Save the Children and the Punjab Lady Health Workers Programme on Monday presented awards to selected lady health workers (LHWs) in the province for their distinguished performance.
The ceremony celebrated lady health workers as ‘champions’ of the Every One Campaign, a global campaign of Save the Children focusing on reducing infant and maternal mortality.
Donors and civil society and government representatives were invited to the award ceremony.
Briefing the audience about the Every One Campaign, Programme Director Dr Masood Abassi said that the 48,000 LHWs in the Punjab currently covered 68 per cent of the population.
He stressed the need to ensure that the entire country is covered by the LHWs’ services.
He said LHWs, often with limited training and support, were involved in saving lives and building healthier communities.
Dr Aktar Rashid, the provincial coordinator for the National Programme and Family Planning (Punjab), began by thanking the LHWs for being a part of the programme.
He explained how the award recipients were picked.
He lauded the LHWs for their dedication with which, he said, the programme was able to achieve its targets.
Singer Haroon Rashid, the Every One Campaign ambassador, said that the LHWs’ dedication and efforts were commendable.
Pointing at the LHWs in the ceremony, he said, they were “our care takers and educators”.
Shields, certificates and cash prizes were distributed to the best lady health workers in each district towards the end of the ceremony.
A Save the Children press release said it had called on the federal and provincial governments to increase the number of frontline health workers from 105,000 to 120,000 across the country to provide mothers with skilled support to improve child-feeding practices, including breastfeeding and to contribute in maternal and newborn care.
It said the organisation had trained a number of health workers to identify malnourished children and refer them to the nearest outpatient therapeutic programme site.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2013.