Barber shops, quacks playing havoc with people’s health


Unhygienic conditions and use of unsterilised equipment by barbers and quacks sitting in different localities of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are spreading diseases, including hepatitis B and C, and AIDS.
During a survey carried out by APP of many shops and roadside barbers in the twin cities, it was observed that a good number of them, especially at pedestrian pathways, were using de-sterilized instruments and sub-standard shaving and after shave creams.
Mostly poor and unaware people visit these barber shops without knowing the potential risks to their health.
A number of quacks and barbers are doing business unchecked in the Capital while the main cause for spread of the diseases is dental treatment being provided by those sitting along roadsides. Likewise, barbers sitting under trees or along footpaths in Sectors F-6, G-6, G-7, G-9, I-8, I-9 and I-10 in Islamabad and Faizabad and Pirwadhai in Rawalpindi are playing havoc with the people’s health by using unclean equipment.
The number of patients suffering from communicable diseases is on the rise due to barber shops and beauty parlours. The people, while talking to APP, said that they come to these shops or spots because of inflation as they cannot afford to visit qualified barbers for haircut or dental clinics where treatment was very costly. “We have few options left in such circumstances. That is why we visit these people knowing the fact they may cause health problems,” they said and added that the higher charges of good barber shops and clinics were beyond their reach.
“In a bid to prevent spread of communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, the CDA had ordered barbers, beauticians and hairdressers to secure licences from its Health Services Directorate, but they continue to flout the directive,” Ali Ahmad, a citizen, said. Bilal Qasim, a patient of hepatitis, said that he was the only breadwinner of a six-member family and could not afford his treatment.
“I went to a barber shop a few months ago and had my left cheek cut slightly. I gradually suffered skin problems that developed into hepatitis,” he said. Medics said there were a number of patients suffering from skin diseases because of using contaminated equipment. “That may further develop into deadly diseases like AIDS or hepatitis,” they said. The HIV/AIDS spreads through unscreened blood transfusion, reuse of used synergies and unsafe sexual behaviour.
The disease also spreads through use of used razors and needles mainly amongst drug addicts. There is a dire need to create awareness among the people, especially youth, for their protection. Dr Ajmal, at Polyclinic, said there was no doubt that hepatitis and AIDS were spreading because of unsterilised tools. He suggested the government to make laws against quacks and barbers who use unhygienic gadgets.
Book on Azerbaijan
published: A comprehensive book titled Azerbaijan Aag ki sarzameen or ‘Azerbaijan the land of fire’ has been brought out by a young Pakistani journalist Raja Aamir Mehmood Bhatti with special focus on Pak-Azeri relationship.
The author of the book Raja Aamir Mehmood Bhatti highlighting the title of the book says that Azerbaijan is called the land of fire because its soil is full of natural resources of oil and gas and during the former Soviet Union the land of Azerbaijan was one of the main sources of fuel for the union.
Highlighting the pre and post independence of Azerbaijan, the author paid tribute to Heydar Aliyev the founding father of Azerbaijan for his vision to reform the newly independent state from former USSR.
Raja Aamir Mehmood Bhatti in his book also explained the vision and initiatives of incumbent president Ilham Aliyev for taking forward the mission of the Founding father of Azerbaijan and putting the country of the path of socio economic prosperity. The Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan Dashgin Shikaro in his message on the publication of the book said that Azerbaijan and Pakistan are brotherly countries.