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Rs27bn plan for mother, neonatal health care

Published Aug 02, 2006 12:00am

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1: The government on Tuesday decided to launch a Rs27 billion mother and neonatal health project. The decision was taken at a meeting arranged by the Population Council of Pakistan, which discussed the USAID funded Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns (PAIMAN) and shared the findings of a recently conducted household survey, quality and health services assessment in ten selected districts of the country.

Secretary Health Anwar Mehmood stressed the need for skilled birth attendants, as the survey suggested that more birth attendants should be made available to the needy population.

He stressed that female medical students should opt for medical practice to improve MCH, and highlighted the need for strategising and implementing quality health services in addition to the public awareness.

Dr Donya Aziz, Parliamentary Secretary Population Welfare, pointed out that basic health facilities needed prime attention. The world over the focus is shifting towards the provision of basic health facilities and the number of basic health providers is also increasing compared to specialists.

Dr Nabeela Ali, chief of PAIMAN, told the meeting that information from field had revealed that majority of population did not have access to media and, therefore, there was a need to shift focus from media campaigns to interpersonal communications.

Dr Jonathan Addleton, director USAID, expressed his appreciation on a recent research conducted by the population council and said the upcoming programme should act like an umbrella activity that would house numerous sub-components focused at the MNH problem.

Meanwhile, in a meeting of the Pakistan Country Coordinating Mechanism, a national consensus group was established in response to requirements and recommendations of the global funds to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The meeting discussed a new five-year proposal to be submitted to the Global Fund for Round-6 funding.

The round-6 focuses on the global fund support for efforts to combat AIDS, TB, malaria by implementing new treatment and prevention strategies for saving lives, raising awareness among vulnerable population and preventing further infections.