Lt Gen Raza appointed new head of joint chiefs of staff committee

Newly appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, left, with the Prime Minister of Pakistan at his office in Islamabad on Nov. 21. 2019. (Photo courtesy: Screengrab from the PM house video)
Updated 22 November 2019

Lt Gen Raza appointed new head of joint chiefs of staff committee

  • A highly decorated officer, Raza served most recently as Chief of General Staff
  • The government already notified General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s reappointment as army chief in August this year

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Lt Gen Nadeem Raza as the country’s new Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), announced an official statement circulated by the PM Office on Thursday.
His appointment will take effect from November 27 when he will replace the incumbent CJCSC, Gen Zubair Hayat.




Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Lt Gen Nadeem Raza (Photo courtesy: ISPR)

Lt Gen Raza is a highly decorated military officer who became the Chief of General Staff last year. The post is considered extremely prestigious among the armed forces since the officer occupying it gets to work closely with the country’s powerful army chief.
According to the local media, Lt Gen Raza was commissioned in the infantry in September 1985. He will now be running the topmost military office in the country, serving as an adviser to the government on defense-related matters and coordinating with the Pakistan Navy and Air Force.
Apart from announcing the appointment of Lt Gen Raza, the official statement from the PM Office also mentioned that Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s reappointment as the army chief had already been notified in August 2019.
Gen Bajwa will continue to serve as Chief of Army Staff for the next three years.


Pakistani breast cancer detection startup hopes to get FDA approval by next year

Updated 20 October 2020

Pakistani breast cancer detection startup hopes to get FDA approval by next year

  • Xylexa Inc. has developed software that produces mammogram results within seconds, pushing diagnosis accuracy up to 90 percent
  • Pakistan has the highest rate of breast cancer in Asia with approximately 90,000 new cases diagnosed every year

ISLAMABAD: The CEO of a Pakistani startup that uses artificial intelligence and image processing to detect breast cancer said this week he was hopeful his software would break onto the global stage next year after getting approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Xylexa Inc., a computer-aided diagnostics platform, has developed software that processes mammograms within seconds and produces results, pushing diagnosis accuracy up to 90 percent while also cutting costs and time.
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and Pakistan has the highest rate of the disease in Asia, with approximately 90,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Of those, 40,000 patients do not survive, according to data from the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, which says approximately one out of every nine Pakistani women are likely to suffer from breast cancer. Around 77 percent cases of invasive breast cancer occur in women above 50 years, though if diagnosed early, the survival rate is close to 90 percent.
“Breast cancer’s early diagnosis is the biggest challenge [and] when a radiologist reads a mammogram with a naked eye, the [chances of] misdiagnosis are over 30 percent,” Shahrukh Babar, Xylexa’s chief executive officer, told Arab News on Monday.
“We have developed an artificial intelligence-based decision support system which reads mammograms, processes them through innovative algorithms and exactly pinpoints where the anomaly is present and what type of anomaly it is, either it is benign or belligerent,” Babar said. “There is no subscription fee for our service as hospitals and individuals can pay per study. It is a cloud based application which can be accessed easily anywhere and anytime. Even patients will be able to upload their mammograms to get the diagnosis.”
The company began to develop the software in early 2017, and it is now being used on a trial basis in hospitals in The Netherlands and Germany. Xylexa hopes to release its application performance results by November and is developing partnerships with hospitals in Dubai, Europe and the US before it launches the software commercially next year after getting FDA certification, the CEO said.
“We are launching it in Pakistan by first quarter of next year, and will be launching it globally in 2021,” Babar said, adding that his company was closely working with an advisory board of oncologists and radiologists from North America and Canada to fine-tune the product.
Healthcare specialists say death by breast cancer can be prevented in one third of women if routine mammography was performed in women over 50 years of age.
“It is quite alarming that breast cancer is becoming common in younger age groups,” said Dr. Erum Khan, a surgeon and healthcare specialist at Polyclinic hospital in Islamabad. “The the only way to tackle it effectively is early and accurate detection.”