Helping hands: Global Fund cooperation sought to treat TB patients

Salman Rafique says Health Dept is in contact with Centre over medicine prices

Our Correspondent February 11, 2016
Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique holding a meeting with Abdul Bari, chief recipient of Global Fund and the Indus Hospital Karachi head. PHOTO: NNI


Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khwaja Salman Rafique said on Thursday the Health Department had approached its international partner Global Fund to seek cooperation to enhance diagnostic and treatment facilities for tuberculosis (TB) patients at public hospitals and health centres.

The adviser held a meeting with Abdul Bari, chief recipient of Global Fund and the Indus Hospital Karachi head. Health Services Director General Mukhtar Hussain Syed and Punjab TB Control Programme Director Abdul Majeed were also present.

The meeting reviewed steps taken to control TB and provide diagnostic and treatment facilities to patients.

Rafique stressed the need for launching an awareness campaign against TB. He said that due to effective and vigorous surveillance, the ratio of detection and registration of TB patients had increased in the province. Global Fund should enhance its cooperation in this regard, the adviser said.

Bari assured the meeting that he would do his best to increase the funding from Global Fund.

Earlier, Abdul Majeed briefed the meeting regarding an awareness programme and TB control activities. He said the provincial government was providing free treatment facilities and medicines to patients under the TB DOTS Programme  with assistance from the Global Fund.

Medicine pricing

Rafique chaired a meeting on prices of medicines. Mukhtar Hussain Syed and officials from the Provincial Quality Control Board attended the meeting.

“Although the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan deals with registration and pricing of medicines, the provincial government has apprised the federal government of difficulties faced by the common man following a hike in price of some medicines,” he said. “The provincial government has shared its concerns with the federal government so that a strategy might be evolved on the prices.”


A delegation of Hands International, headed by its chief Dr Tanvir, called on Rafique at his office on Thursday. Mukhtar Hussain Syed, Headquarters Director Abdul Razzaq and Health Services Director Abdul Majeed Chaudhry were also present.

They discussed cooperation on health and nutrition. Tanvir informed the meeting that the NGO had started operating in Sindh in 1979. “The Hands International is now running 31 offices in 47 districts of the country,” he said.

Rafique praised the Hands International for running a rehabilitation centre in Chiniot, and providing artificial limbs to the disabled and shelters to flood victims in the southern Punjab.

Rafique said the Health Department would extend all-out cooperation to the NGO for mother and child healthcare and a nutrition programme.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2016.


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