ISLAMABAD              -           National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Health on Thursday expressing concerns on lack of coordination amongst federal and provinces on HIV/AIDS programme summoned all top officials in next meeting.

Meeting of the NA body on National Health Services (NHS) was held here under the chairmanship of Member National Assembly (MNA) Khalid Hussain Magsi.

The committee attended by other members and ministry of NHS officials discussed multiple agendas including comprehensive briefing on latest update and progressed achieved to control HIV/AIDS.

It was informed that screening test has been conducted in the different areas of the country moreover, the training programmes has also arranged under the Global Funds Programs to control the HIV/ Aids.

The committee expressed its concern over the lack of coordination amongst the provinces regarding the survey conducted to overcome the HIV/Aids. It was of the view that most of the surveys are just paper work and ground realities were quite different.

The committee directed to invite all provincial DGs and health and program manager in the next meeting to brief the committee about the factual position of HIV/Aids and efforts being made by them to control it.

National Coordinator on AIDS programme Dr. Baseer Achakzai while briefing the committee said that  national AIDs programme had received funds of Rs19 million and while it provides human resource and medicines to provinces.

He said that every district does not has HIV and the survey is conducted after every five years adding that last survey was conducted in 2016 and its report was launched in 2017.

He said that Sindh government as per its need had purchased 400,000 screening kits, while national programme with the coordination of World Health Organization (WHO) had provided 50,000 HIV screening kits.

Dr. Baseer said that screening for HIV is the responsibility of provinces after the 18th amendment. He added that despite he attended dozens of meetings on HIV being national coordinator at federal, but no provincial official has ever attended the committee meeting.

He also said that Ehsas programme though included the hepatitis programme but HIV/AIDS is not part of it.  Dr. Baseer said that there is need of addressing the HIV/AIDS at centre and provinces with the joint and coordinated efforts.

Chairman committee Khalid Magsi noting the lack of coordination between federal and provinces on HIV/AIDS programme said that till now there is no way of coordination between federal and provinces on this important matter.

He also remarked that financial matters of the programmes are weak while number of problems in running the programme is because of 18th amendment.

“Larkana incident suddenly occurred because there was no coordination,” he said.

He said that HIV/AIDS programme could be taken forward positively with the coordinated efforts of provinces and federal.

Member committee Nisar Cheema said that provinces are also provided funds after the 18th amendment and earlier millions of rupees were embezzled also.

MNA Ramesh Lal said that HIV cases were also reported in other parts of country. Committee members also said that while the programme at federal level is being discussed, it is being ignored at provincial level.

The committee recommended summoning the national programme manager and all Director Generals in next meeting to discuss the coordination between federal and provinces.

Health officials also informed committee that 375,000 TB cases were treated last year.

The committee also said to include polio in next agenda meeting while also decided to discuss the issues of dengue and chickenguniya in the committee.