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October 12, 2019

Minister opens telemedicine facility to link NICH with interior Sindh hospitals

Karachi

October 12, 2019

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho Friday inaugurated a telemedicine facility at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) Karachi to link it with health facilities in Hyderabad, Larkana, Nawabshah and Orangi Town as well as with international health facilities to provide better health services to children in the interior of Sindh and to train local pediatricians.

“Today, I have inaugurated the telemedicine facility at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) by linking it with health facilities in Hyderabad, Larkana, Nawabshah and Qatar Hospital in Organi Town. Civil Hospital in Mithi town of Tharparkar is already linked with the NICH through telemedicine and now four more hospitals are linked with the NICH to provide better health services to patients in these cities,” she said while talking to journalists after inaugurating the telemedicine facility at the NICH Karachi.

Accompanied by Sindh Secretary for Health Saeed Awan, Director NICH Prof Dr Jamal Raza and Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed, Director Digital Health Pharmevo, Dr Pechuho said that by linking the NICH with health facilities in the interior of Sindh and the health facilities in the outskirts of Karachi, the patient load on the NICH would be reduced and patients would be able to consult senior doctors without bothering to travel to Karachi from far-flung areas of the province.

She maintained that by using the technology, health experts in the interior of Sindh would be able to polish their skills and improve their expertise in diagnosis and treatment of complicated cases. She added that through the telemedicine facility, the NICH and other health facilities would also be linked to international health institutions so that local pediatricians could also learn from their expertise.

Responding to queries, she deplored deaths of children due to vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and measles, and claimed that notices would be issued to the vaccinators and the DHOs for negligence as the government was providing costly vaccines free of charge, but due to the indifferent attitude of some of the officials, children were dying.

“We would issue notices and take action against officials for their negligence, but it is also the responsibility of the parents to get their children vaccinated against diseases, which can be prevented through vaccines,” she said and added that they were also using digital applications and technology to increase the routine immunisation in the province to save lives and prevent disability among children.

To another query regarding the establishment of satellite centres of the NICH in the interior of Sindh, the minister said efforts were underway to establish satellite centres of the child health facility in other cities of the province after the passage of the SICH bill by the provincial assembly, but at the moment, their focus was on upgradation of existing health facilities in the province.

She said they were not only supporting a private health facility for the Bone Marrow Transplant of needy and deserving patients on the government expense, but the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) had also started their BMT program successfully. “At the moment, the DUHS is conducting BMTs of adult patients but soon they would be performing the procedure to the children also.”

Dengue in Karachi

Speaking about the dengue outbreak in Karachi, she said that due to recent rains, dengue cases were on the rise and people were contracting the illness in the city, but provincial dengue prevention and control program officials were regularly conducting larvacidal and fumigation activities in areas from where most of the cases were being reported.

“Unfortunately, the KMC and DMCs are not performing their jobs properly, but still we are trying our best to engage them in larvacidal and fumigation activities. People should also adopt precautionary measures to prevent themselves from mosquito-biting. They should improve cleanliness around their abodes and residential areas also.”

Raid on SHCC office

Condemning Thursday’s raid by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) on the office of the Sindh Healthcare Commission and issuance of notices to officials of the commission, she said it was an “unfortunate incident” where a regulatory body’s office was raided by another agency. She added that healthcare commission was trying to improve performance and services at the health facilities in the province.

On the occasion, it was announced that former bureaucrat Nargis Ghaloo had been elected as the chairperson of the Sindh Healthcare Commission and from now onwards the commission would be monitoring and supervising the activities of the commission.

Prof Jamal Raza on the occasion termed start of the telemedicine facility as a good omen for the children in Sindh and urged the parents to get their children vaccinated against all diseases, saying that all the vaccines were being provided free of charge by the government and now it was the responsibility of the people to save their children.

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