Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 22, Tuesday October 28, 2003







Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar, Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q. My husband and I have a joint bank account where either of us can sign. He has left for the States and has asked me to close our account, as I will
be joining him too. Can I close the account on my own?

A. Even though you can sign cheques singly, the instruction to close the account has to be signed jointly by both you and your husband. The account opening was a 'contract' initiated jointly by both of you, and the instruction to close has to be also done jointly.

Q. I urgently need to renovate my apartment. Can I apply for a loan against my savings in my bank account? If so please assist me with some more information.

A. Yes, you can apply for a loan against your savings in your bank account. Different banks have different requirements to avail a loan/facility. If you have a Fixed Deposit account, the bank may use the fund as collateral/security to provide you a loan. Different kinds of loan products are available to cater to different needs of the customers. You can contact your bank manager for further details.

Q. I am a Bangladeshi national working with an International Organisation operating here. Can I open a foreign currency account and what are the conditions?

A. Yes, you can open a foreign currency account provided your salary is paid by the organisation in foreign currency. Such an account may be credited only with the foreign currency portion of the salary and debited for all approved current transactions like cost of travel, education for children, treatment etc. Foreign currency accounts can also be credited with consultancy fees received in foreign currency.

Agony Medic

Dr. Lutful Aziz, FCPS, PHD, Consultant "analgesia", Pain relief centre

Continued from 7-10-03. Lower back pain continues

Treatment Principle
The treatment of back problems is often classified into primary, secondary, and tertiary phases. Primary phase refers to the measures initiated in the 4 to 6 weeks immediately after the onset of pain. During this time, most cases will become asymptomatic. Control of pain and return of function with physical therapy are reasonable treatment goals during this period. The secondary phase is considered between 6 weeks to 4 months after the onset of pain, when it becomes evident that the injured structures will not respond without intervention. More vigorous physical treatment is recommended. The tertiary phase recognizes that there may be other factors preventing resolution of the problem. These factors include hidden disease, including tumours and infections and inflammatory disorders.

Physical and Manual Therapy: In the primary, or acute phase of treatment, physical modalities are often used to reduce pain. Ultrasound, local application of heat and cold, laser therapy, and massage may all successfully relieve pain. Manual physical therapy includes spinal manipulation, joint mobilization, and deep massage.

Physical Training: There are different methods of physical training programs for back pain. All require specially trained therapists for maximal benefit and each has its own merits and demerits.

Pharmacological treatment: Pain relief is an important part of treatment. Medications used to treat low back pain include analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs (oral, parenteral, and suppositories) and mood-altering medications (anti-depressants, sedatives).

Injections: In the management of chronic low back pain, a more rational approach may involve the injection of anti-inflammatory medications or local anaesthetics directly into the affected joint or structure. Injection of steroid can be useful in the epidural space to relieve nerve root referred pain.

Surgical Intervention: Although the conservative approach is warranted for nearly all back conditions, several problems may eventually require surgical intervention to prevent further deterioration of spinal structures and serious and debilitating pain. Surgery for back pain and leg pains focuses on three major goals: decompression for nerve root impingement, usually due to disc herniation; stabilization of spinal joints affected by the degenerative diseases and chronic reactive inflammation; and disc removal and spinal stabilization for discs with biochemical abnormality.

The changing view of back pain offers a justification for the use of physical training as a primary treatment modality. Physical training teaches patients appropriate activities for specific problems. The responsibility for improvement is transferred from the physician to the patient. Coaching is becoming an important component of physical treatment, with emphasis on improved function. In the treatment of chronic, recurrent pain, patients must decide if they want to feel better or get better. Physical training programmes do not promise immediate pain relief. Their long-term goal is to resolve the problem and avoid recurrence.

Dental Wise

Dr. MahfuJul Haq Khan BDS, DDS(Dhaka), PhD (Japan) Oral & Dental Surgeon BIRDEM Hospital

Q. My 5 year-old daughter has dental caries and she need some simple filling. We visited a dental clinic several times but unfortunately we, as well as her dentist fail to convince her that it will not hurt. Though she had no previous experience of any dental treatment, why she is so scared regarding her first dental visit?

Child's First Dental Visit
The cause of dental anxiety is usually a previous bad experience, but can be caused indirectly through horror stories about dental treatment from family, friends and even the media. What do you fear most about going to the dentist? Just the thought of having a needle inserted into your cheek and a cavity removed from your tooth is enough to bring tears to the eyes.

A child going to the dentist for the first time is often a handful of anxieties. Any dentist using the right techniques can transform the most terrified child into a co-operative patient who is no longer afraid - a child who will leave the office with a smile on his face.

The first thing a dentist must do, is convince the child of his honesty. Children are smart. They are not easily fooled. If a youngster is promised that a particular thing will be done, the dentist had better be sure he does it.

Usually, the dentist begins with something easy. He says, "Today I am going to count your teeth" and after that, come what may, he must count the teeth, using whatever means necessary. Remember this: The child often cries before anything is done to him (even a first haircut). He is not hurt, and the dentist has to prove that he can be trusted to do exactly what he says he is going to do - no more, no less. The noise and hysterics generally disappear after the first visit. If the dentist establishes his reliability and that he is trustworthy, there will rarely be any more trouble.



Under A Different Sky

Crossing Borders

He and I both wanted to fly. It's been a while, we both agreed, so my holed hands went ahead and spent on buying tickets to run away just for a few days, to another country not too far just up north, to visit close family and celebrate. Canada. Not at all exotic sounding or even interesting, but for our desperate selves, stuck in the 9-5 machine of USA it seemed like a heavenly escape.

Due to my impetuous nature, I bought two tickets from a package deal over the Internet, which tells you after you pay for them, in fine prints, all the do's and don't and can not. Of course there are more 'do not' and 'can not' than 'do'. With our non-refundable, non-changeable tickets we rushed to the airport 5:30 A.M in the morning. It said in fine prints in my e-ticket confirmation letter, "Due to the last minute purchase of your tickets you will be receiving extra attention at security." I panicked. A Nawaz and a Hossain travelling together, flying an hour flight in US Airways to Canada. We heard way too many horror stories of passenger harassment after 9/11 and were preparing ourselves to face the same ordeal. As we reached the security gate, we were told to take our shoes off; cuticle scissors from my nail cutting kit was thrown out, and we were not allowed to lock baggage. After putting back our shoes, the rest of the flight was a breeze. I laughed silently at my panicked mind. I scolded myself for blaming overcautious Americans.

Canada welcomed us with mostly a friendly and hospitable attitude. He and I talked about how Americans are ruder and less patient and more stressed. How here people actually ask how you are doing and mean it. After admiring Canada for few hours and after chewing down our heavy lunch we set ourselves in highway 404 and got stuck in a mortifying traffic jam. Our smiles slowly disappeared, turning into a grin then into anger as the hour passed us by, and we moved like turtles on sleeping pills. Mind you, we are very used to being stuck in traffic everyday in USA, for an hour, or maybe two or three due to the never ending construction that goes on without any improvement, but we chose to forget all that and fumed. We were waiting for the other person to say it first, but then we both said it together, "This would never happen in United States, they should add more roads, what's up with these Canadians? Like Helloooo! We got place to go, people to see!"

We didn't even realize when and how we turned into total Americans for the rest of the trip, rushing to places, frustrated at delays, moving faster than the rest in the street. I for one, who always encourage creativity and spurred new trends, criticised how Toronto was not uniform enough. How each store had its own
characteristic, how everyone had a different style and how things were too blended in between the west and the east making me feel like I was in a huge blender of cultures. And instead of feeling comfortable to see this blend, I felt insecure, as if having a minority status like I have in USA, made me have more of an identity.

We both concluded by the end of the trip that we should have come with more time in order for us to draw a more accurate picture of Canada, and packed our bags (without any locks this time) and set off for the airport end of our trip. We didn't expect much hustle, we got there in the last minute. Considering 50% of the staff in the airport was Indian, we had to remind ourselves exactly which country we came to visit. The Indian women at the customs opened up our suitcases. With their lazy fingers they made a mess of the already messy clutter of clothes and accessories. The younger one of the two went straight for the packets of saris, checking out what I had purchased the previous night at the
Indian part of the town. I was almost ready to answer how much I paid but I think she lost interest seeing my rather dull taste. We thought that after the thorough check up
we were done, but it continued. We were individually hand-searched, hand and camera bags were rummaged around upside-down, inside-out. Getting my ends together and being groped a few times in-search of hidden cuticle scissors, I realised how going into USA is three times more hectic than coming out, from even a next-door country like Canada. The shields are high up and being a part of that guarded country we have also built a high wall around us, carrying an automatic snobbery and superiority: we are just too good for anyone else you see?

We got back after an hour of flight full of turbulence. The DC sky was clear that day, the comforting breeze, the green all around never looked so striking. I felt at home, and a very American tear came out of my eye, awed by my newfound sense of belonging.

By Iffat Nawaz



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