Lahore: Member House of Commons of Britain, and head of UK International Development Committee Sir Malcolm Bruce has expressed satisfaction over the efforts and steps of Punjab government for betterment of health sector, controlling mortality of mother and child, improving polio vaccination coverage and controlling worst dengue virus, within a short period of time.
A 10-member delegation of Britain House of Commons called on Secretary Health Punjab Arif Nadeem, under the leadership of Sir Malcolm Bruce at Civil Secretariat. Secretary Health gave detailed briefing to the high level British delegation about steps taken by the Punjab government for improvement of health sector, disease prevention of illnesses, eradication of polio, alongwith controlling maternal mortality rate. The meeting was attended by Special Secretary for Health Babar Hayyat Tarrar, Director General Health Punjab Dr. Nisar Cheema, Farasat Iqbal Director Punjab Health Sector Reforms Programme, Additional Secretary Health Dr. Anwar Janjua and other officers.
Secretary Health informed the delegation that Punjab government has controlled the worst dengue epidemic in the world with great efforts, and through community participation, within a very short period of time. He said, in order to achieve the target of dengue control, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif gave responsibilities to all government departments, and conducted continuous meetings from 7 a.m. the morning, for 76 days. He said, after dengue control, the Punjab government has taken special steps to launch another successful anti-polio campaign, as a result of which, only two polio cases have been reported in Punjab during the current year. He said, after dengue control, the focus of Punjab government is now to ensure prevention of diseases. He said the Punjab government has ensured expeditious rehabilitation of health infrastructure, devastated due to worst flood in various districts of South Punjab, alongwith ensuring health-related facilities to the people of these areas. He said, in collaboration with the international partners, pregnant women are being provided 24-hour health cover, alongwith provision of labour rooms.
He said, after the success of 24/7 programme, its scope is being expanded to another 20 districts. Secretary Health informed that, for the first time in the country, a Healthcare Commission has been set up, which would regulate health facilities working in government and private sectors. He further said that Punjab government is promoting highly essential private health sector, which caters to the 70 percent health-related need of the people. Secretary Health apprised the British delegation in detail about Lady Health Workers (LHW) Programme, Mother and Child Health, Punjab Health Sector Reforms Programme, EPI, Polio control and removing malnutrition among children and pregnant women besides other matters.