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Cuba Medical scholarship programme | HIV positive case in PU

650 students may miss MBBS course: Delay in Cuban nod
Islamabad, May 10, 2008: As many as 650 medical students have been waiting for the last eight months to be sent to Cuba for a scholarship programme that was offered by the Cuban government last year, it was learnt.

According to details, 1,000 medical students were selected from across the country for this scholarship last year. Out of which 350 were sent to Cuba. However, the remaining students had been waiting for their departure.

The delay in departure has raised concerns of students as they were waiting for quite a long period and had not taken admission elsewhere.

"I still remember the day I got the provisional award for this scholarship in July 2007 since then not only me but hundreds of students have been waiting for their departure to Cuba for the initiation of MBBS programme," an aggrieved student asking not to be named told this scribe.

"If we were sent in time we would have completed one semester the delay in departure is wasting our time," she added.

The selected students had not taken admission elsewhere, as refusing this scholarship would cost them a fine of Rs130,000. However, prolonged delay was wasting their precious time.

An orientation session for the remaining students was held on March 20, 2008 at Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Cuban Embassy.

The purpose of the event was to inform the students about different aspects of the scholarship programmes, the education system in Cuba and matters related to living and managing in a foreign environment. Similar orientation session had also been organised by the HEC at Karachi and Lahore.

A source in the HEC seeking anonymity told this scribe that the students sent to Cuba were facing various problems including a scheme of studies different from international curriculum, financial hardships (stipend promised by HEC was not given to them), and cultural diversity due to which female students were facing severe problems.

Unaware of the problems being faced by the students already there in Cuba, the remaining students were anxiously waiting for their turn and were eager to get intimation from the HEC. Yet, no intimation related to time of departure has been given to the students.

HIV positive case detected in PU Lahore: A two-day free medical camp, organised by the Islami Jamiat Tulaba, at the Punjab University has shown startling results.

One student was detected HIV positive, 96 Hepatitis-C positive and 43 carriers of Hepatitis A & B. Up to 2,000 students got their blood scanned at the camps established at statistics department and the Institute of Education and Research for male students and at sociology department for female students.

At the medical camps, the students learnt about preventive measures to control Hepatitis A, B and C. Pamphlets and brochures about preventive measures to check ailments were also distributed to students.

The camp, which concluded on Friday, was organised by the IJT on self-help basis. IJT King Edward Medical University and Allama Iqbal Medical College doctors and students managed the medical camps.

PU students praised the IJT activists for organising the camp. Dawn
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