SehatKahani.com – empowering our female doctors

There is no real secret ingredient to a life of happiness and contentment, except, perhaps, learning how to strike a balance. And that is a real cause of concern for the majority of our female doctors. While priorities vary and each to his own, it is a huge waste of resources and intelligence when these qualified female doctors are prevented from practising – either by choice or compulsion – in fears of neglecting their families.
In a society that holds dear some very rigid gender roles, it is necessary to acknowledge and appreciate any effort made in the face of these unfortunate norms; Sehat Kahani is one such drop in the ocean, helping innumerous female doctors achieve this happy balance. A one-of-its-kind telehealth platform connecting the ‘at home-out of work’ female doctors to the lesser privileged patients in inaccessible areas, Sehat Kahani deserves all the help and encouragement that they can get. And with that in mind, I am very excited and happy to have interviewed Dr Iffat Zafar Aga (co-founder and Chief Development Officer at Sehat Kahani) for the Ziauddin University Atlas.

The Ziauddin University Atlas Blog

BY: ARFA MASIHUDDIN, M.B.B.S., BATCH XX

Currently constituting a network of 14 E-Health Hubs across Pakistan (Sindh, Punjab, KPK and Karachi) and serving more than 440,000 patients directly and indirectly through its digital healthcare services, Sehat Kahani works with the will to create an all-female health provider network to ensure quality healthcare solutions for communities where health access, quality, and affordability of healthcare are still a dream, using cost-effective ICT enabled solutions. 
In the following interview, Dr Iffat Zafar Aga, a proud Ziauddin alumnus, and co-founder and Chief Development Officer at Sehat Kahani talks about her journey and explains what Sehat Khani is about. 

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Tell us something about yourself. What inspired you to start Sehat Kahani?

I am a doctor, an entrepreneur, and a mother of a little 4-year-old. I graduated from Ziauddin from the 7th batch and we…

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Donut know life without Dunkin

Nostalgic already!

The Ziauddin University Atlas Blog

BY: ARFA MASIHUDDIN, M.B.B.S., BATCH XX

How many times have you sat at the cosy – often overcrowded – Dunkin Donut at our very own Clifton campus, skipping the first class for moments of tranquillity with your warm coffee and maybe a doughnut or two? Or simply sitting there, cherishing your own little recluse away from the horrors of having to maintain an 80 plus attendance and passing most of the CATs for the sake of dearest eligibility? If not plenty of times, then surely sometimes?

This little place that has come to define most of our time at this campus has a charm of its own. It’s just nice sitting there on the window seat, with the blinds half drawn, observing the bustling life beneath; the cars driving around the roundabout, bringing students and patients and doctors to the doorstep of this building. Everyone walks in with a…

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These little universes

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At the end of this year’s clinical rotations as a medical student, I realise that as future physicians we will soon be moving around hospital corridors, checking up on our patients; their records maintained meticulously by the hospital paramedics. How many of us will look beyond terms inscribed on boards like the one in the picture – ‘Bed No.’, ‘Patient’s Name’, ‘Consultant’s Name’, ‘Ref #’, ‘Company / Private’, ‘Age’, ‘Diet’, etc, etc – and think of the stories that each one of these people walked into our clinics with? How many of us will be healers and not just mere physicians?

So many of us want to see things. We want to see the future, we want to see how the universe ends, we want to glimpse the edges of time and space. So many of us want to see all of that and still be able to have coffee at home in the morning. So many of us want to live a thousand, thousand lives. And still be able to have a cup of coffee in the morning.
And as doctors, witnessing the end of a universe will be an everyday occurrence for us. You know how?
When you will tell a bereaved son that the father who sold his ancestral home to get him through college, is dying, you will see the end of a universe.
When you will tell a devoted husband that he just lost the love of his life, you will see the end of a universe.
When you will see a pair of young parents cradling a small coffin, you will see the end of a universe.
When you will see a loyal friend cry as he sees his friend lose the battle of life, you will be seeing the end of a universe.
Those are all tragic ends to what was a universe of its own, because, after all, as Rumi said, “We are the universe in ecstatic motion”, and as Sagan reminds us, we’re “made of star stuff”, aren’t we?
You’ll witness the end of those universes, and you’ll still be able to have coffee in the morning, in your own universe.

These people around us, struggling to make ends meet. The lonely kid at the school cafeteria wanting to share his mom’s sandwiches. The tired girl treasuring the silence of the night. The sick, old mother waiting for her son. These are all the salt and pepper, an entire cosmos of hidden emotions and beating hearts. And watching these universes disperse with a light that almost blinds your heart, is what makes Time so cruel, doesn’t it? It’s what I call the ‘Twenty-fifth Hour’ – that very intangible moment in the vastness of Time that will not be sorry for its existence as it will alter your perception of life, and love, and loss.

Smiling on the wall sits the ancient clock,
Chiming away – tick, tock, tick, tock –
The day attends to your curiosity
And the night courts your dreams
And between the hours on the clock
walk our insensibilities.
The Hand of the Seconds laughs at you,
And my mind spins a tale that is beyond
The imagination of the elves
And my heart beckons to the minutes
To explain the happening miracle,
And as we slide away on the island of existence,
Our gaze looks afar, into the infinite,
Towards the twenty-fifth hour.

 

Good bye, Forensics! 

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As the sixth semester of medical school draws to an end, I realise that my initial interest in the subject waned into pure disgust and never have I despised a subject as much as I have despised forensic medicine; in simpler words, it is “the application of science to criminal and civil laws, mainly on the criminal side during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards of admissible evidence and criminal procedure.” In even simpler words, it is the realisation that the human mind can be a diabolic powerhouse of wrecking smiles and joys through acts of ‘homicide’ and ‘murder’ that may lead to ‘asphyxia’ (a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death; suffocation). It is the realisation that I’m alive only because my soul has an undeniable relationship with my body and when they divorce, all that will be left will be my soul for the body will be ‘putrefied‘. It is the realisation that while I can not save my body from being the food of rodents and ants, I can save my soul from being victimised by greed, lust, lack of empathy, arrogance, wantonness, miserliness, ostentation, hatred, iniquity, and envy. It is the realisation that I must invest in my soul. It is the realisation that the glamour of this world will end with the end of the last note of my heartbeat, and that could be at the hands of another mortal or even by its natural course, but it will end and what then? That. What then

In the blink of an eye, three years have flown by. Before I know it, I will be breathing my last. So, whatever little time we have left on this huge ball of water and soil, we must spend it with love because there’s so much love in there, buried deep within, for everyone. We’re all in the same boat. All of us. All of us trying to be happy, trying to find ourselves – mind and soul – and not get lost in the maze of what seems to be buzzing around, and to have an identity of our own, one that is not lost in the crowd, one that sets us all apart. 

So, I guess all those hours of sitting through gross depictions of what ‘death’ really looks like paid off: the seconds between this breath and the next is what the ancient phenomenon of time really is, and if it’s all that is left, then I’d rather live it to combat hate with love, apathy with kindness, pessimism with optimism. 



The grandeur of womanhood

The transition from girlhood to womanhood is not just one defined by the turbulence of puberty; it’s bigger and grander than that. It’s the miraculous journey towards a period of self-discovery – the blooming of the seedling into a soft, bright flower with the scent of individuality, bearing its thorns, for thorns are the armours and armours there must be.

Womanhood is upholding the sanctity of humanity and not just women’s rights.

It’s the journey from ‘I, me, myself’  – and pulling other girls down – to empowering other women.

It’s understanding the often misunderstood concept of sacrifices so as to not compromise on her own rights and values as she sacrifices for her family or her nation.

It is appreciating the divine quality of patience well enough to know where the line between patience and injustice lies.

It is recognising the difference between listening and understanding.

You will want to impress a girl, dear reader, but you will be very comfortable being vulnerable in front of the right woman.

A girl will play the blame card. A woman will act responsible.

A girl will make a boy go nuts. A woman will inspire him to greatness.
A girl will want everything on a platter and she may even expect a man to be carrying that platter for her. A woman will know that she’ll have to work hard for things, she’ll have to sacrifice, and she’ll want to do her bit for her man, too.

A girl will look to another for validation. A woman will exude self-confidence.

A girl will want your compliments. A woman will want your love.

Womanhood is the journey from being a friend to becoming a companion.

It is the jump from following examples to setting examples.

It is the acknowledgement that life is not a fairy tale, not a bed of roses, and for a life contentment, and love, you need to be selfless, sincere, hardworking, and truthful.

But most importantly, dear reader, a girl blossoms into a woman when she accepts herself for who she is – scars, strengths, weaknesses – and will love herself for it and will inspire you to do the same.

That, my dear reader, is the difference between a young girl and a soulful woman.

 

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Eclipses 


A definitive, visible mark on our respective ennui, this eclipse serves as a fantastic reminder of how our actions cast shadows over our souls, making us a spectacular miracle in the timeline of our lives. All of it sounds pretty fascinating, the process of bearing with the ‘rub’ that is supposed to polish us.
It’s a pretty simple thought – if He can move these massive bodies, then we only have to let loose of our imagination to remind ourselves of what greatness He can lead us to, of what miracles He can spin our lives into.
The moon eclipsing the sun, grief eclipsing joy.
But in the end, everything does come back to its natural order, doesn’t it? That’s such a gorgeous note of the static change of time, and hope, and Divine Love! All the past grief, the anxiety, the fears will set. Eventually. For the Greater Good.
Even eclipses resolve so why not our lives?

The Twenty-fifth Hour

The Ziauddin University Atlas Blog

BY: ARFA MASIHUDDIN, M.B.B.S., BATCH XX

Smiling on the wall sits the ancient clock,
Chiming away – tick, tock, tick, tock –
The day attends to your curiosity
And the night courts your dreams
And between the hours on the clock
walk our insensibilities.
The Hand of the Seconds laughs at you,
And my mind spins a tale that is beyond
The imagination of the elves
And my heart beckons to the minutes
To explain the happening miracle,
And as we slide away on the island of existence,
Our gaze looks afar, into the infinite,
Towards the twenty-fifth hour.

About the Author:  Robbins for breakfast, Rumi for lunch, ArfaMasihuddin.WordPress.com for dinner.

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-02 at 14.54.51Dali’s Persistence of Memory. SOURCE: GOOGLE.

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