Regularisation of fifty two thousands Lady Health Workers (LHWs) employed on contractual basis is indeed another feather in Shahbaz' cap, yet called the regularisation their right. Before commenting on other aspects of LHWs, his warning to the ruling elite during his address at the function deserves attention.

He said that equitable distribution of resources will have to be ensured otherwise there will be a bloody revolution. He has the vision and can see the unrest seething below the otherwise calm waters, which is why he warned members of the ruling elite to use their collective wisdom to evolve a just system. He believes that revolutionary steps are imperative to ensure socio-economic justice in the society.

A function was held regarding regularisation of lady health workers, lady health supervisors etc, presided over by the chief minister. Addressing the function, Shahbaz Sharif said: "It is a day to rejoice, as a longstanding demand of lady health workers and lady health supervisors has been fulfilled, and now they will be able to perform their duties with more confidence because of job security. Lady health workers are indeed performing the sacred duty of mother and child healthcare and prevention of viral diseases.” He took exception to the sit-ins in Islamabad that have caused irreparable loss to the economy as well as adversely impacted development process and welfare programs.

One does not need to be an expert to understand that quality of life is directly linked to the social profile of the country i e education, health, population welfare, nutrition and access to clean drinking water and sanitation. The nation has witnessed various programs in the past aimed at improving the key social indicators, but due to decades' neglect Pakistan is rated as one of the least developed countries of the world so far as social profile is considered.

Since the time Shahbaz Sharif is at the helm he has taken steps to improve this sector, as he realises that improved health contributes to greater productivity and reduces the healthcare burden on economy. Provision of adequate primary and secondary health care has gained more importance with increase in incidence of poverty.

Anyhow, LHWs have played an important role in revitalising the declining primary healthcare system. By stepping into homes to register pregnancies and births, and assisting in clinical referrals for deliveries, the LHW s are helping to positively change Pakistan's maternal health statistics. LHWs have also had a social impact, and they are developing into community leaders, particularly in rural areas, which usually offer few spaces in the public domain for women.

By providing essential health services door-to-door, the government has helped to overcome the gendered division that has acted as a major obstacle to Pakistani women and their ability to access basic services, education and employment. Against this backdrop, the LHW s deserved better treatment.

Our frontline health workers including Lady Health Workers (LHWs), Community Midwives (CMWs) and Vaccinators are the real heroes in Pakistan's fight to prevent child and maternal mortality in the country to be able to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5. MDG 4 is about two-third reduction in child mortality and MDG 5 is about three quarters reduction in maternal mortality ratio by 2015. The progress towards achieving MDGs remains a challenge and an elusive dream for Pakistan where 352,400 children under-5 die of preventable causes every year. The national under-5 mortality rate is 87 per 1000 births and maternal mortality rate is at an alarming 276 deaths per 100,000 births. There is a need to accelerate the efforts to achieve MDGs 4 and 5.

The LHW s and vaccinators are not only playing a leading role in preventing thousands of preventable child deaths but are also our frontline force against the ongoing fight in the country for the eradication of polio.

Unfortunately, in the recent past we witnessed targeting of the LHWs and vaccinators by the terrorists, and the government took steps for their protection.

In 2011, there were financial constraints, but now with PML-N government at federal as well as provincial level, the functioning is now smooth, as there is better coordination with and cooperation from the federal government to help accomplish the goals.