LAHORE - Like other parts of the globe, World AIDS Day was observed across the country including Lahore yesterday for raising awareness about the pandemic, preventive measures and treatment of HIV positive patients. The event is observed globally on December 1 since 1988.

Public sector and private institutions performed the usual ritual of holding seminars, walks and symposiums to mark the day but without any sincere efforts to identify all HIV positive patients. The events were aimed at raising awareness about the disease and measures to check transmission of the deadly virus to other people.

The Punjab AIDS Control Program (PACP) awarded scholarships to PhD and M Phil students carrying out research on AIDS on World AIDS Day at a local hotel yesterday.

Program Director PACP Dr Adnan Zafar awarded scholarship to 15 PhD and 21 MPhil students doing research on AIDS in Pakistan’s leading universities including LUMS, University of the Punjab and Govt College University.

Besides awarding scholarship to researchers, the PACP also organised technical sessions of renowned figures from academia who shared their researches on strategies to combat the disease, development of vaccination, drugs discovery, epidemiological and other areas. The guest speakers included Prof Shahzad-ul-Hussan, Prof Mirza and Dr Salma.

Dr Adnan Zafar said: “Over a period of time it was realised that data analysis and research on the subject are key areas for overcoming the challenges of HIV transmission in Pakistan. Supporting research will go a long way in helping control HIV in Pakistan.” He said that PACP was also running consultative and diagnostic centers for HIV/AIDS at different locations.

He highlighted that the programme was continuously trying to expand its research resource and employing multi-pronged strategies to curb and control the diseases.

Dr Adnan Zafar said that PACP was working on the finalization of databank of infection careers for which screening of truck drivers and cleaners has been started. He further said PACP was effectively developing synergies with other programs to ensure compliance with hospital waste management protocols, controlling of reuse of disposable syringes and creating awareness for barbers, dentists regarding sterilization of tools before use.

Minister reviews progress

of model hospitals

Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Minister Kh Salman Rafiq yesterday chaired a meeting to review progress on making four teaching hospitals model institutions. 

Jinnah Hospital Lahore, Allied Hospital Faisalabad, Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi and Children’s Hospital Multan will be developed as model hospitals.

According to the plan, existing buildings/infrastructure, sewerage and electric system will be improved. Existing machinery will be overhauled and new will also be provided according to the requirements.

Secretary SH&ME Najam Ahmed Shah, Chief Planning Officer Abdul Haq Bhatti, Consultant Dr Haq Nawaz Bharwana, Principal Allama Iqbal Medical College Prof Mahmood Shaukat, MS of four identified teaching hospitals and Technical Expert of Infrastructure Development Agency Punjab (IDAP) attended the meeting.

Najam Ahmed Shah directed outsourcing janitorial services, plumbing, laundry and printing work.

He directed submitting report regarding the needs of architectural designing, removing of seepage, changing/repairing electrical wiring, water supply, flooring with estimates of cost.

He directed constituting a technical committee comprising senior officers of C&W Department, Chief Engineering Building, Specialized Healthcare and experts from IDAP.