Minister Health KP Inaugurates Day Care Centre and Genome Sequencing Lab at KMU
The Health Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Taimur Saleem Jhagra has said that the role played by Khyber Medical University Public Health Reference Lab (KMU-PHRL) during the Corona pandemic is unforgettable. With the provision of Genome Sequencing Facility, KMU-PHRL has reached a new milestone which will not only help in timely diagnosis of various public health diseases but also in preventing any disease from becoming epidemic. The inauguration of the Day Care and Breastfeeding Center at KMU is a model for the Department of Health as well as other institutions in the province where women work. The present government is providing various scholarships to talented and needy students in terms of education and hostel expenses through other schemes including Ehsas program and this will be further expanded in the coming days. The health minister expressed these views as chief guest at the inauguration of Genome Sequencing Lab and Day Care & Breastfeeding Center at KMU as well as distribution of scholarship checques among students under Ehsas program. The vice chancellor KMU Prof. Dr. Zia ul Haq, Special Secretary Health Dr. Syed Farooq Jamil, Registrar Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Gandapur, Director PHRL Dr. Yasir Yousafzai and other concerned officials were also present at the occasion.
Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that the journey started by KMU-PHRL from Corona's 20 tests a day, today, thank God, 4000 tests are being conducted here daily, while during the last one and a half years, more than eight lakh (800000) tests have been conducted here. This is a clear evidence of the excellent performance of this lab for which the vice chancellor, the director of the Lab and other support staff deserve congratulations.
He said that it was commendable that after NIH Islamabad, KMU-PHRL has become the second largest public sector lab in the country where genome sequencing facilities would be available. He said that the availability of these facilities would not only help in the prompt diagnosis of infectious diseases but would also pave the way for timely prevention and treatment of the diagnosed ailments. He said that the health budget has been increased from Rs. 86 billion to Rs. 146 billion during the last three years as a result of which the people of the province are getting the best healthcare facilities at their doorstep.
Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that the accelerated vaccination campaign has resulted in controlling the expected loss of precious human lives in the fourth wave of Corona and now Alhamdulillah, the death toll from Corona has been steadily declining from 7% to almost 2 %. He said that the vaccination rate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reached 40 % in the age group of 18 years and above which is many times higher than other provinces.
He said that in terms of vaccination, Chitral is on top in all the districts of the province where 75%, while in our ten districts more than 50% population have been vaccinated. However, we are trying to speed up the vaccination campaign to counter any other possible corona outbreak. He termed the establishment of Day Care and Breastfeeding Center in collaboration with UNICEF as an ideal step to facilitate working women and directed the health authorities to set up such centers in all tertiary and district headquarters hospitals. The Health Minister was informed that under the Ehsas Scholarship Scheme, scholarships worth about Rs. 68 million are being distributed among 500 students in the recent batch, which includes tuition fees, hostel and out-of-pocket expenses.
Earlier, the Health Minister also planted saplings at the university while Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Zia-ul-Haq gave a detailed briefing on the performance of the university, the problems faced and the required support from the provincial government. The health minister assured all possible help and directed the Special Secretary Health to hold a meeting with the KMU officials at the earliest and cooperate in resolving all the pending issues.