Category Archives: health

Photo of the Day: City Surrounded by Sacrificial Animals as Eid-ul-Azha comes near

The city is not just surrounded by, but also filled with sacrificial animals. It has traders roaming free all over the city to sell their animals.

sacrifical

Photo via The News

‘Dingi’ (Dengue) Fever in Lahore

Prof Farakh A Khan

According to WHO (1999) 2.5 billion people are at risk of dengue virus infection in 200 countries. Before 1970 only nine countries had dengue fever. The mortality is about 5%, which can be reduced to 1% with proper treatment in the hospital. Dengue viral infection has become the leading public health problem.

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention USA dengue infection places more than 1/3rd population of the world at risk. Every year 100 million people get infected.

The first case of dengue virus in Pakistan was reported in 1996 and incidence started to rise in 2003-2004 (Shahid, Jamal. Govt blames lifestyle for dengue spread. Dawn. September 22, 2011). The dengue viral attack reached epidemic proportions in Lahore during the summer of 2011. The number of people down with dengue viral infection in Lahore can only be a vague conjecture since we have no system to collect reliable statistics. Our rough estimate is that more than 100,000 people in Lahore have so far been infected if the recorded deaths are to be relied upon. There have been 98 reported deaths allegedly due to dengue haemorrhagic fever in Lahore (Nine more die of dengue in Lahore. OC. The News. September 24, 2011).

First let us analyse what the Pakistani papers have been feeding us in this regard. Continue reading

A Green Thought

by Amna Kausar

Amna Kausar is a candidate for the degree of BSc (Hons) majoring in Environmental Science and currently studying in her final semester. She works as a programme officer in a Lahore-based NGO.

My colleague and I were sitting together one day, obviously working, and the topic under discussion was my ‘so-called’ and ‘irrelevant’ passion for achieving ‘Environmental Sustainability’, not just in my own country, but around the globe i.e. a World of Intelligent Fools. It is sad when people like me, who are definitely few in number, come to terms with the fact that not many people possess the competence to envision our vision. They seem staggered and actually horrified at it. And what exactly is our vision? A Greener and Resourceful Planet! Ah, Thank-you, but No Thank-you!

Heading back to what this colleague was trying to say, in his highly ill-informed and juvenile manner, was that why the ignorant and unenlightened individuals of Pakistan (including himself) would not comprehend how important it was to cut off those trees situated at the Lahore Canal Road so that it could be widened for traffic control. For a minute I thought I could just punch him in his face, not because I was sensitive about this Road Widening Project, but because of the supremely ‘casual’ manner he employed in saying ‘Cut off those trees’. I did not visibly do it, so I stopped clicking my computer mouse, and thought of how to go about this important dialogue.

Only recently, I had got myself in a not-so-very hot debate on Face-book with an acquaintance about an article that I had posted on my profile relating to the notorious ‘Lahore Canal Road Widening Project’. Although, the man had solid points to put forth, I have to say how also extraneous they were.

So I got back to my colleague and asked him whether he knew what trees did for us and the Earth. He said: ‘Duh! They provide Oxygen!’ I had to come back with: ‘Oh! And do you breathe in Helium?’ He looked offended but managed to smile. All I could say to him was that it is humbly requested to him to look for the importance of trees on the internet.

This man and many others like him need to be informed that by chopping off those trees along the canal, they will only rob the city of its lungs! This project is worth Rs. 3.5 billion. Please think twice about Pakistan’s current situation. An amount as huge as this to be spent on a mere 8 percent population of Lahore that owns vehicles is certainly ‘not’ something that we can afford. What about the rest of the 92 percent? Should they move to Planet Mars?

A recent course lecture reminds me of a factual account that we, the intelligent fools of the world, are facing the situation of ‘Environment’ against ‘Development’. Sure, go ahead with Development. Just be a little concerned with its definition and proper implementation. It is amazing to know that the government has a good budget to spend on this Road Widening Project. Will it be a crime to think about the 92 percent I mentioned above and develop an efficient Public Transport System for them? I mean, we are a poor nation for sure and we need to do something about it.

Those trees are Lahore’s cultural possessions. We have not got much left in our pockets that we start stripping our country with its little left beauty. Grave environmental dangers are already forecasted including rise in temperatures and loss of biodiversity. There is utterly no water resource management and we are very close to wars on the issue.

Why are we so blind?

Lahore High Court issues notices to 28 water supply companies

Raza Rumi

I am posting this news item from the Daily Times. Thank God that we have the judges taking stock of the critical issues facing the public. The unregulated and greedy companies are selling sub standard water, medicines and milk. W urge the Court to pursue this matter in public interest and get to the point of achieving ‘complete justice’ .

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar of the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued show cause notices to 28 bottled and mineral water supply companies in Punjab that have not had their licences renewed for the last two years. The judge also asked the companies to explain why their units should not be closed and granted one-month to those companies which had licences expired in 2009. The judge also directed that his orders be conveyed to all water bottling Continue reading

Lahore now the most polluted city in Pakistan?

Road PollutionSo much for “development”, so much for the overpasses, the underpasses, the Foodstreets, Jashn-e-Baharan, the Lahore Road, Rehabilitation Project, all of the PHA’s many “efforts”, beautification and so on.  So much for it.  Lahore is now the most polluted city in Pakistan.  Surely someone should accept the fact that the medicine is killing the patient.

The newspaper article below is also an indictment of the thoughtless commercialization policies that have fuelled commercial and industrial activity within the city and, often, even in quiet residential areas.  It’s an indictment of how inequitable our cities are becoming; and how anti-public space and anti-people they have become.  Arif Hasan has called Karachi an “unethically planned city.” Given the short-sighted pursuit we give to the notion of a “World Class City”, I think Lahore is fast earning the same moniker.

Industrialisation, mounting pollution threaten Lahore

Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Ali Raza (The News http://tiny.cc/hQxLT)

LAHORE: Rapidly increasing industrialization and commercialisation has turned the provincial metropolis — once known as the City of Gardens — into one of the most polluted cities in the country.

Even residential localities are not safe from increasing trends of commercialization and industrialization because many industrial zones, which were established some years ago outside the city, are now situated right in middle of the City.

Light and heavy industrial units have been established in various city localities i.e. Misri Shah, Baghbanpura, Mughalpura, Daroghewala, Bhagat Pura, Chah Miran, Shadbagh and other localities along the Bund Road and GT Road. These industries include steel foundries, steel re-rolling mills, kilns, steel furnaces, scrap yards, plastic recycling industry, marble grinding, furniture making and several other kinds of cottage industries. All of these industries are spreading different types of pollutions especially air, noise, vibration and heat.
Continue reading

Critical Mass Lahore, July 2009

Critical Mass -II
It’s time for Critical Mass July 2009

We meet at Zakir Tikka intersection on Sarwar Road in the Lahore Cantonment at 6.15pm on Sunday 26 July 2009.

Critical Mass is about having clean cities that provide mobility and accessibility. Critical Mass is about clean transport. Critical Mass is about putting public good over private interest. Critical Mass is about making friends. Critical Mass is about reclaiming public space. Critical Mass is about showing a man on a cycle is the same as a man in a ten lac car. Critical Mass is about democracy.

Critical Mass
is not an organization. It is an idea. It is about making a statement. Everyone in Lahore knows how bad the traffic is. Critical Mass Lahore is a step towards making our city clean and taking our streets back.

Critical Mass
is an idea. Make it yours.
What do I need to participate in a Critical Mass Event?
All you need is a road-worthy cycle and an sense of fun. Buy, beg, borrow or steal a cycle if you have to, but join the Mass. Come, cycle around Lahore. Reclaim your city, and have more fun than you think!
Where and how else to Critical Mass Events take place?

Critical Mass events are typically held on the last Friday of each month in cities all over the world. For information about Critical Mass Lahore, be at Zakir Tikka at 6:15pm this Sunday 26 July 2009 or visit the Critical Mass Lahore Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38992998526). Important: Be on time!!!

Royal tombs in a shambles

Royal tombs in a shambles
Dawn Editorial

Sunday, 24 May, 2009

It seems that the Taliban are not the only ones who have little respect for national heritage.

Mughal Empress Noor Jehan (d. 1645) was prophetic when she composed the epitaph for her own grave. It runs thus: ‘Pity us, for at our tomb no lamp shall light, no flowers seen/ No moth wings shall burn, no nightingales sing’. What she did not foresee was that a similar fate would befall the nearby tombs of her brother Asif Khan and husband Emperor Jehangir at Shahdara. Continue reading

It’s Time for Critical Mass Lahore

critical-mass-invite-april

The last Sunday of the month is approaching, and so it’s time for Critical Mass. I can’t speak for the others (though I know many share this view), but getting on our cycles and going onto the streets of Lahore sends a powerful message: That the streets are open spaces; that men, women and children can enjoy the city and its many delights safely and without fear of molestation; that cycling is a viable form of transport; that the way our cities are managed is deplorable; and that, most of all, we are having fun in our own city and in our own country.

Come join the Critical Mass on Sunday. All you’ll need is a road worthy cycle and a sense of adventure. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The effects of Lahore’s urban sprawl

Yesterday, I posted an article about the LDA’s latest schemes in South Lahore.

Today, I’m posting my column as it appeared in The News:

Behind Lahore’s worsening crisis

Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team at Lahore’s Liberty Market, nothing seems to make sense anymore. The country and its people appear to be drifting to anarchy and chaos. There is deep political crisis. The presidency has stolen the mandate of the people of Punjab and the Swat peace deal is crumbling at its foundations. A Pakistani Taliban is taking over the northern regions. The economy is in deep slide (getting more IFI financing is not the same as a dynamic economy). Poverty is near 40 percent, and violence, intolerance and extremism are on the rise. Government institutions have failed; others are crumbling fast. The integrity of our armed forces is under question. Even cricket is dead.

We can scream blue murder because it’s broken. We can try and blame one another for breaking it. Or we can set about fixing it. You don’t need to be a genius to do this; or be a natural-born leader of men. You just need to participate. This is our mess. We need to clean it up.
Continue reading

Critical Mass Lahore February 2009

critical-mass-iii2
The last Sunday of the month is approaching. You know this means it’s time for Critical Mass.
Join us at 10am this Sunday 22 February for Lahore’s 3rd Critical Mass cycling event.

Cyclists in China coined the term Critical Mass to describe the phenomenon that takes place when cyclists can take over streets and traffic dominated by automobiles. Critical Mass now takes place in over 200 cities around the world.
Critical Mass is not an organization. It is an idea. Critical Mass is about having clean cities that provide mobility and accessibility. Critical Mass is about clean transport.
Critical Mass is about showing a man on a cycle is the same as a man in a ten lac car. Critical Mass is about democracy. Critical Mass is about having the right to mobility.
Everyone in Lahore knows how bad the traffic is. Critical Mass Lahore is the first step in taking our streets back.
Critical Mass is an idea. Make it yours.

What do I need to participate in a Critical Mass Event?

Nothing but a road-worthy cycle and an sense of fun.

Where and how else to Critical Mass Events take place?

Critical Mass events are typically held on the last Friday of each month in cities all over the world. Get more information at http://www.critical-mass.info. For information about Critical Mass Lahore, some to Zakir Tikka at 10am on Sunday 22 February 2009.

First ever Critical Mass event in Lahore

critical-mass-ii

Be Part of the First Ever
Critical Mass Event in Lahore
10am Sunday 28 December 2008
Starting from the Zakir Tikka intersection
Sarwar Road, Lahore Cantonment
(Route maps will be available at the venue; the Event should last no more than 1 hour 30 minutes)

Continue reading

Lahore’s water contaminated by pollutants

* Paper by Anita Chaudhry says Lahore has no public storage capacity, sewage seeps into groundwater

By Khalid Hasan (writing for the Daily Times)

WASHINGTON: A hundred percent of samples taken from Lahore’s water supply and tested in 2006 were found to be contaminated, according to a paper presented at a conference on Pakistan’s water problem held at the Woodrow Wilson Centre.

According to Anita Chaudhry, who teaches Economics at the California State University, the contaminants found in Lahore’s water were iron, arsenic and bacteria.

Four years earlier, only 56 percent of the samples were contaminated. She also said that the average groundwater depth in east Lahore is 100 feet, while it is 40 feet in west Lahore. Access to safe drinking water in Punjab’s urban areas in 2002 was 95 percent against 87 percent in rural areas. Access to sanitation in urban areas was 92 percent and 35 percent in rural areas. Continue reading

Lahoris still being fed unhygienic food

* Food outlets continuing to sell adulterated and substandard foodstuffs despite recent Food Dept operation
* Chief food inspector says punished violators still operating due to shortage of employees to follow up on cases

By Afnan Khan (Daily Times)

LAHORE: Adulterated and substandard food is still being sold at various important markets of the city as the District Food Department’s recent operation to shut down food outlets selling hazardous foodstuffs could not make a significant dent on the business, Daily Times learnt on Saturday.

The department was supposed to clear all the major localities, including Gulberg, Model Town, Shadman, Garden Town, Barkat Market, Lakshmi Chowk and Gowalmandi, from adulterated and substandard foodstuffs to ensure the provision of good quality food to citizens ahead of Ramazan. Continue reading

Polio virus in Lahore – alarming and unacceptable

This is alarming – the existence of polio virus is simply unacceptable in this day and age, when effective vaccines are available and used worldwide. And, the fundamentalists are opposed to polio campaigns in the north of the country. What a country Pakistan is turning into..!

By ASIF CHAUDHRY (Nation)

LAHORE – Perhaps for the first time, a polio case has been detected in the provincial capital as a 15-month-old baby girl belonging to Babu Sabu, Iqbal Town area was confirmed positive in the clinical reports of Islamabad Polio Detection Laboratory.
The stool sample of the baby was sent by the Services Hospital, Lahore management after the doctors diagnosed some polio symptoms during the hospital investigations.
The infant patient Farah suffering from polio, was daughter of a gypsy colony resident Amir Raheem who was living alongside an open drain in poor living conditions. Continue reading

Lahore women turn to gyms for fitness

‘Women as health-conscious as men’

* Women from all walks of life joining fitness centres

By Shahrukh Ayub

LAHORE: Women are apparently as health conscious as men, as gyms and health centres for females seem to be packed, revealed a survey conducted by Daily Times.

As the importance to look physically fit escalates in society, particularly in the case of women, joining a gym is gaining popularity amongst them.

Gyms are very crowded in the morning, which is considered to be a peak time for exercise. Women, especially from the elite classes, are now giving so much importance to their health, that they are ready to join gyms despite busy schedules.
Continue reading

LAHORE: Marginalised male sex workers vulnerable to HIV/AIDS


Photo: Tariq Saeed/IRIN
A significant number of masseurs working in Lahore are actually male sex workers

Source Mazaqah

LAHORE, 21 September 2006 (IRIN) – Under the illuminated Minar-e-Pakistan, the towering monument that marks the birth of the country, Pervaiz Din lays out the accessories of his trade. The tiny bottles of massage oil and aromatic colognes tinkle cheerfully as he pulls them out of a cloth bag and sets them out on a tray. Through much of the balmy September night, Pervaiz will await customers who seek a soothing roadside massage, a head rub – or something more.

“Some nights I get lucky. I get two or even three ‘good customers’ and I return home happy,” Pervaiz tells IRIN.

The ‘good’ customers he refers to are men who seek sex and will pay less than US $8 or so for a few hours with Pervaiz. They also pay for the room usually rented out in a cheap, ‘bazaar’ hotel, although some take him to the rooms or apartments in which they live.

“I have some ‘regulars’ who drop by several times a month. They really enjoy my services,” Pervaiz said.

Pervaiz is one of the hundreds of male sex workers (MSWs) in Lahore, the teeming capital of the Punjab province, and with a population of 8 million Pakistan’s second largest city after Karachi. Beneath its lush trees, and the domes and minarets of the Mughal buildings scattered across its older parts, scores of MSWs operate. Continue reading