KARACHI: The federal government has released funds for the salaries of lady health workers (LHWs), who had been unpaid for the last five months. These workers had been appointed across the country to administer anti-polio vaccines to children and to provide primary healthcare to women.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, National Programme for Planning and Primary Healthcare Manager Dr Iqbal Ahmed Lehri confirmed that the money had been handed over. He said that 110,000 LHWs had been appointed and Rs900 million had been issued to the national programme for their salaries. He assured that their salaries up to December 2010 will be transferred to their respective accounts by next week.
Lehri said that the federal government will soon make a decision on regularising healthcare providers. "So far, we have no policy on this," he added. But, he added, after June 30, the health ministry would be devolved to the provinces in line with the 18th Amendment and so the provinces would then make all decisions.
Provincial manager of the programme Feroz Memon said that 23,000 LHWs are working in Sindh and Rs190 million have been received for their salaries. But since they require just Rs162 million for the salaries, they plan to distribute the remaining amount wherever it is needed across the province.
The LHWs were last paid in September last year.
They had been protesting fervently in Karachi last week and because of their boycott, the anti-polio campaign in the province had been delayed as well.
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