LHWs, LHVs and now CHWs?

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KARACHI – Without resolving the demand for payment of salaries from the lady health workers (LHWs) and lady health visitors (LHVs), the Sindh Health Department is considering appointing community health workers (CHWs) in the province. Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed disclosed this while addressing a seminar on health awareness organised by the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) on Monday.
“The department has received a proposal for the appointment of CHWs in the province, which is under consideration and would be looked into in the near future” Ahmed said.
The health department also plans to provide free of charge treatment including the screening, PCR and other treatments to the 4.4 million hepatitis patients in Sindh, for which it needs the cooperation of the private sector as the number of patients is very high, he said.
The health minister said that mass awareness was necessary to prevent different lethal diseases as it could help in their control and treatment, and many precious human lives could be saved. “Hepatitis has been ignored in the past and there is very little awareness,” he added. Ahmed stated that many diseases become aggravated due to lack of knowledge and information. “It is general tendency to ignore our health, which in majority of cases proves fatal,” he said, adding that the symptoms of eye and cardiac disorders are often ignored by patients and when they approach consultants, it is too late.
Commending the efforts of ICMAP for holding awareness seminar and medical camp, he hoped that the practice would continue in the future and it would be better to hold such seminars on a single topic to create thorough awareness about that particular disease. On the occasion, Dr Saqib Hussain Ansari, Dr Muhammad Shahnawaz Munami, Dr Khawar Abbas Kazmi and Dr Naveed Ahmed spoke about the effects of thalassaemia and bone marrow transplantation, primary eye care, cardiac vascular diseases, and obesity and hypertension, respectively.