LAHORE: The World Health Organisation Country Representative Dr Michael Jean on Friday praised the government’s commitment to public health development.
Dr Jean was speaking after meeting Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique and Health Secretary Dr Ejaz Munir at the Civil Secretariat.
A number of other WHO officials also attended the meeting.
Rafique and Munir briefed the delegation about the government’s health strategy, the creation of a healthcare commission to regulate public and private healthcare providers, the initiation of a health watch to monitor district managers and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s initiatives to improve immunisation and maternal and childcare service delivery among other matters of mutual interest.
Dr Jean praised the chief minister’s commitment to the eradication of polio and acknowledged the steps being taken to enhance routine immunisation.
The officials and the delegation members agreed on the need for greater vigilance for routine immunisation drives across the Punjab.
They also discussed ways of improving health, nutrition, sanitation and immunisation in the slums prevalent in cities across the province.
They also discussed methods of eradicating polio virus from the environmental samples of the city and halting its spread.
It was also decided during the meeting that the internally displaced persons would be vaccinated against polio and measles. Dr Jean said discreet surveillance was necessary in “high risk” areas of the Punjab.
The WHO representative praised the establishment of a disease control centre of excellence. He appreciated the involvement of lady health workers in routine immunisation drives.
Dr Jean said that the WHO had supported the training of lady health workers in various areas of the Punjab and was now ready to support training programmes across 12 more districts.
Dr Jean assured Rafique and Munir that the WHO would continue cooperating with the Health Department in its efforts to revamp the healthcare system and prevent diseases.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.