In a first, Chinese herbal medicine for bronchitis to hit Pakistan's market

A representational photo of herbal capsules. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 15 December 2019

In a first, Chinese herbal medicine for bronchitis to hit Pakistan's market

  • The capsule cleared a clinical test in Pakistan and was declared suitable for local use
  • China and Pakistan agreed in November 2018 to enhance cooperation in the field of traditional medicine

KARACHI: For the first time, a Chinese herbal medicine, traditionally used to cure bronchitis, will be accessible to Pakistani users after it successfully passed a year-long clinical trial at a research center in Pakistan and was declared suitable and effective for the residents of the South Asian state, reported Beijing’s official press agency Xinhua on Sunday.
Presenting the findings of the trial, Raza Shah, general manager of the Bioequivalence Studies and Clinical Research at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) of the University of Karachi, said that Amoxicillin, an antibiotic widely used to cure bronchitis, was “losing its potency against bacteria due to resistance, so there was a need for alternate and Yinhuang Qingfei [the Chinese capsule] proved to be a good alternative."
Chronic bronchitis is a common disease related to chronic inflammation, which is caused by a variety of pathogenic factors, such as air pollution, smoking, and pathogen infection.
A total of 212 patients were treated during the trial period and the effectiveness against cough rate in case of Yinhuang Qingfei was 72.8 percent and that of antibiotic Amoxicillin-Clavulanate was 71.8 percent, the report said.
It may be recalled that Pakistan and China signed a joint statement in November 2018, agreeing to enhance cooperation in the field of traditional medicine. 


Virus school closure turns aspiring financier into Islamabad’s favorite pet portraitist

Updated 08 August 2020

Virus school closure turns aspiring financier into Islamabad’s favorite pet portraitist

  • In front of a veterinary clinic in Islamabad’s F7 sector, a 19-year-old artist set up a pet portrait studio
  • Malik began painting at a young age, but animals entered his canvas only last year, when his beloved cat went missing

ISLAMABAD: With a science certificate in his pocket, Arbaz Malik was ready for college when the coronavirus struck and shut the door of his dream school. Putting the 19-year-old’s education on hold, the pandemic has, however, opened to him a strikingly different career path: pet portraiture.

In front of a veterinary clinic at a small market in Islamabad’s F7 sector, Malik set up a tiny pop-up studio which draws attention with a rainbow sign “Paint Your Loving Pet” and furry customers waiting for their turn to be captured in paint.

 A German Shepherd puppy is sitting still while Arbaz Malik is painting its portrait in Maqbool Market in F7 Islamabad on Aug. 5, 2020. (AN/Sib Kaifee)

“I was very excited for school to begin, I am aiming to get a Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) degree,” he said. But as the pandemic made everything become uncertain, the current job as a pet portraitist gives him “a positive thing to look forward to every day.”

Malik’s engagement in the arts began at a young age, but until recently he was trying to master landscape and cityscape painting. Animals entered his canvas only last year, when his beloved cat Shpanty went missing.

Heartbroken, unable to find Shpanty, Malik eventually painted her portrait from a photograph. Seeing the result, his brother, Arsalan, advised him to think about turning talent into a career.

Arbaz Malik's cat Shpanty went missing in 2019. Her portrait, left, was Malik's first step into the pet portraiture business. (Photo courtesy: Arbaz Malik)

“My brother suggested that I come here to the same place we would bring our cat, and see if pet parents going in and out of the clinic might be interested in getting their pets painted,” Malik told Arab News while painting a German Shephard pup patiently sitting next to his easel.

“Three months ago, with the support of the clinic, I began my business.”

Dog, cat, bird, and even horse owners have since become Malik’s faithful and broad customer base. His paintings have already traveled across the world into homes in Canada and France with repeat customers commissioning him to paint pet portraits which they carry abroad as gifts for relatives and friends.

When his college reopens, Malik wants to attend classes full time, but says he will not give up art.

“I will always do both, even after my studies are complete,” he said, “I love painting too much.”

He also loves animals, which is what he and his customers have in common.

“Pets are so important, you love them, they are beautiful and innocent, and they really are your best friend,” Malik said, “They even help you fight off depression, because their support and love are unconditional.”