Wednesday January 26, 2022

Yasmin pledges to achieve HIV/AIDS eradication goals

December 02, 2021

LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Wednesday pledged to achieve HIV/AIDS elimination goals and said concerted efforts from all stakeholders shall help Punjab to stop transmission of new cases.

Speaking as chief guest at the World AIDS Day ceremony organised by the Punjab AIDS Control Programme, the minister said that the province was now opening HIV/AIDS centres in all districts of the province.

Director General Health Services Punjab Dr Haroon Jehangir Khan, Additional Secretary SH&ME Dr Salman Shahid, Unicef Health Specialist Dr Tahir Manzoor, UNDP & UNAIDS representatives, and department officials were present on the occasion. UNAIDS, UNDP, WHO and Unicef officials appreciated the PACP for provision of quality services for HIV/AIDS patients.

The minister also handed offer letter for employment to an HIV positive patient. The programme through a partner organisation also arranged ration and livelihood support for 1,000 patients a month. In her address, the minister said, “I congratulate the P&SHD for arranging a great event for HIV/AIDS patients.

December 1 is commemorated the world over for HIV/AIDS patients. Awareness is key to prevention from HIV/AIDS. The presence of all stakeholders for HIV/AIDS prevention is extremely important. The spread of disease can be controlled through preventive measures. Currently more than 13,000 patients are receiving treatment from PACP centres. More than 460,000 TB patients have been screened for HIV/AIDS and over 50,000 bus and truck drivers have been screened through satellite centres. More than 120,000 prisoners have been screened as well. The HIV/AIDS virus destroys immune system of a patient. However, by use of medicines, viral load can be controlled and a patient can live normal life. This is the day to show solidarity with patients,” she added.

RED campaign: The Punjab government launched the second phase of the special corona vaccination campaign “Reach Every Door” (RED) with a target of inoculating around 26.7 million people. The drive will be continued till December 31. To review the arrangements for the drive, Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal jointly chaired a meeting at Civil Secretariat. The administrative secretaries of different departments, including health, Auqaf, schools and higher education attended the meeting while all the deputy commissioners participated through video link.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Yasmin Rashid said that prevention of coronavirus was possible only through vaccination and adhering to SOPs. “The rate of positive cases of coronavirus in Punjab is less than one percent but we need to be very careful after the emergence of Omicron variant of corona in South Africa,” she remarked.