Dr Yasmin Rashid, UNDP team mull over steps to control HIV/AIDS

LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid met a delegation of the United Nations Development Programme to discuss the way forward for control of HIV/AIDS in Punjab. The delegation comprised of resident representative UNDP Aliona Nikolita and Assistant Resident representative Amir Khan Goraya. Additional Secretary Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department Dr Salman Shahid was also present on the occasion. The resident representative appreciated the measures taken by the Punjab government to control the corona pandemic and control HIV/AIDS. The health minister said free treatment and diagnosis services were being provided to people in Punjab and added screening of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and TB was being gradually scaled up in the province. She further said awareness about HIV/AIDS was extremely important.

Dr Yasmin Rashid said that an FM Radio was being launched in Punjab to generate awareness about the diseases. The progress of all vertical programmes was being monitored regularly, she said and added Punjab was making the all-out effort to battle coronavirus and vaccination had been gradually increased.

IMMUNISATION COVERAGE: Dr Yasmin Rashid also had a meeting with a Mission of the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisation (GAVI) here on Friday to discuss the pace of immunisation coverage in Punjab. According to a handout GAVI Country Manager Alexa Reynolds and members of the international developments partners discussed a number of key health issues with the minister. The main agenda of the meeting was performance of the EPI and way forward for improving immunisation coverage in Punjab. Alexa Reynolds appreciated the efforts of Punjab Expanded Programme on Immunisation for improvement in immunisation coverage to 89% as per latest surveys. The health minister said the support of GAVI had been extremely important in improving healthcare services in the province. She said “We will further improve immunisation coverage with the support of GAVI as they have always provided support to the government.” She further said the EPI Programme deserved appreciation for taking the immunisation coverage to over 89% and added Punjab was currently leading the coverage in Pakistan.” ACS Iram Bukhari said the ownership from administrative departments helped to improve immunisation coverage and the administrative teams were committed to controlling vaccine preventable diseases. Alexa Reynolds said GAVI would continue to support the Punjab especially EPI Programme.