Health ministry launches free screening for slum residents

Pregnant women and toddlers to be vaccinated against seven diseases in a door-to-door campaign

Our Correspondents March 07, 2019
Pregnant women and toddlers to be vaccinated against seven diseases in a door-to-door campaign. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD: The federal health ministry on Wednesday launched a free testing and treatment services for residents of the slum, France Colony, in Islamabad.

The service, which scans for and treats Hepatitis C and tuberculosis (TB), was kicked off by Federal Health Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani by visiting the special camps established by the ministry.

“The government is cognizant of the risk posed to the health of masses by Hepatitis C and TB including infectious diseases,” Kiani said, adding that these diseases push the poor further into poverty.

He added that they have already inaugurated a model centre for infectious diseases control in the Civil Surgeon’s Dispensary in Sector G-7/3. He further explained that the centre is called “model” because it will be dedicated to screening, testing and treating Hepatitis C patients with the integration of other infectious diseases such as TB.

The minister further said it will be an innovative centre because for the first time an underserved population of almost 100,000 people living in the slums of ICT will be screened for Hepatitis C and TB at their doorstep and those found positive for Hepatitis C and TB will be referred to this centre for free health care.

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The centre, he said, is equipped with diagnostic machines such as GeneXpert and medicines which have more than 95 per cent cure rates with almost no side effects.

“The idea is to provide good quality testing, treatment and free Health services to the patients under one roof,” he said, adding that they had a special focus on Islamabad to make it a model city for health.

Pindi to launch crash programme

To protect children and pregnant women from seven deadly diseases, the Rawalpindi district health department has decided to launch a crash vaccination course. The programme commenced from March 6 and will continue until March 14.

During the campaign, people will be vaccinated for diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, whooping cough, polio, and measles.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Dr.Rashid Khan has directed to conduct a door-to-door campaign while all District Health Officers (DHO) and vaccinators have been directed to identify those homes where pregnant women were present, examine them and then vaccinate their children up to two-years-of-age.

For this purpose, the health department has decided to use mosques for making announcements about medical teams and vaccination.

Dr Rashid said that it was imperative to vaccinate pregnant women and children to protect them from these lethal diseases.

Dengue monitoring

To ensure fruitful results in the ongoing dengue drive at the grassroots level, some 20 teams have been formed to monitor the campaign at Union Council (UC) level.

During the campaign, 15 teams will carry out indoor surveillance in the Basic Health Centres (BHCs) across the district while five teams will conduct outdoor surveillance.

In a review meeting at the BHC in Dhama Syedan, UC Dhamial Dengue Supervisor Rashid Kharral said the rising temperatures had increased the chances of dengue larvae growth. However, he expressed the hope that this menace could be curtailed by adopting precautionary measures.

He urged citizens to cooperate with the monitoring teams for controlling the growth and spread of dengue larvae and he advised them to strongly act upon the instructions given by the teams.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2019.


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