KARACHI: A seven-member delegation of the World Health Organisaton (WHO) has reached Pakistan to begin its Patient Safety Friendly Hospital programme in the country. The delegation aims to assist the government in the provision of improved medical facilities, ensuring a safe environment for patients at hospitals during treatment and taking steps to safeguard patients against infectious diseases at healthcare facilities. It has arrived on the invitation of Federal Health Minister Zafar Mirza.
On its first day of visit, the WHO team visited various public and private hospitals in Karachi, including Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), and held a meeting with the Sindh health secretary.
During the visit to the hospitals, WHO officials advised administrators to prepare a checklist of their treatment procedures and ensure proper waste management to curb the spread of communicable diseases at the hospitals. They also asked the administrators to train hospital staff in this regard.
The delegation met JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemi Jamali and proposed the formation of a steering committee, comprising patient-safety experts, to train the staff at the public health facility. Dr Jamali agreed to form a steering committee.
The delegation also met Sindh Health Secretary Saeed Awan, who requested the WHO officials to pay a visit to the Lyari General Hospital and suggest ways to improve the healthcare facility.
Apart from Karachi, the WHO teams plans to visit hospitals in other cities of Pakistan too. It aims to visit up to 10 hospitals in the country, including Shifa International Hospital and Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad and Lahore General Hospital and Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital in Lahore.
The delegates will also hold meetings with various health-sector officials as well as the Federal Health Minister Zafar Mirza.
According to WHO, Pakistan has the highest number of hepatitis B and hepatitis C patients and 900 people, including 750 children, have been diagnosed with HIV in Rato Dero, Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2019.