KARACHI: Admitting that the condition of hospitals across Sindh is pathetic, the health department announced to provide health facilities in each union council within three months.
"Not only hospitals in the rural areas but even those in Karachi have been ignored in the past," said Health Minister Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar. He said that the department's objective to provide better health facilities had not been achieved as yet.
Launching the Sehat Mand Sindh programme at Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) on Tuesday to mark World Health Day, the minister said the programme is meant to reach the community at the grass-roots level. He said that the programme will equip a common citizen to avail basic health facilities.
"It aims to create awareness about different diseases such as hepatitis and Aids," said Dahar. "Our focus is on prevention."
According to Dahar, people need to be made aware of vaccination, nutrition, family planning and other such issues. He hoped that health facilities will be better with the launch of the programme.
He said that the Thar Health and Nutrition Festival will help create awareness among the people of the area. Health secretary Iftikhar Ahmed Shalwani said the focus of this festival is on nutrition, family planning and vaccination.
The Sehat Mand Sindh programme will start after the three-day health festival in Tharparkar. Shalwani said the health experts will serve the people of the desert from today [April 8] till April 10, adding that free medicine will also be provided to patients.
JSMU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Tariq Rafi said he will try to help the health department with the new initiative.
Talking about nutrition at the event, National Institute of Child Health assistant professor Dr Ifra Sameen shared that 18.8 per cent of Sindh's children suffer from vitamin A deficiency, 10.7 per cent suffer from vitamin D deficiency and 40.6 per cent suffer from an iron deficiency problem.
Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah will inaugurate the Thar Health and Nutrition Festival today [Wednesday].
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2015.
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