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June 1981, Volume 31, Issue 6

News and Notes

FALLING MORTALITY RATES IN 3RD WORLD BEGIN TO PLATEAU

Mortality rates in many Third World countries are no longer dropping and even show signs of increasing in some, according to a World Health Organization report.
Infant and childhood mortality, which typically accounts for 50% of deaths, is the cause of this disturbing trend, and WHO blames "flagging determination on the part of the governments concerned and special circumstances (i.e., acute poverty) that make further improvement in health especially difficult."
International variations in pediatric mortality rates are greater now than ever-the "worst" countries have rates 20 times those of the "best"- partly because the best countries are getting better.
Health services in developing countries still do not reach the very poor, and although research on social differentials within developing countries is scarce, one study in Chile showed that the children of blue-collar workers have a mortality rate three times higher than that of the children of white-collar workers. "A more unequivocal example of the vast inequalities in health would be harder to find," WHO concluded.
PAKISTAN OFFERS TO TRAIN ARAB DOCTORS
The President\'s Advisor on Health, Dr. Easharat Jazbi has been in Saudia Arabia and Gulf countries to enlist support and discuss a plan for establishing a post-graduate centre for medical studies in Pakistan for the benefit of doctors from the Middle East and other muslim countries intending to pursue higher education abroad.
Although such, a plan is still in conceptual stage, Dr. Jazbi hopes that it can take practical shape soon provided the Islamic countries extend  assistance and cooperation.
Pakistan, Dr. Jazbi explained to these countries, possessed the potential and adequate facilities to train doctors. Over the years, Pakistan has built up an extensive network of medical institutions and other facilities which can be beneficially utilised by students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries for practical training.
Moreover, Pakistan has produced a large hard core of specialists and competent doctors, many of them serving with distinction in the world\'s best institutions.
In saudi Arabia, Dr. Jazbi offered services of Pakistani doctors to Saudi Health Minister Dr. Hussein Al-Jazaeir to man some of the 22 hospitals likely to be set up in the near furure. The Saudi Minister accepted the offer. The two also discussed increased cooperation in the field of medical education, training of Saudi doctors and exchange of medical expertise.
PAKISTANI DOCTORS IN SAUDI ARABIA OFFER TO BUILD HOSPITAL
Pakistani doctors working in Saudi Arabia have offered to build a modern 100-beded hospital in Karachi through their own resources.
This was disclosed by Dr. S.M. Khairuddin, Chairman, Association of Pakistani Doctors in Saudi Arabia, who is currently on a short visit to Pakistan.
He said the Association had already approached the Mayor of Karachi for a suitable plot of land for this purpose. The request was made in December last when the Mayor was on a visit to Saudi Arabia.
He said the doctors were awaiting the KDA\'s approval and were prepared to pay the cost of the amenity plot for the hospital.
According to preliminary estimates the hospital is expected to cost well over 10 million. At least 60 per cent of the amount will be made available in foreign currency or non-repatriable basis.
He said the hospital "will not be a purely commercial venture but will be run on "self-help basis" and a reasonable amount of money will be charged in lieu of treatment given to the patients.
He said "at least 10 per cent of the beds will be totally free" for those who cannot afford, to pay the charges.
He pointed out that the Association would sponsor the first hospital in Karachi as a pilot project and its aim was to build a chain of hospitals in different parts of the country.
Dr.  said, Pakistani doctors now in Saudi Arabia would some day return home to serve their own country through these hospitals.
SLEEPERS WHO STOP BREATHING
Medical science is beginning to learn more about a medical disorder that is more common than generally realized-sleep apnea.
This means that the sufferer stops breathing when he or she goes to sleep.
In some individuals the condition becomes so serious that the physician must perform a tracheostomy-inserting a tube in the throat- to get air into the lungs. And sleep is possible only where the tube is in place.
In the March 27 Journal of the American Medical Association, a Harvard Medical School research team reported good results in treating several sufferers from sleep apnea with a medica­tion known as medroxyprogesterone acetate.
Sleep apnea often is associated with gross obesity. The folds of fat around the neck compress the wind pipe when the chin drops in sleep. Some obese individuals have found they must sleep sitting up to breathe.
Victims often are drowsy much of the day. Insufficient oxygen reaches the brain because of reduced air intake.
In four of nine victims the Boston doctors found that the medication resolved daytime sleepiness and reduced the number of episodes of halting breathing during sleep.
CERTIFICATE COURSE IN DIAGNOSTIC CYTOLOGY
The College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan is starting a six month certificate course in Diagnostic Cytology designed to meet the Country\'s need for Cytotechnologists.
The first course will start from 1st July, 1981.
Applications are invited for the above course from graduates, holding B.Sc. degree, from any recognized University of Pakistan with Zoology, Botany or Microbiology as one of their major subjects.
The Course fee is Rs. 1000/-.
Application forms must be submitted before 1st May, 1981 alongwith photostate copies of High School, Intermediate Sciences and B.Sc. degree.
Admission to the Course will be based on a test and interview to be held in the College on a date to be specified later.
CONDOLENCE MEETING
Pakistan Medical Association, Lahore Branch held a condolence meeting on April 6, in the office of P.M.A. Lahore Branch and passed the following condolence resolution.
"Pakistan Medical Association, Lahore Branch learns with grief about the sad demise of Captain (Retd.) Dr.Abbas Ali, ex-Chief Medical Officer, Kapurthala State (India) and a member of Pakistan Medical Association, Lahore Branch and prays to Allah Almighty to grant eternal peace and tranquillity to the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss".
Fateha was also offered after the meeting.
GLOBAL CONGRESS ON MENTAL RETARDATION
The Sixth Congress of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency (IASSMD) will be held August 22-26, 1982 at Toronto, Canada.
The Association has sent invitation to Pakistan Medical Association for participation in the congress. The theme of the Sixth Congress is "The 80s: A Decade of Decision". It elaborates, "The field of mental retardation is entering a decade of change and challenge. The choices and decisions made during the 80s will set the direction of change and establish the range of opportunities for the balance of the century".
In panels, speeches, workshops and training events of the congress, the distinguished scientists and participants will concentrate on major theme areas in order to assess the present state of research, practice, planning and policy-making and explore the potential for future growth, change and local action for various areas of the world.

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