Peshawar: The Provincial Minister for Health, Mr Syed Zahir Ali Shah, Mr. Ishfaq Khan Secretary for Health Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Head of Division, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation for Development, Germany, (BMZ), Dr. Stefan Oswald inaugurated the Provincial Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory on Wednesday at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC), Peshawar.
The inaugural was attended by Ms Katja Weigelt, Pakistan Desk Officer (BMZ), Ms Antje Grawe, Economic Counsellor, German Embassy, Islamabad, Dr Anna Christine Janke, Director KfW Office, Islamabad, Dr Masuma Zaidi, Project Manager, Health, KfW Office, Islamabad,, Representative of Director General Health Service, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr Ubaid Husain, Program Director, Provincial TB Control Program and other high ranked public and private health officials.
The Provincial TB Reference Laboratory (PTRL) is an advance Laboratory running under the Provincial TB Control Program, KP and was built under the German supported Tuberculosis Control Program, phase I through KfW Development Bank. This facility is highly equipped and will serve as a massive support to the program and poor TB patients especially those suffering from Multi Drug Resistance (MDR).
The facility will also serve as a research centre for diagnostic Services and will be a reference centre catering to more than 220 labs in the province in terms of capacity building and training in diagnostic services.
The German Government has been assisting the Government of Pakistan to improve its health sector for more than 20 years. KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Government is currently financing some 30 programs in Pakistan in the sectors of health, renewable energy resources, and energy efficiency, crises intervention and microfinance. In the health sector, KfW Development Bank supports programmes and projects for improving Maternal and Child Health services, Control of Tuberculosis, reconstructing Health infrastructure in AJK, supplying of basic equipment project, supporting Social Health Protection, supporting Safe Blood Transfusion systems, as well as financing health projects in Gilgit Baltistan and FATA. In addition, the German Government has extended its further support for the TB Project which will continue until 2014.
Activities of the TB project, phase I included provision of TB Drugs, 28 vehicles for monitoring and Advocacy and awareness campaign. The major activities for the years to come will include the provision of TB drugs, the establishment of a Biosafety Level 3 laboratory and strengthening of public private partnership.
While speaking to the audience , the Minister for Health, Mr Zahir Ali Shah said that “the establishment of PTRL is indicative of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s commitment to invest in public health and the facility will provide relief to TB patients for the early diagnosis and treatment services for free”.
While briefing the audience, Dr. Ubaid Hussain, Project Director, Provincial TB Control Program further added that, this would be a bio safety level-3 laboratory which is one of its kind in the province for providing culture of TB Bacilli, drug sensitivity testing and routine sputum smear test.
The German delegation appreciated the Government’s commitment and the efforts of Provincial TB Control Program to work under uncertain security conditions and a challenging environment. It was hoped that this bilateral agreement will achieve lasting results that will benefit current and future generations of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and will help the poor people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to have access to appropriate diagnosis and treatment required in order to be free of Tuberculosis and secure a healthy life.
For more information, contact:
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Tel: +9291 921 6889 (Ext 106)