards

Riaz Hussain

Executive Director/ Secretary General PPMA

c.c.      Mr. Tariq Ikram, Acting Chairman PPMA

           Mr. Muhammad Asad, Chairman PPMA (on leave)

PIC case gets a new twist | Efroze Chemicals ISOTAB was not prescribed to most of the victims – Mubashir Luqman

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Free medicine at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) becomes a death sentence. 130 plus deaths. Political mud-slinging. Conspiracy theories. Spurious accusations. Pakistan’s pharmaceutical industry in trouble. Catch up on the news first then read on.

Now that you are up-to-date on this bizarre story here’s a new twist! (Forward to around the 27 second mark)

What’s that now? Mubashir Luqman is on Dunya TV saying Efroze Chemical’s ISOTAB, the alleged killer drug, was not even prescribed to most of the PIC patients who died? Yes read that again. ISOTAB may not have been prescribed to those who died. Wait wasn’t the anti-malarial inadvertently added to ISOTAB conclusively responsible as the cause of death? Talha bin Ayub wrote a few days back in a guest blog on Teeth Maestro that things don’t add up medically and that a overdose from the anti-malarial can be reversed also.

We need to step back and really investigate this whole incident properly without political circuses or lynch mobs baying for blood. For the sake of the 130 plus who passed away. For the sake of the thousands that may die in the future if this entire episode is not used to structure the pharmaceutical industry, to build in safeguards, to strengthen our institutions, and to protect our people.

What do you think of this entire episode and these new developments?

The BIG Secret to Getting Your Kids to Behave

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Ever wonder why some days your kids just seem to test you, rebel against you or resist everything you ask of them? That happened to me a couple of days ago and I want to share with you how I resolved this issue.
My family has been on holidays for the past two weeks. Due to a variety of life circumstances, my hubby and I were in need of a huge break from regular life. So, the fact that we had grandparents around, ready and willing to look after our kids so that we could sleep in and generally do what we wanted without the kids, felt like a blessing. The problem? We forgot one of the most basic rules of good parenting.
Let me step back a bit before I go into that. You see, when I say that my hubby and I were sleeping in and doing what we wanted I also must add that personally, I just wanted to be on my own, without the kids. This may sound harsh because anyone who knows me knows that I adore my kiddies and I love spending time with them. However, the freedom of reading what I wanted and relegating all responsibility to my parents was kind of a nice break for a few days. For example, while we were out for a family walk I was holding my son’s hand yet my back started hurting a bit because my son was walking slower than me which made my back twist every time I took a step. So, I let his hand go and said, “Go hold daddy’s hand, my back hurts.” After a day of me unconsciously pushing him away I began to see some undesirable results.
That night, everything my husband and I asked him to do he resisted. He even used a snarky tone and said, “No, I won’t do that!” which is COMPLETELY out of character for him. What usually worked with him was not working and the resistance grew more and more as the night progressed. In fact, the evening ended with me putting the story book down at night and saying, “No story tonight. You’ve really disappointed me” and him crying.
Although this is difficult to share, as it is so unlike me (and him) I felt it important to share because this sometimes happens with the parents I coach. Everything is going great and then BOOM! Negative behaviour or resistance appears and they think their luck has run out and now this stage or age is going to be the difficult one. Until… I coach them on this important point.

 Parent-Quality Time

Children’s main desire is to feel loved, and there are four ways that they feel loved.

 

They are:

  1. Focused attention
  2. Physical Contact
  3. Eye Contact
  4. Discipline

During those couple of days, I had basically removed all focused attention, physically let go of his hand, and didn’t give much eye contact except to discipline him. Are you beginning to solve that problem I asked earlier? Wow! You must be a parenting coach! No, you see? Parenting isn’t rocket science. It’s just about knowing a few specific things, being reflective and then taking action.
After my husband and I reflected on my son’s behaviour, we realized that WE needed to step up and change a few things. So, the next morning my hubby got up when our son did and connected with him. Not in a major way, just asked him questions and showed interest in what he was talking about. Then I woke up, came over to him, looked him right in the eye to say, “Good Morning, Sweetie” while I rubbed his hair (there’s that physical contact!) and then proceeded to interact naturally with him and the rest of our family. Later that morning, we told him we were going to go to our friend’s house so we all had to get ready. The day before he would have refused, but today he was willing.
After we got dressed we walked to the car and I asked him, “Can I hold your hand?” His response? “Of course you can, Mommy!” While we walked in silence he then snuggled into me, kissed my hand, and said, “Mmm… cozy!”
Our son was amazing and polite the rest of the day and that evening I left his room the way we usually do. Then, the child who is usually too shy/reserved to go up and kiss people came out of his room and to each of us (grandma and grandpa included) asked if we would like a kiss! For him to do this on his own was shocking as it’s out of his comfort zone for sure.
Some parents might say, that’s it? That’s really ALL you did and his behaviour turned around? Yes. It really doesn’t take that much for kids to feel loved and WANT to intrinsically be have, be polite and be happy. They will show you they aren’t getting what they need from you by acting out. There is ALWAYS a reason.
So, the next time you notice your kids acting abnormally different or worse, take some time to reflect and see if your children are truly feeling loved using the 4 criteria above then watch the way things can just “magically” change.

 

Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of ErinParenting.com and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. video series and receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit http://www.erinparenting.com.


 

 


This article is taken from another source. Views expressed in this article are those of the author and may or may not be the views of From The Pulpit and DiscoMaulvi. To submit content for From The Pulpit, please email FromThePulpit [at] MuhammadAly [dot] Com.

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