Public health: Govt to focus on hepatitis control

40,000 patients would be treated in the first phase of the programme. PHOTOS: EXPRESS/FILE


Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique said on Wednesday said the government would implement a three-year development scheme for prevention and control of hepatitis at a cost of Rs2,447 million.

He said Rs754 million had been released for fiscal year 2013-2014.

He was presiding over a meeting of Steering Committee for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis at the Institute of Public Health. The committee reviewed the progress of the implementation of hepatitis control programme.

The programme includes immunisation of high-risk groups, improvement of infection control practices, setting up efficient systems for hospital waste management and arranging diagnostic services for poor patients.

An awareness campaign and screening of school children are also a part of the programme.

Rafique said the government would not compromise on the quality of health services provided under the hepatitis control programme.

Rafique said 40,000 patients would be treated in the first phase of the programme.

Special Health Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar said the Department of Health would ensure transparency and efficient service delivery.

He said a program management unit would be set up and included in the restructuring of the Health Department.

Health Director General Zahid Pervaiz told the meeting that training for improved infection control measures were being arranged in colloboration with Technical Resource Facility.

The Steering Committee approved the technical working group for handling the disposal of hospital waste management. A technical experts committee was also tasked to recommend measures and guidance for case management.

The committee also decided to seek guidance from the Planning and Development Department to shift the focus of the budget from curative to preventive services.

Other participants of the meeting included Institute of Public Health Dean Maaz Ahmad, Post Graduate Medical Institute head Anjum Habib, Blood Transfusion Services Director Mahfoozur Rahman, EPI Director Munir Ahmad, AIDS Control Program programme manager Salman Shahid Program Manager and Technical Additional Secretary Muhammad Anwar Janjua.

The next meeting of the committee will be held in two weeks.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2014. 

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