LAHORE - Ambassador of Republic of Belarus to Pakistan Andrei Ermolovich called on the Punjab Minister for Higher Education Syed Raza Ali Gillani at his office yesterday.

Secretary Higher Education Nasim Nawaz was also present. During the meeting, they discussed matters of mutual interest. Provincial Minister Raza Gillani briefed the Ambassador about different facets of holistic reforms adopted by the Punjab government in the higher education sector.

He said that the government has ensured to provide quality education and added that research culture is fully encouraged in the higher education institutions.

The educational vision of the Punjab government is to ensure that every child has equal and equitable access to the fundamental right of education.

The Punjab government has planned to distribute one lakh laptops among the intelligent and bright students during 2016-17.

In this regard, a meeting was held in the Civil Secretariat on Wednesday with Punjab Minister for Higher Education Syed Raza Ali Gillani in the chair. Secretary Higher Education Nasim Nawaz and representatives of P&D, Finance, Punjab Procurement & Regulatory Authority, Higher Education and Punjab Information Technology Board attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the procurement process of one lakh laptops. Provincial Secretary Nasim Nawaz gave a presentation to the participants. He said that the laptops would be latest and top-brand. On the occasion, Provincial Minister Raza Gillani said that the laptop scheme has wholly helped the students to keep pace with latest happenings in their respective subjects.

It has also benefitted them to know about latest educational concepts. The educational vision of Chief Minister Punjab is to provide world-class quality education to the students so as to provide best leadership to the country in every field.

Rota Virus vaccine soon

The Punjab government completed the roll out of first batch of master trainers for introduction of Rota Virus Vaccine at the Directorate General Health Services yesterday.

Punjab is all set to introduce Rota Virus Vaccine in six districts in first phase in January: Lahore, Multan, Khushab, Mandi Bahauddin, Muzaffargarh and Kasur. After the pilot in these six districts, the vaccine will be introduced across the province.

Master trainers include technical staff from six districts and they were given training on the epidemiology of Rota related diarrhea, vaccination and its efficacy, schedule and doses, protocols for Adverse Effects Following Immunization (AEFI) and cold chain. Officials of Punjab Expanded Program on Immunization and technical experts from WHO and Unicef participated in training of first batch from six districts.

DG Health Dr Mukhtar Hussain Syed directed the master trainers to prepare the training and monitoring plan for vaccination staff in their respective districts and implement them in letter and spirit.

Rota is the 10th vaccine to be introduced in Punjab vaccination schedule. As per different estimates, Rota virus accounts for 35 to 40 per cent of all diarrhea cases in Punjab, thus a major factor in overall child mortality.

Director EPI Dr Munir Ahmed emphasized that planning and preparedness were the key to introduction of the new vaccine. He said Rota was being used in more than 80 countries around the globe. He also acknowledged the support of Unicef and WHO for providing technical support in training.