Lahore:Washing of hands before and after meals and toilet can save children from numerous diseases and thereby reduce mortality rate 10 per cent among children. The main objective of celebrating mother and child health week is to prevent mother and child from various diseases through sensitizing them about hygienic principles and creating a healthy environment. World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA and concerned government departments are extending full cooperation to the health department for this purpose.
It was stated by Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab on Health, Kh. Salman Rafiq while inaugurating mother and child health week at Government Mian Munshi Hospital, here today. Special Secretary Health Punjab Dawood Muhammad Bareach, DG Health Dr. Nisar Cheema, EDO Health Lahore Dr. Inamul Haq, MS Government Mian Munshi Hospital Dr. Muhammad Shafqat, UNICEF representatives Dr. Srita, Dr. Mushtaq Rana, Medical Office WHO Dr. Babar Alam, Provincial Coordinator of National Programme for Family Planning & Primary Health Dr. Akhtar Rasheed Malik, UNICEF representative Dr. Tahir Manzoor and representatives of other departments were also present on this occasion. Kh. Salman Rafiq said that though international donor agencies are supporting Punjab government in making health programmes successful but the media is also our partner as the media is disseminating information among the masses about the health issues and creating awareness which is essential for preventing people from diseases.
Kh. Salman Rafiq disclosed that according to the reports of international institutions, one child out of 10 does not see his 5th birthday and pneumonia and diarrhoea are the main causes of these deaths. He said that it is a matter of great concern for us and a comprehensive strategy is required to check these mortalities. According to these reports, every year, Pakistan witnesses preventable deaths of nearly 432000 children below five years of age out of these two-thirds are in the first 28 days of their life. At the same time, 20000 mothers are also dying due to causes related to pregnancy and child birth. Most of these precious lives can be saved by simple knowledge about prevention, treatment and by adopting some key measures at home and appropriate healthcare practices.
While briefing regarding the mother and child health week, Dr. Akhtar Rasheed Malik informed that 49 thousand lady health workers and more than five thousand community health workers would pay door to door visits for providing basic information regarding health of children and pregnant women. Moreover, more than seven million children would be given de-worm tablets and 0.6 million children will be immunized. One million pregnant women will get tetanus toxoid vaccine and 3.7 million women will be counseled through health awareness sessions. He informed that folic acid tablets would be distributed among pregnant women to save them from anemia. He told that every pregnant woman will be informed about the importance of at least four ANC visits, delivery by a skilled birth attendant, postnatal care, early initiation of breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding, immunization of the child and optimal birth spacing.