Archive for May, 2009

Gold Leaf Pakistan Tabacco Company Limited (PTC)

May 16th, 2009 No comments


Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PTC) is one of Pakistan’s most established and structured multinational organization. PTC was established in 1950. It is a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, which has a 63.4% stake in the company. PTC is one of the largest cigarette manufacturing company in Pakistan and has a market share of around 42%. Pakistan Tobacco has initiated a Change Management Program. This program is known as BEST 2000. PTC believes that Total Quality is more than just Product Quality; it is quality of everything they do in business. It means understanding your Consumers, Customers, Stakeholders, and Suppliers. BEST 2000 is serving as the fundamental building block in directing the energies of PTC to achieve its mission statement. The following is the mission statement of PTC: Together we will be the best in everything we do. BEST 2000 was launched in 1997. BEST is helping PTC improve its team building. Further, it provides the means to continuously improve and break the vicious cycles that inhibit improvement activities. Moreover, it assists employees to participate in driving the company forward. The end objective of PTC is to ensure that its team is fully aligned to meet future challenges and well prepared to drive into the next millennium. Pakistan Tobacco has a paid up capital of Rs. 319.367 million. In 1998 the company contributed around Rs. 9.4 billion to the national economy in the form of duties & taxes. The prestigious brands of PTC include Benson & Hedges, John Player Gold Leaf, Capstan, Wills Kings, Wills Gold Flake, Embassy, and Three Castles. Pakistan Tobacco Company diversified its operation by entering into the edible oil market in 1996. Moreover, the company plans to explore the export potential by capitalizing on the opportunities present in the Central Asian countries.

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Swine flu facts: the virus, symptoms and treatment – 2009 outbreak in humans

May 2nd, 2009 No comments

What is swine influenza (swine flu)?

Swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of a swine flu virus have been recently confirmed.

· What is the current situation?

Human cases of a new form of influenza virus were identified in the United States, Mexico and Canada in April 2009. The influenza is a swine influenza A virus. The World Health Organization has declared the swine influenza situation to be a public health emergency of international concern.

No cases of swine influenza have been confirmed in Pakistan / India as of 28 April 2009.

The pandemic alert level has been raised by the World Health Organization.

This event is of concern because:

Swine influenza is derived from an animal influenza virus, which means that humans will likely have little or no immunity

There has been rapid spread to multiple communities overseas

Swine influenza is affecting unusual age groups (healthy, young adults)

The Swine Influenza A virus is thought to be sensitive to the new antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), but resistant to both amantadine and rimantadine.

· What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of swine influenza are similar to normal influenza (fever, cough, tiredness, muscle aches, sore throat, chills, shortness of breath, runny nose, headache). Some cases of swine influenza have also complained of vomiting and diarrhoea. In some cases, swine influenza can result in a severe pneumonia. Symptoms of influenza generally appear between two to four days after exposure.

· Who is at risk?

Currently, travellers exposed to cases of swine influenza overseas are at risk of becoming infected with the new swine influenza virus.

· How is it prevented?

As the new swine influenza strain has only been identified recently, a human vaccine for swine influenza is not yet available. Existing vaccines for normal human influenza will probably not provide protection against swine influenza. Scientists worldwide are working to develop a suitable human vaccine against swine influenza A (H1N1), however a vaccine is not expected to become available in the near future.

Until a vaccine becomes available, the best method of prevention will be to ensure that everyone washes their hands regularly and thoroughly, steps away from others when they cough or sneeze, coughs or sneezes into tissues and stays away from people who are sick.

· What should I do if I develop symptoms?

People who develop influenza-like symptoms should stay at home until they are completely better. People who have recently returned from affected areas and who develop influenza-like symptoms or breathing difficulties should contact their local public health unit, general practitioner or emergency department.

Swine influenza virus infection can be diagnosed using swabs from the nose and throat. Testing is done at a specialized laboratory.

· How is it treated?

If you become unwell and suspect that you may have swine influenza, you should contact your local public health unit or general practitioner, or go to your nearest hospital emergency department for assessment and treatment. Specific anti-influenza drugs are likely to be effective against swine influenza.

· What is the public health response?

There have been no confirmed cases of swine influenza in Australia as of 27 April 2009. There is enhanced surveillance for people infected with swine influenza, especially in people who have returned from affected areas within the last 7 days.

Should suspected human cases occur in NSW, the local public health unit will work with the patient, the treating doctors, and the laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. Suspected cases will be asked to isolate themselves from others to prevent further infection.

Travel advice

The situation is changing rapidly. For updated information on affected areas, see the Pakistani / Indian Government travel advice websites. Always wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with sick people, after coughing, sneezing or going to the toilet, or before eating.

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