Balanced diet most effective tool to prevent diabetes
* Healthy diet and physical activities essential for managing diabetes
By Shahid Farooq
KARACHI: Adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly and maintaining normal body weight can prevent type II diabetes, the most common kind that can develop at any age.
This was stated by health experts at a seminar on World Diabetes Day held here at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) auditorium on Monday.
Defining the disease and its effect on the body, AKUH consultant endocrinologist Prof Dr Najm-ul-Islam said that diabetes was a chronic disease that affected how the body utilised blood glucose.
He elaborated that two most common types of diabetes were type I and type II. “In type I diabetes, the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas”, he explained.
Dr Islam said that it was unclear why diabetes occurs, though a person’s family history and environmental factors might play a role. “Its symptoms include excessive urination, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, blurred vision and fatigue”, he added.
Consultant endocrinologist further said that type II diabetes occurs when the body could not effectively use insulin or the pancreas fail to produce sufficient insulin to cover the inability.
Dr Islam said that approximately 90 percent of the people with diabetes around the world suffered from type II. Its symptoms might be similar to those of type I, but were often less marked which showed that the disease might be diagnosed several years after its onset.
“The number of people suffering from diabetes in Pakistan is increasing at an alarming rate and it is imperative that we adopt preventive measures if we are to stop the rapid spread of this disease,” warned Dr Islam.
AKUH clinical nutritionist Sumaira Naseem said that the most effective preventive tool from diabetes was balanced diet. “We are beginning to see unhealthy lifestyles develop in Pakistan, as we are consuming more fatty foods and becoming less mobile,” she said adding that the whole family needed to take a more balanced diet not only to prevent future cases of diabetes but also to help diabetics feel less isolated.
AKUH diabetes education nurse Farzana Rafiq stressed the need for diabetics to be vigilant about their feet. She said that foot problems were common and could become serious, adding that it was essential for diabetics to get their feet checked by their healthcare provider at least once a year and learn whether they had any nerve damage. Patients with known nerve or blood vessel damage should check and care for their feet every single day, she added.
She said that it could be done by examining the feet thoroughly and washing them in lukewarm water with a mild soap. She stressed that it was vitally important for diabetics to dry their feet thoroughly as wet areas were more prone to infection.
Pakistan has one of the highest childhood death burdens in the world, and pneumonia is the main single cause of death. As a contributor to the pneumonia burden, the country has a significant indoor air pollution (IAP) problem. Biomass fuel (wood, crop residues, animal dung) which is being used in four fifths of all households in Pakistan is the major source of IAP when it is burned for cooking, space heating and lighting homes. Biomass is mostly burned in inefficient three-stone stoves leading to incomplete combustion and high levels of indoor air concentration of smoke. There is a dearth of scientific studies in Pakistan to relate IAP to health effects; consequently IAP is not a recognized environmental hazard at policy level.
Building on the Situation analysis of household energy use and indoor air pollution in Pakistan, WHO organized a one day seminar at The Aga Khan University (AKU), Karachi, in September 2005 to raise awareness of household energy issues, indoor air pollution and its effect on child health.
The Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures Simon Fraser University (SFU-CCSMSC) And The Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations Aga Khan University (AKU-ISMC) present:
International Summer Programme 2012 – Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures
Monday, July 9 – Friday July 20, 2012 – Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Campus
Who should attend? Teachers, journalists, lawyers, NGO professionals, administrators, business persons, doctors, politicians, students, and those who work in multicultural settings or have an interest in exploring the full range of Muslim cultures.
A new milestone has been achieved at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi with the successful introduction of mini invasive surgery.
The cardiac surgical team of the Hospital, under Prof Dr Paul Simon, launched this type of cardiac operation in Kenya for the first time.
Explaining the procedure Dr Simon said, "Cardiac surgery generally poses a major trauma and usually requires complete opening of the chest by splitting the chest bone for access to the heart.
Routinely, a patient’s blood circulation needs to be supported by the heart-lung-machine while the diseased structures of the heart are repaired or replaced.
Recovery of the patient usually takes more than a week in the hospital and several weeks at home until full daily functioning can be resumed."
"Minimally invasive cardiac surgery has been shown to reduce length of hospital stay and morbidity after cardiac surgery and may speed up recovery. It is not suitable for all, but the approach needs to be tailored to the individual patient. Some procedures can also be done on the beating heart completely avoiding the use of the heart-lung-machine, but using stabilising devices, which may also increase safety of cardiac surgery in some patients."
Dr Simon stressed the importance of these techniques being performed only after extensive training.
He said, "The technical demands on the surgeon and the whole team increase substantially and safety cannot be jeopardised in mini-invasive cardiac surgical procedures".
AKU involved in a study: Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
3-year study identifies key interventions to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths
Some 56 evidence-based interventions will sharply reduce the 358,000 women who still die each year during pregnancy and childbirth and the 7.6 million children who die before the age of 5, according to a massive three-year global study.
The study, Essential Interventions, Commodities and Guidelines for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, is designed to facilitate decision-making in low- and middle-income countries about how to allocate limited resources for maximum impact on the health of women and children.
The study reviewed 50,000 medical papers to determine the proven effectiveness of interventions and impact on survival, identifying 56 essential inventions. The study is released today by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Aga Khan University and The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).
Some of the interventions include:
Manage maternal anemia with iron;
Prevent and manage post-partum hemorrhage;
Immediate thermal care for newborns;
Extra support for feeding small and preterm babies;
Antibiotics for the treatment of pneumonia in children.
PMNCH which has 440 partners, including countries, UN and multilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, health groups, foundations, academic and research institutions, and the private sector, will distribute this essential list through its global network and actively advocate for its use. A condensed version on a simple, hand-held slide ruler for instant reference is currently under development.
"A lot is not brand new," says Elizabeth Mason, M.D., Director of the World Health Organization's department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, and an author of the study. "It has been more a question of putting together information in a different way and building consensus among physicians, scientists and professional organizations to lay out an evidenced-based path to help women before, during and after birth and their children. Everyone now agrees on the 56 essential interventions."
Arusha to have new city plan
Monday, 09 January 2012 08:18
By Zephania Ubwani, The Citizen Bureau Chief
Arusha. Arusha City will have a new master plan whose implementation will involve public and private sectors.
The Arusha Chapter chairman of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA), Mr Adolf Olomi said a committee had been formed to make the plan a success.
“We want to make Arusha a modern city,” he told stakeholders in business and industry at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) on Friday here.
Mr Olomi, who is the managing director of the Arusha-based Banana Investment winery, said the first meeting of the task force on the development of the city took place recently to lay ground for the way forward.
The committee is made up of officials from the city council and representatives from the private sector.
However, he said much work remained to be done to set in motion preparation of the plan.
Arusha is the headquarters of regional institutions such as the East African Community and should be well developed in the next 30 to 50 years, he said. “We can’t afford to have the present structures in Arusha in the next 30 years if the town is to become competitive in East Africa.”
According to him, the last development master plan for Arusha was prepared in 1978 and, according to Mr Olomi and other stakeholders it had largely not been implemented.
“I can’t say why it had not been implemented. May be some people did not like it,” he said of the plan prepared by Canadian experts when the population of the town was below 100,000.
According to him, the Arusha “of tomorrow” will need industrial parks, well demarcated areas for low and high density as well as specially designated areas for businesses and social services. Municipal Council officials could not be reached to comment on the new plan.
The government, nevertheless, in 2010 tripled the size of the city to 270 square kilometres from 93 square kilometres after hiving off some wards in Arumeru District.
The population of the city is currently estimated at well above 500,000 with some projections hinting that it could reach one million by the time the National Population Census is held next August.
Key infrastructure development projects that have started being undertaken, including expanding the road network as well as opening new roads around the city to cope with huge traffic.
The NM-AIST vice chancellor, Prof Burton Mwamila, said the institute was working with the Aga Khan University to make Arusha an East African hub of higher education.
The Aga Khan Foundation is setting up a university on the outskirts of Arusha after acquiring hundreds of acres in the former coffee Estate, some 10 kilometres outside the town off Dodoma road.
A number of universities based here include the Mt Meru University, Arusha University, Makumira University and campuses or field training centres for other local universities, including the University of Dar es Salaam.
The city also hosts the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute and scientific and technological organisations. They include the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, the Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission and the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute
Balochistan, AKU-IED working jointly to restructure educational system
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The Balochistan education department and the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) are collaborating to restructure the education system across Balochistan.
Secretary Education Munir Ahmed Badini headed a delegation visiting the AKU-IED to discuss steps to be taken for capacity development on Monday. The steps would include an innovative teacher training programme and establishing a centre for excellence in education at Gwadar, an AKU-IED spokesperson said.
During the meeting, Director AKU-IED Dr Muhammad Memon highlighted the initiatives taken by the institute in Balochistan, particularly the Strengthening Teacher Education Programme (STEP) being implemented across Quetta, Killa Saifullah and Chaghai. It was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency and the Aga Khan Foundation.
“Under STEP, a “Cluster-based” mentoring programme has been introduced in 110 primary schools by dividing these institutes at district level. This would ensure constant professional development of teachers, especially in rural areas,” Memon told the delegation.
STEP also offered scholarships to teachers and educational managers in Balochistan for a two-year MEd programme, he added.
Also, a Whole School Improvement Programme had been implemented in 27 schools which aimed at improving the general school environment, making it conducive to learning as well as teaching, the director added.
Meanwhile, Badini lauded the contribution of the Aga Khan Development Network towards social sector development throughout Pakistan. He pointed out that joint ventures between public and private institutions must be encouraged to improve the quality of education in the country.
January 19, 2012 RECORDER REPORT 0 Comments A state-of-the-art automated laboratory system that ensures more accurate test results as well as allows a quicker reporting time is being launched at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi (AKUH).
Firoz Rasul, President, Aga Khan University, will be the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony to be held on January 19.
Aimed to advance patient care, this new system will automate the diagnostic tests resulting in a faster turnaround time of tests performed at the main clinical laboratory in Karachi.
Lab Cell Automation Solution by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics will streamline workflow and increase clinical efficiency by minimising errors, increasing test consistency and achieving a shorter, more predictable turnaround.
With over 700 test menus offered, AKUH Clinical Laboratories perform over seven million tests annually, and also receive samples from Afghanistan, UAE, East Africa and Central Asia.-PR
To learn and serve: Bioethics Assembly comes to order
By Our Correspondent
Published: January 29, 2012
The first bioethicists group of Pakistan, named the Bioethics Assembly, held their initial seminar at the Aga Khan Hospital on Saturday.
The Bioethics Assembly, an academic group from the Aga Khan University (AKU), aims to spread education and information regarding bioethics in medical colleges, universities, hospitals and health care units.
The participants at the seminar underscored on the need for lectures and discussions on bioethics at different institutions and health care centres to create awareness.
The AKU Bioethics Unit Coordinator, Dr Arshi Farooqui, encouraged participants to write articles in medical journals to spread information.
Farooqi said that there is a deficiency of bioethics education in the country and the university will soon offer short courses to assist more people.
The Bioethics Assembly, comprising three batches of the AKU graduates and masters in Bioethics, will meet every alternate month to discuss and spread information on new topics emerging in the field.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2012.
For two and a half years, Sylvia Nalubega had to travel from Tororo to Kampala every Sunday evening and repeat the three-hour journey each Tuesday, back to Tororo where she works and lives with her family.
Commuting from Tororo to attend classes at the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Kampala has been a tough run, but Nalubega's efforts paid off when she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing on Saturday.
"It was not easy. My employers gave me two days off: Monday and Tuesday. I, therefore, had to come every Sunday evening and go back on Tuesday evening", she said.
In addition to the degree, she received the award of Academic Excellence after she emerged top among the students graduating from the BSC Nursing programme.
"She was not only the best performer in Uganda, but also the best of all graduating students in East Africa this year", said Firoz Rasul, president Aga Khan University, while presenting her with the award.
Sixteen graduands received the degree of BSC Nursing at AKU's ninth convocation ceremony held at the university premises in Old Kampala, Saturday. State minister for health, Richard Nduhura, who officiated at the event, noted the increasing brain drain from the region and said it could only be arrested "if we can meet the demand for intellectual and economic fulfillment". He stressed the need to limit the financial burden on students through bursaries and loan programmes.
Founded in 1983, Aga Khan University specialises in the health and education fields. The university currently has programmes in eight countries spread over three continents. In East Africa, it offers advanced nursing studies programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, supported by the 250-bed Aga Khan University teaching hospital in Nairobi. Rasul said the university has established 30 medical outreach centres across East Africa, where students practise.
Nalubega dedicated her award to her family, particularly her husband, David Ogwang. "He is such an understanding man. I work the entire week and my children have had little time with me, but he has always been there for me", she said.
Ogwang called her a "heroine" for her commitment and endurance, saying few people would accomplish such a feat under her circumstances.
"I believe that wives are managers of the home. They should be given more time to study to make a positive influence on our children", Ogwang said. "To me, she is a heroine; a blessing to the family".
Programs & Results
Room to Read’s operations in Tanzania began in 2011, with the search for a local staff, initial baseline assessments and site selection. Those activities, along with program implementation began in early 2012 through a partnership with Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development—East Africa (AKU).
AKU will work with our Reading & Writing Instruction program to provide teacher training and capacity building in the schools where we work, with Room to Read providing ongoing support after the initial training period.
Consistent with our model of holistic intervention, Room to Read will also launch our School Library, School Construction and Girls’ Education programs in partnership with the local government and individual communities served.
Campus is calling for AKU’s humanities school but the bigger the project the longer the wait
Key figures deny rumours that Education City project has been shelved.
By Saba Imtiaz
Published: March 19, 2012
The first phase of AKU’s new campus will cost $500 million and will include an academic building spread over 200 acres. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI: In the early 2000s, students would often wonder when the much-rumoured humanities school by the Aga Khan University (AKU) would materialise.
They can dream on for a bit. Even though the AKU’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences is slated to open at the ambitious Education City project in Karachi, it is still several years away from completion.
The AKU’s new school is one of several high-profile campuses planned for the 9,000-acre Education City. Other schools that have signed on to build campuses at the site include the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology and the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology.
Rumours that AKU had backed out of the project have surfaced, but the project director for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Karim Nurmohamed, and Zubair Motiwala, who serves as an adviser to the Sindh chief minister, have denied this. “His Excellency the Aga Khan has assured that it will go ahead,” Motiwala told The Express Tribune. “The AKU is at a very advanced stage, in terms of its model and master plan.”
It appears that it is simply a case of all the pieces taking time to come together to fit. Initially, the universities had two years to build up their campuses at Education City. But in 2010, the government realised it wasn’t a workable deadline. “We have changed this (deadline) according to the size of the universities,” said Motiwala. “AKU suggested this (given the size of their project) and we have acceded to their suggestions.”
In order to gauge the magnitude of the task consider the numbers. The first phase of AKU’s new campus will cost $500 million and will include an academic building spread over 200 acres. The entire campus will take up about 1,200 acres, with 560 of them for the academic campus and about the same space for the university residential village. While AKU will be approaching funding agencies and will raise funds in Pakistan and abroad, it has already elicited interest and donations.
While Motiwala suggested that AKU would take about six years, Nurmohamed said there was no set timeline because they plan to start work on infrastructure and development as soon as the master plan is approved and they have a board in place.
As the universities work on their blueprints, a crucial part of the picture is the government’s input, which will come in the form of its master plan for Education City. Nurmohamed told The Express Tribune that AKU and other campuses are waiting on the government to complete its master plan for Education City, and they have given the government feedback on its preliminary plan.
“We wanted to make sure it would be a fit with what we’ve planned,” he said, stressing the importance of the campus for AKU. “We are basically a university that offers professional education to doctors, nurses and teachers and we want to move forward to being a complete university.”
Nurmohamed says there has been “very good recent progress” and he feels that the current political administration has been very helpful.
AKU’s new project envisages schools for architecture and human settlement, education, law and management, according to a document available on the Sindh Board of Investment’s website. Nurmohamed said that while they have a basic academic framework, it is dependent on the recruitment of senior faculty to help set up the actual curriculum and programmes, and that they will recruit once there is progress on the master plan.
It also aims to draw students who may have not considered a liberal arts education owing to a lack of universities offering a good programme. “The Lahore University of Management Sciences and the Forman Christian College in Lahore offer some courses in humanities, but they are still on a limited scale. We’ll be offering much more.”
The AKU is also opening a faculty of arts and sciences in Tanzania, and imagines that the two campuses will have similar faculties. Additionally, AKU says it is planning for a greener campus, which will position the sports facilities closer to the classrooms. Its design for the Karachi project has already received two awards – for land use and design.
An act governing Education City is also supposed to be presented in the Sindh Assembly. Motiwala, who also chairs the Sindh Board of Investment, aims that in five years, the board for Education City will include new entrepreneurs and that the chancellors or owners of the educational institutions will be eligible to become board members. He isn’t worried about instability in the city or political developments, since he believes mega projects like the Education City are long-term. “There are 9,000 acres of land and only 20% has been allocated,” he said by way of explaining not only how large the project is but also that it will take time to execute in its entirety.
While projects like this tend to be ignored when governments change, Motiwala says he has elicited all the help needed from the government and the draft legislation is ready. Once it is passed, it will be all systems go for Education City.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.
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