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December 2, 2020

ADB, Punjab govt sign MoU for healthcare sector

Lahore

December 2, 2020

LAHORE : The Punjab government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly promote public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Punjab’s healthcare sector through ADB’s transaction advisory services.

The MoU was signed in Lahore by the head of Public Private Partnership Cell of Planning and Development Board of Punjab, Dr Farrukh Naveed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang.

Under the MoU, ADB’s Office of Public–Private Partnership will screen potential hospital PPP projects in 10 major cities in Punjab i.e. Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Lahore, Mianwali, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal, and Sargodha and will provide transaction advisory services to identify, prepare, structure and tender the top priority hospital projects to develop PPPs. “We are pleased to assist the government of Punjab in developing hospital PPP projects in major cities in order to strengthen health care capacity and improve quality of life for the citizens of Punjab,” said Ms. Yang. “It will complement ADB’s ongoing support to the PPP programme in Punjab province by creating a pipeline of bankable healthcare PPP projects.” “ADB’s involvement as transaction adviser for hospital PPP projects will bring genuine improvements to health systems and we’re glad to expand our collaboration with Punjab into this crucial sector,” said head of ADB’s Office of Public-Private Partnership Yoji Morishita.

discourage use of syringes: A campaign “No Syringe - Need Life” in connection with World AIDS Day was launched here Tuesday to discourage use of syringes among the injecting drug users (IDUs), who become major source of spreading hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. Sadia Sohail, chairperson of Standing Committee on Narcotics Excise and Narcotics Control Department, and Syed Zulfiqar Hussain, consultant, Anti Drugs/Narcotics Campaign, inaugurated the campaign organised by Drug Advisory Training Hub (DATH), a project of YOCFAN, which found free syringe programme a major cause of promoting addiction and spreading diseases in the community.

There are 50 major areas in Lahore where injecting drug users, including women, can be found in large number, the speakers said. The areas include Garhi Shahu, Roshani Gate, Taxali Gate, Lalpul, Fatehgarh, Ali Park, Data Darbar area, Lorry Adda, Royal Park, Ravi Road, Lohari Gate, Bhatti Gate, Nasser Bagh, Shahrah-e-Fatima Jinnah, Railway Station, Chauburji Park, Nisbat Road, Laxmi Chowk and Bund Road. Syed Zulfiqar said there were approximately 190,000 HIV/AIDS patients in Pakistan, according to UNAID Pakistan, while there are 6.7 million drug addicts in the country who are using hard and soft drugs other than liquor.

“A large number of drug addicts are using drugs through syringes in the whole country,” he said, adding that the government should ban free needle exchange programme in the country. Syed Zulfiqar Hussain said the total population of Lahore was 12 million, and there was thousands of drug addicts who were using hard and soft drugs at public places, like gardens and footpaths in different areas of the City. He said Lahore was still ranked second, after Karachi, where drug addiction was very high. He said in the recent years, the number of IDUs had increased in Lahore. He said the government must announce the drugs policy at the provincial level in consultation with the stakeholders. “The government must ensure that all controlled drugs being sold at medical stores are given to consumers only on the prescription of a doctor,” he said, adding that the Health Department must check drug abuse through proper inspection.