India Makes Lab Testing Compulsory To Facilitate Export Of Cough Syrups

The Indian government has made laboratory testing of cough syrups mandatory, prior to their export, officials said yesterday.

According to a notification, issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), on Monday evening, an amendment in the export policy of cough syrup has been made.

The revised policy, which will come into effect from June 1, states that, companies will have to get a certificate of analysis from a government-approved laboratory.

“Cough syrup shall be permitted to be exported, subject to the export sample being tested and production of a certificate of analysis,” read the notification.

The amendment has come, after some India-made cough syrups were linked to deaths in The Gambia and Uzbekistan.

Since then many Indian pharma companies have come under the scanner for the quality of their drugs.

Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an alert for made-in-India cough syrup – Guaifenesin Syrup TG Syrup – noting it contains “unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol.”

The batch of the contaminated India-made cough syrup was found in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

Last Oct, WHO sounded a global alert and linked four cough syrups made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals Limited, India, to the deaths of 66 children from kidney injuries in The Gambia.

In Mar this year, authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, cancelled the manufacturing licence of the pharmaceutical firm, Marion Biotech, whose cough syrup Doc-1 Max, was alleged to have caused the death of 18 children in Uzbekistan.

In another development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said, India-made eye drops were linked to at least three deaths and a deadly outbreak of drug-resistant infections in the United States.

Source: Nam News Network (NNN)

Pakistan’s Population: A Brighter Future For All

Population Experts and Government officials gathered in Islamabad to discuss improving population health in Pakistan.

Today marks the beginning of a two-day learning event by DAFPAK, a leading organization dedicated to improving population health outcomes in Pakistan, focused on ensuring a brighter future for Pakistan, titled “Pakistan’s Population: A Brighter Future For All.”

Delivering Accelerated Family Planning In Pakistan (DAFPAK) is a £90m Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) programme that aims to improve family planning outcomes across Pakistan by improving access to family planning services for the most vulnerable and disseminating messages for the common good under a platform called KhairKhwah.

“The British High Commission has been investing in family planning since 2012. Our current support programme, DAFPAK is the largest donor-funded program on family planning which has served over 8 million women and girls in mostly marginalized areas”, said Andrew Dalgleish, Acting British High Commissioner to Pakistan, while addressing the event in Islamabad.

Chief Guest, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Professor Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhry, emphasized the urgency of addressing the population growth rate, stating:

“Unless we control our population, we won’t be able to distribute resources in a manner where we can provide healthcare, education and bright futures to our people. Our future is linked to how fast we can control Pakistan’s population growth.”

Rapid population growth in Pakistan has created immense pressure on the country’s resources, and providing essential services such as healthcare and education to all citizens has become difficult. The event aims to address these issues and come up with strategies to improve population health.

Dr. Sara Shahzad, Health Advisor, FCDO, highlighted the need for increased investment in healthcare infrastructure, improved partnerships with the private sector, and a holistic multi-sectoral approach towards family planning.

While addressing the event, Goodwill Ambassador for Population and Family Planning, Shehzad Roy emphasized the significance of transforming mindsets alongside policy changes.

He said:

“As a global ambassador of Family Planning, I would like to share that while inventing new policies is very important, what’s even more important is changing mindsets because only then we’ll be able to bring true change.”

Over the course of two days, participants will share their insights on family planning, population growth, and its impact on the country. The event features keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive sessions.

Palladium Pakistan is organizing the event under DAFPAK-PSSD in collaboration with UNFPA, PSI, MSS, DKT, and MandC Saatchi in partnership with The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination Islamabad, and provincial Health and Population Welfare Departments of Punjab, Sindh, and KP.

Source: Pro Pakistani

KP Tourist Facilitation Hub and Sybrid Reshape Tourism Landscape in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), a province filled with ancient culture and breathtaking natural beauty, is slowly making its way to the top of every tourist’s bucket list as Sybrid and KP Tourist Facilitation Hub (TFH) helpline 1422 has joined hands to elevate KP tourism.

Established in 2020, the KP Tourist Facilitation Hub was founded to address tourist issues, unlock tourism potential and enhance their experience. Sybrid was instrumental in developing the technical framework and seamless operations.

It is an integrated network of partnerships with the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the National Highways and Motorway Police, the KP Tourism Police, important local government officials, and local private enterprises that were developed to guarantee information dissemination.

Other key stakeholders and partnerships involve KP Culture Tourism Authority, KP Integrated Tourism Development Project, Pakistan Army Control Centres, and Provincial Disaster Management.

Information is collected daily around fixed intervals from relevant authorities, with daily updates posted on social media and communicated through the helpline.

Other associated services by KP TFH include booking and lodging, recognizing and entertaining tourists’ travel restrictions through TFH’s direct access to foreign tourists’ travel data, and ensuring end-to-end service for feedback and complaints.

Sybrid and TFH have entertained over 55,000 calls, with over 2,000 calls from foreign tourists, and resolved over 312 high-risk emergency cases since inception.

The tourist hub was at the forefront of rescuing 22 stranded tourists due to the 2022 floods in Kumrat Valley. Their swift and efficient response in the face of distress and danger proved their commitment and determination.

By leveraging its expertise in digital solutions and customer experience management, Sybrid has been able to enhance the tourist experience and promote tourist destinations.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Circles and eand International Collaborate to Offer Digital Telecom Services

eand International today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Circles, a global technology company, to bring best-in-class digital experiences to customers across its operating markets and beyond.

eand international, part of eand, which is responsible for growing the international portfolio of world-class modern digital telcos, has formed a joint venture with Circles to empower its network of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other operators based in the region to launch digital telco brands that deliver delightful digital experiences for the digitally savvy generation.

Circles is a global technology company that’s reimagining the telco industry with its SaaS platform, Circles X, and helping operators launch and operate successful digital brands.

Having pioneered a successful blueprint for disrupting the telco space in Singapore, Circles has since launched its own digital telco, Circles.Life, in partnership with M1 in Singapore, Chunghwa in Taiwan, and Optus in Australia.

Circles has also partnered with other national MNOs such as XL Axiata in Indonesia to launch Live.On and KDDI Corporation in Japan to launch POVO 2, enabling them to accelerate growth and capture market share within a short period of time.

The agreement will enhance eand International’s position as a pioneer in bringing broad-spectrum technologies to the region, as it will benefit from Circles’ digital expertise and global operations across 13 Asia Pacific and European markets, bringing the best in digital solutions to eand’s footprint across 16 markets and beyond.

It will also leverage Circles’ cloud-native, digital SaaS platform called Circles X, which allows MNOs to deploy digital telco brands from anywhere in the world and unlocks an agile digital-first revenue growth engine, at a fraction of the operating cost of a traditional telco.

Built for operators by an operator, Circles X empowers MNOs to drive seamless and personalized digital experiences, thus achieving a net-promoter score (NPS) that is higher than industry standards.

This partnership is in line with eand’s transformation journey into a global technology group as announced last year, which is backed by its ambitious strategy to accelerate growth through its specialist business verticals. It provides eand with the world-class digital capabilities to grow the telco business as well as adjacent digital businesses with cutting-edge customer experience.

Mikhail Gerchuk, CEO, eand International said:

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s more important than ever for telcos to innovate and deliver next-generation services to meet the demands of digital native subscribers. At eand, we have doubled down on our efforts to surpass customer expectations by ensuring we make our services accessible anywhere, at any time, and from any device. To make this possible, we have worked tirelessly on enhancing the digital journey of our customers. Through our transformation from a reputed telco giant to a global technology and investment group, we are confident that we will continue to enhance our 2 customers’ digital journey according to their needs. Our partnership with Circles is solid proof of our commitment to heralding a new digital era, one that is filled with limitless possibilities where we can collaborate and accomplish more for a brighter, digital future.

“We are delighted to embark on this journey with a partner like eand, who shares our common vision of an empowered digital future. Our Circles X technology demonstrates our continuous commitment to helping the MNOs connect with the digitally savvy generation and deliver the delightful digital experiences that they want and need. Our operator and digital expertise from powering successful digital telcos allow us to transfer our knowledge and experience to our partnership with eand. We look forward to deepening our partnership with eand to accelerate digital transformation across their markets,” said Rameez Ansar, CEO and Co-Founder of Circles.

John McEvoy is appointed as the CEO of the joint venture. He said:

Our joint venture will enable us to leverage their expertise in digital technologies and our own strengths in telecom to deliver cutting-edge solutions to meet the evolving needs of the global mobile operator community. Together, we will create new opportunities for growth and success, while providing unique propositions to support these operators in launching independent digital brands and benefiting from distinctive commercial models. The objective is to provide unparalleled value to MNOs, especially with the rise of digital native subscribers making it critical for them to adapt and innovate, while also driving growth and profitability.

Source: Pro Pakistani

EOBI pension will be enhanced in July this year: NA told

The National Assembly was informed today that the pension of Employees Old Age Institution (EOBI) will be enhanced in July this year.

Responding to a Calling Attention Notice, Minister of State for Law and Justice Shahadat Awan told the House that a consultant had been hired to determine the pension of the EOBI’s beneficiaries, keeping in view the institution’s proceeds.

He said about four hundred and thirteen thousand people are currently benefiting from EOBI’s pension scheme. He said at present, the pension is being given in the range between eight thousand five hundred rupees and twenty-one thousand rupees.

In her remarks, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghous Pasha told the House during Question Hour that the previous government took massive loans, but did not initiate any major development project. She said we have taken the loans to repay the previous ones.

As regards the current inflationary trend, the Minister of State said international factors have significantly contributed to the price hike of essential commodities.

She, however, said responsibility also rests with the provinces to maintain supply chains to check the inflation.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly today passed two bills.

These included the National Skills University Islamabad Amendment Bill 2023 and the NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology Multan Amendment Bill, 2023.

The bills were moved by Minister for Education Rana Tanveer Hussain.

The House has now been adjourned to meet again on Tuesday next at one p.m.

Source: Radio Pakistan

PM reiterates no one will be allowed to disrespect Shuhada

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reiterated that no one will be allowed to disrespect our Shuhada, who rendered their lives in safeguarding the homeland.

Addressing the “Azmat-e-Shuhada Conference” in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said facilitators and attackers of 9th May will be brought to the book.

The Prime Minister said the government and the state are fully committed to ensure respect of our heroes and will remember their sacrifices.

He said we tolerated all allegations levelled by Imran Khan on government, institutions and political leadership but attacking, burning and disrespecting memorials of Shuhada and Ghaziz will not be tolerated at any level.

The event was attended by families of Shuhada, Students from different schools and people belonging to different walks of life.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said entire nation is united for the welfare of Pakistan.

She said no compromise will be made on national interest.

Condemning the incident of 9th May, Sherry Rehman said no one can harm the country. She said on the directions of PTI, Chief, his party workers vandalized national institutions for their vested interests.

She said our leadership sacrificed lives for this country.

Addressing Azmat-e-Shahada Convention”, Federal Minister for Information Technology Syed Amin ul Haq said, whole nation is united for the welfare of state. He said the terrorist acts on 9th May are against the state.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Economic team working hard to overcome challenges: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said suggestions of the business community will be given due consideration as joint efforts are required to put the country on the path of economic stability.

Addressing members of the business community in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said Pakistan is passing through a challenging phase and our team is working hard to overcome these challenges.

With regard to the IMF programme, the Minister said Pakistan has completed all the technical formalities as well as prior actions, but unfortunately we are facing a structural delay in this regard.

Ishaq Dar also expressed the belief that Pakistan will not default and the coalition government is committed to complete the 9th review of the IMF programme.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Fatima Sana Named Pakistan Captain for Emerging Women’s T20 Asia Cup

Fatima Sana will lead Pakistan in the upcoming ACC Emerging Women’s T20 Asia Cup that will be played in Hong Kong next month. The national women’s selection committee has announced a 14-player squad, which includes four players who featured in the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup earlier in the year, for the eight-team tournament that will be played from 12 to 21 June.

The squad has been put together after observing performances in the T20 phase of the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament and emerging camp in Multan in March.

Fatima has played 31 One-Day Internationals and 24 T20 Internationals and the decision to name her captain for the tournament has been made after she captained Strikers, based on probables for this squad, to wins in all three matches in the above-mentioned tournament and led Blasters’ successful T20 Championship campaign in Lahore in December.

Chief selector Saleem Jaffar said, “I want to congratulate all players who have been selected for the emerging Asia Cup and I am hopeful that they will perform to their full potential. We have some outstanding talent coming up and it was a tough call to select 14 players. I want to tell those cricketers who have not been selected for this tournament to keep their heads high and keep working hard and they will definitely get chances in the upcoming events.

“We have been observing these players since the camp in Multan and we have tested them in different conditions, with their most recent challenge being the three T20 matches against our top international players.

“Fatima Sana has displayed some outstanding leadership credentials in domestic tournaments recently, and I am sure she will lead this side with example.”

Fatima Sana said, “It is an honour for me to captain Pakistan in the upcoming tournament. The responsibility of leading the emerging side will definitely help me develop as a cricketer and I am eagerly looking forward to leading my team in this important tournament. These players are full of energy and are excited for the opportunity ahead of them.

“We have had good practice over the last few weeks, and the Pakistan Cup Women’s Cricket Tournament provided us ample match practice against tough sides. Ahead of these matches, we had a healthy discussion as a team amongst ourselves that we have to make the most of these matches, and I am glad how every player stepped up and contributed in each game.”

The emerging team’s pre-tournament camp will begin tomorrow, Thursday, at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance and will run until 8 June. They will depart for Hong Kong on 9 June.

Pakistan is slotted in Group A with Hong Kong, India A, and Thailand A. Pakistan will open their campaign on 13 June with a match against Thailand A, after which they play Hong Kong and India A on 15 and 17 June, respectively. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals which will be played on 19 June. The final of the tournament will be held on 21 June.

Here is the complete squad:

Fatima Sana Anoosha Nasir Eyman Fatima Gull Feroza

Gulrukh Lubna Behram Najiha Alvi Natalia Parvaiz

Sadaf Shamas Shawaal Zulfiqar Aroob Shah Tuba Hassan

Umm-e-Hani Yusra Amir

Source: Pro Pakistani