DIFD, government taking steps to improve mother, child healthcare


Concrete steps are being taken by the government to uplift mother and child healthcare, minimising maternal mortality rate, besides population welfare, said Punjab Health Department spokesman on Thursday.

He said that integrated Mother and Newborn Child Health (IRMNCH) Programme has been launched in Punjab under the supervision of the additional director general health under which round the clock labour room facilities are being provided at 150 basic health units (BSUs) and the number of these BHUs will be increased to 650 by April 30, 2015.

The spokesman further said that steps have been taken for optimum utilisation of the grant provided by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for different healthcare programmes including mother and child health and EPI.

IRMNCH Additional Director General Dr Ijaz Ahmed Sheikh said that tenders have been invited for prequalification of firms and an advertisement was published on January 10 in the local newspapers for the procurement of contraceptives. He said that an amount of Rs 550 million has been allocated for this purpose. He further informed that tenders will open from February 12.

The spokesman further said that Rs 1,025 million from DFID grant have been allocated for the provision of food supplement to pregnant women and malnutritioned children. He said that a summary has been sent to the chief minister for getting approval for the purchase of food supplement through UNICEF while remaining funds would be utilised for uplift of different health programmes and purchase of ambulances.

The spokesman said that a delegation of DFID visited the city recently and held meetings with the high-ups of the departments concerned and expressed its satisfaction over the progress of the programme and gave its consent to issue the next installment of the grant. Therefore, the news regarding the lapse or stoppage of DFID’s grant is baseless, he concluded.