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November 14, 2019

41 ill-equipped, below par blood banks closed, PA told


November 14, 2019

The Sindh Assembly was informed on Wednesday that 41 blood banks had been lately shut down by the government in the province as they did not meet the prescribed standards and also lacked the required facilities.

The information to this effect was passed on to the concerned members of the house by Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho during the question hour of the session related to the provincial health department.

She informed he lawmakers that there were a total of 156 registered blood banks in the province. She said the government would establish regional blood banks with the all the required facilities and these facilities would control the spread of infectious diseases through the procedure of blood transfusion to patients.

Pechuho said such regional blood banks would be established in Sukkur, Jamshoro, Nawabshah and Karachi. The regional blood bank in Karachi will be established on November 27. Similarly, blood banks will be established at the Civil Hospital Larkana and Jacobabad. Similarly, a blood bank will be established in Maitari soon.

An opposition legislator of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Sidra Imran, said that babies “smaller height” were being born in the province and asked what steps were being taken by the government to overcome this issue.

The health minister informed the house that the health sector statistics referred to by opposition legislators pertained to the National Nutrition Survey and they were not accurate. She said that the federal government used to conduct such surveys. She said nothing could be done if someone by birth carried the issue of smaller length though certain interventions could be used to increase the height of children after birth if it got affected due to growth-related issues.

The lone member of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal in the Sindh Assembly, Syed Abdul Rasheed, said that Rs230 million had been reserved last year to procure medicines for the government-run hospitals but only Rs50 million had been spent out of that allocation. He asked the health minister about the method being used to spend this fund.

The minister responded that a certain amount of medicines for the government-run hospitals were being purchased under a centralised procurement process while the rest of the medicines were purchased directly by the health facilities.

Meanwhile, responding to a call-attention notice of an opposition legislator, the health minister informed the house that the Civil Hospital Karachi had 30 ventilators and 15 of them had outlived their utility, while the process was on to repair the rest of the ventilators.

She said ventilators at the Civil Hospital Karachi, which had outlived their life, would be removed and the process would commence next month to procure new ventilators. Pechuho said that no space was available in the premises of the Civil Hospital for constructing new wards, while a number of buildings at the hospital, including that of the Burns Centre, were heritage- protected and they could not be touched for doing any modifications.

In his call-attention notice, PTI legislator Sanjay Gangwani said that the Civil Hospital Karachi severely lacked equipment to treat patients in its cardiac and other wards and doctors had not been performing duties at the major hospital of the city due to lack of the necessary facilities. He said patients from all over the province came to the hospital for their treatment.

Tomato rates

Agriculture Minister Mohammad Ismail Rahoo informed the house that the although the rate of tomatoes in Sindh was not Rs17 per kilogram (as claimed by the federal finance adviser the other day), tomato prices in the province were less than what they were in the rest of the country.

Responding to a point of order of PTI MPA Riaz Hyder, he said that the recent spell of prolonged monsoon rains had damaged the nurseries in the province, owing to which prices of vegetable had gone up. He said that at present tomatoes were being brought to Sindh from Quetta, Swat, and other parts of the country.

He said the assistant commissioners posted in the province had been taking action in accordance with powers vested them regarding the price control of essential commodities and edibles, and raids were also being conducted by them in this regard.

Reproductive health

The house also unanimously passed the Sindh Reproductive Healthcare Rights Bill-2019.