KARACHI: Expressing his displeasure on functioning of health programmes in Sindh province the Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah has directed the Health Department’s authorities to change heads of these programmes.
He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of Health Department Friday. He was told at the meeting that some 11 helath related programmes and projects were underway in the province. Those include EPI, LHWs programme for family planning & primary health care, Maternal & Neonatal Child Health Programme, TB Control Programme, Prevention & Control of Hepatitis, Prevention & Control of Blindness, Malaria control, Nutrition Support, Enhanced HIV/AIDS programme, Child Survival Programme and Dengune Control & Prevention Programme.
The chief minister said that he was not satisfied with the performance of these programme. “I want you to re-fix your targets and show me progress of these programmes and projects,” he said.
The chief minister was told that four cases of polio have been reported during 2016 which include two in Shikarpur, one in Jacobabad and one in Karachi. In measles 1,193 cases were reported which claimed 14 lives. Similarly, 1367 dengue cases were reported in which three had lost their lives. Only two cases of Naegleria were reported and both the patients succumbed.
Chief Minister said that polio has earned bad name to Pakistan. “I am committed to eradicate polio from Sindh for which everyone has to work hard with me,” he said and directed chief secretary to arrange meetings with all commissioners and deputy commissioners to give them targets. He also added that he was not happy with the measles reported cases. These diseases have been wiped out from almost all the backward countries of the world but still our people are suffering from it, he said.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had lot of respect for doctors who have responsibility to serve the ailing poor people, however, people have no option but to go to public sector hospitals for their treatment. “The government is spending around Rs33 billion on non-salary expenditures of the health department, therefore we expect health services accordingly,” he said.
He said that people have lot of complaints that the doctors in government health facilities were referring them to private labs for tests and medical stores for medicines. “What is this? Why this attitude is adopted? I would not allow further deterioration in public health service,” he said loudly and directed health minister to install banners for public awareness ‘to get medicines from the hospital and don’t purchase medicines from private stores’.
The chief minister assigned powers transfer and posting of grade B-19 and 20 officers to the health minister. He also directed the health department to establish a command & control center at their conference hall on 6th floor of New Sindh Secretariat to monitor health services. He also ordered the department to develop software for keeping record of their employees/doctors which include their complete service record, and data of hospital-wise medicine, disbursement, performance of vertical programmes and other health services.
Giving details of health indicators, Secretary Health Department, Government of Sindh, Mr. Usman Chachar said that the infant mortality rate recorded in 2014 is 82 live births. The Child mortality rate upto 5 years of age is also 104 per 1000 live births. At least 65.7 percent births are done by skilled attendants; while the figure of institutional deliveries has been recorded at 64 percent. There is 79.7 percent proportion of antenatal care, 71.8 percent proportion of postnatal care and total fertility rate is 4, while contraceptive prevalence rate has been recorded at 29 percent. The chief minister also expressed his displeasure and said that every health indicator must be improved by improving health services.