Karachi, October 19, 2018 (PPI-OT): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah keeping in view drought-like situation in Thar which is claiming live of children has directed all the public-sector universities to set up medical camps in each and every taluka in the short term and also issued directives to explore alternate employment opportunities to resolve the issue for good.
This he said on Friday while presiding over a high-level meeting which was attended by eight provincial ministers, chief secretary Mumtaz, vice chancellors of different public and private sector, all concerned secretaries and other concerned offers.
Secretary Health Usman Chachar briefing the chief minister said that in 2015, 398 children died in Thar and in 2016 479, in 2017 450 and in 2018 the number still went above to 505. The reasons he stated to be pre-term/low birth weight, birth asphyxia, severe Pneumonia, Neonatal Sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), acute malnutrition with complication, sepsis (under 5 years age) and diarrhea.
The chief minister said that despite making huge investment in every sector, including infrastructure, water, health services, education in Thar “we are still receiving news of infant and child deaths which is quite painful and depressing for me, therefore we have to make a holistic approach to resolve the issue for good,” he said.
He directed the health department to widely and properly implement mother health programme in true letter and spirit. “If mother is healthy and well aware of the health issues such as nutrition, birth spacing, how to take care of themselves right from conceiving pregnancy to delivery and where to deliver the child and how to take care of the child,” he said and directed health department to involve medical universities for which they have been requested.
In in the meeting that during a health survey conducted in the remote areas of Thar, a family was interviewed. In the family there five women- mother, her daughter-in-law and three daughters and all were pregnant thought they had hardly one year old children. “This is the situation, that’s I ma pressing for Mother-Child Health programme in which component of health education may also be included, if it is not there,” the chief minister said.
The rainfall data of Thar shows that Mithi received 58 mm rainfall in 2018 while it was 261 in 2017. Islamkot received 24 MM in 2018 and it was 337 in 2017. Diplo received 51 mm in 2018 and it was recorded at 379 in 2017. Kaloi received 10 mm in 2018 and it was 114 in 2017, Chachro received 105 mm while it was 173 in 2017, dahli received 120 in 2018 and 132 in 2017 and nagarparkar received h40 mm while it was 234 in 2017. This is was the situation of drought share with the meeting.
At this the chief minister directed Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Shah and Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah to review the Drought Mitigation Act and give a detailed presentation to him so that it could be implemented with necessary improvements. ‘I am of the view that Thar Commission or Authority be established to implement all the programmes under one roof,” he said.
The chief minister was told that 167 dehs of Tharparkar are affected on account of untimely and inadequate rainfalls during monsoon season. Wheat relief has been given to 276,152 head of families in seven talukas of Thar at a scale of 50 kg. Some 116,713 families have received wheat till October 16, 2018.
The chief minister was also told that there were 269 operational health facilities in Thar. They are one DHQ, three taluka hospitals, 2 RHC, 40 BHUs, 4 MCH Centers, 217 government dispensaries and two maternal homes.
The chief minister directed the chief secretary to ensure implementation of family planning, MCH programme, nutrition programme and provision of clean drinking water by making all the closed RO plants functional. The chief secretary said that some 850 RO plants would be made functional by December 2018.
The chief minister was also informed that 18 small dams, including 10 from ADP and eight from PSDP have been completed at a cost of Rs2.583 billion and nine others in which sever are from ADP and two from PSDP are being completed at a cost of Rs1.2 billion. It was also told that work on 80 earthen ponds (Taraies) have been constructed for Rs2.9 billion in six talukas was in progress. Of the 24 are located in Mithi, 14 in Islamkot, 15 in Diplo, 15 in Nagarparkar, seven in Chachro and five in Dahli. The rain water would be preserved in them. This water would facilitate local population and their cattle for drinking purpose.
The meeting was informed that 587 RO plants are working in different areas of Thar, installation of an 247 RO plants was in the progress while 834 to be installed by December 2018. The chief minister was told that 726,602 animals have been vaccinated. At this the chief minister directed Livestock and Wildlife departments to provide fodder, treatment of animals and wildlife in the remotest areas.
The chief minister said that his government was making important interventions for poverty reduction. Five goats and 10 hens are being distributed in each and every family in the remoted are and the programme to give benefit to 300 families. SO far 256 families have taken benefit and 54 families have yet to receive. The Agriculture department has completed 40 farmer field schools, 15 female farmer schools, 30 kitchen gardens for which he directed Agriculture extension to start awareness sessions and report him.
The chief minister also disclosed that Social Welfare Department is launching Conditional cash transfer programme for pregnant and lactating women. Under the programme 2300 women would be given conditional cash transfer of Rs1500 for 13 visits to health facilities and Rs4000 on time on safe delivery to each woman. Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed all the provincial ministers to keep visiting all government facilities such as schools, health facilities, RO plants/water scheme in Thar of and on so that they keep performing.
He also directed the health department to establish a health Information Management System not only for Thar but of while Sindh. It must be health facility wise in have the information of all births, deaths, disease-wise treatment details. This system would not only expose the performance/negligence of each and every hospital but it would be helpful to make necessary interventions for improvement.
For more information, contact:
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019(Ext: 336)