LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that seven new mother & child hospitals have been started in Lahore, Layyah, Rajanpur, Sialkot, Bahawalnagar, Attock and Mianwali.
University of Child Health is being established at Children’s Hospital in Lahore while some new medical colleges and universities will be established soon, the CM added after inaugurating the 15-day typhoid vaccination drive at a local hotel on Wednesday, where SAPCM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Health Advisor Hanif Pitafi and the representatives of WHO and UNICEF were also present.
During the first phase starting from February 1, children from 9 months to 15 years will be vaccinated in 12 districts while the second phase will begin in May to vaccinate 19.3 million children in urban areas of 24 other districts.
Addressing the ceremony, Buzdar thanked the stakeholders for their cooperation and hoped the typhoid vaccination drive will protect children from the fatal disease.
“The PTI-led government is working day and night to improve the quality of life of common man and special attention is being given to the health of mothers and children,” he said. “It is positive that the coverage of “Sehat Sahulat Card Programme” has been extended to 36 districts. Free medicines are being provided to patients through “Insaf Medicine Card” facility.”
The CM further said that eight billion rupees are being spent on the upgradation of hospitals in Attock, Chiniot, DG Khan, Mianwali, Jhang, Kasur, Lodhran and Rajanpur through the prime minister’s health initiative, besides recruitment of 32000 officials through PPSC to overcome shortage of hospitals’ staff.
While giving details about the health sector reforms, the chief minister said that 20 new bio-safety level-3 labs have increased the daily corona testing capacity from 400 to 25000 as the government spent 14 billion rupees on the treatment of coronavirus patients.
“10 billion rupees were earmarked for the procurement of latest medical equipment for government hospitals. The provincial cabinet has also approved the start of a universal healthcare programme to provide free treatment facilities to 120 million people. The first phase of this programme will start from Sahiwal and DG Khan,” he said.
The CM announced to add typhoid vaccination in the schedule of immunization programme and said Pakistan will be the first country to take this initiative. “This drive is a noble cause to be performed with due diligence by the concerned staff. We are committee to make Punjab free from all diseases,” he added.
Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said, “Every healthcare initiative is fully supported by the CM. Centres will be established in hospitals, health centres and schools to vaccinate children. The whole world has appreciated the timely steps taken by the provincial government to deal with coronavirus.”
Provincial Minister Murad Raas termed children as the future of the country and said that the government is fully committed to improve education and healthcare facilities.
Health Secretary Captain (R) Mohammad Usman said typhoid vaccine will be administered to children from March this year.