Expressing confidence in the leadership qualities of Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho said on Friday that he was “fully capable” of leading the Ministry of National Health Services. Health, Regulation and Coordination (NHSR&C), arguing that it is not necessary for someone to be an expert in the area for which they have been appointed responsible in government.
“Political will is more important in leading a government department or ministry than having professional expertise or management and leadership skills,” she told a news conference as part of the World Immunization Week 2022.
“Abdul Qadir Patel is a good choice to be the Federal Minister of Health, who knows how to run a ministry and there is a team of experts in the ministry and in the party to help him on technical matters,” said Pechuho.
Accompanied by Sindh Health Secretary Zulfiqar Shah, Sindh Assembly Parliamentary Health Secretary Qasim Soomro, Federal Program Director of EPI Akram Shah, Sindh Director General of Health Dr Jumman Bahoto, from Sindh EPI project Dr Irshad Memon, she said that every year about two million children need to be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases in the province.
Recommending public and private schools not to admit children whose routine vaccinations have not been completed, the provincial health minister stressed that each school authority should see the vaccination record of a child whose parents wanted he is enrolled in school, and if the child has not been vaccinated, the school management must ask the parents to have the child vaccinated.
“Children under the age of two have the lowest immunity and they should receive vaccines against preventable diseases. Our EPI program offers 12 international quality vaccines free of charge, so it is the responsibility of parents to have their children vaccinated.
Pechuho maintained that World Immunization Week is observed the last week of April each year and its purpose is to highlight the importance of childhood immunizations, which protect children from death and disability. She added that vaccines have wiped out several diseases from the world that still kill people in Pakistan.
She said that so far 805 confirmed cases of measles have been reported in Sindh this year and the disease has killed 23 children. She warned parents that measles was a highly contagious disease, which could even affect children with weak immunity.
“It is therefore my humble request that parents have their children immunized against all diseases and give all boosters to their children so that they have the necessary immunity to fight these dreaded diseases.”
“PMC to Challenge”
Commenting on the recent announcement by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) regarding a centralized MDCAT, the Minister of Health said that the government of Sindh has declined an amendment to the PMC Act 2020 so that the MDCAT can stand as if it was being conducted before the law was passed. .
She said provinces should be allowed to conduct their own admission tests to public and private medical schools. “We will approach the supreme courts against the PMC, while this issue will also be raised and resolved in parliament,” she announced.
Commenting on the hospitals and health facilities rendered by health NGO HANDS in Malir district, she said that there were complaints against HANDS after which it did not receive funds. She said that now these facilities would be taken over and managed by PPHI.
When asked why the Sindh health department does not provide funds to the Poverty Alleviation Initiative to run the Karachi Children’s Hospital, she claimed the NGO does not submit a report. independent audit, so it did not receive the funds needed to run the health facility. . “But the Child Life Foundation is doing a good job of running health care facility emergency rooms in line with community and departmental expectations,” she added.