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Pakistan

June 24, 2019

Murad approves Rs1bn Endowment Fund for welfare of HIV infected persons

Pakistan

Mon, Jun 24, 2019

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved Rs.1 billion endowment fund for the welfare of HIV/AIDS infected persons in the province and also constituted a six-member committee to manage the fund.

The chief minister along with Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had visited taluka Ratodero hospital where a large number of HIV/AIDS cases have been diagnosed. The chief minister said that it was an unfortunate situation, especially for minor children who would have a lifelong disease that required proper continuous treatment and also required opportunities for rehabilitation.

He said that in order to resolve the problem the provincial government on the advice of the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has decided to establish an Endowment Fund with an allocation of Rs1 billion for 2019-20.

The fund would be managed by a six-member committee headed by Minister health while its members would be a local MPA/MNA of Larkana division (to be nominated by the chief minister), a representative of Finance department having experience of investment management, an expert of infectious disease, a philanthropist/social worker (operating in that area) and additional secretary (Technical) Health department.

He maintained that terms of references of the committee are to bring initiatives and schemes for the welfare of HIV/AIDS infected persons, to roll-out different measures for the rehabilitation, long term welfare and financial well-being of the HIV/AIDS infected persons and their families and to take measures for improving awareness of this contagious disease in general and particularly amongst high-risk groups.

The committee would also subsidize any measures that are useful in prevention of this disease like subsidizing the cost of disposal syringes, contraceptive products and any other measure of direct prevention. But it is not in the mandate in the committee to procure/distribute medicines for the cure of this disease or to develop any physical infrastructure scheme for the prevention and cure of HIV/AIDS, he added.

The committee will gradually invest the funds until these are utilized. The committee shall also be responsible for formation of an investment policy of the funds and keep record of the policy as well as of the investments and expenditures made. The profits earned by the endowment fund shall be utilized or re-invested until utilized in accordance with the objectives. While entire profit for a particular year, or accumulated profits of previous years can be utilized in endowment fund shall be utilized in a single year.

The committee will work in close coordination with the `Rehabilitation Committee for HIV/AIDS infected persons in Larkana Division’ already notified by the government. Similarly, the committee may co –opt any person in order to seek guidance and strengthen the activities of the Endowment Fund. Any other responsibility may be given to the committee by the chief minister, Sindh.

The endowment fund is to be named `Investment Fund for Rehabilitation and Welfare of HIV/AIDS infected persons in Sindh’. The chief minister has delegated the management of investments of the fund to the finance department, wherein officials of the Finance Department shall exercise signing authority in respect of management of such investment.

However, expenditures from this fund shall be made only under the authorization of the committee for which the office of Secretary Health will have a separate bank account in which the finance department will remit the funds, as per requisition of the health department.

The chief minister said that his government was committed to rehabilitate the affected patients, particularly the children and it would be stopped from further spread.