ISLAMABAD                -               Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza officially launched, ‘We Care’-a nationwide training programme for doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff here at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Friday.

Addressing the ceremony, Dr Mirza said a special online training course had been designed for the health care workers to explain to them the standard usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This course was aimed at engaging more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff from all over the country, he added. The training course is designed to make participants aware of the role of PPE in protecting oneself in a contagious environment.

SAPM said the standardized national curriculum had been developed for this training programme and top medical universities from across the country, one from each province, had been selected for the purpose.

Dr Mirza further said steady and adequate direct supplies of the PPEs were part of the campaign which is being handled by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

He said ‘We Care’ campaign enjoyed the consensus of all the provincial health ministers.  “The campaign will complement the ongoing  efforts by the provinces and development partners for the same purpose,” Dr Mirza added.

Participants were informed that ‘We care’ training programme was aimed at providing adequate personal protective equipment to the health workers, and training them in its use as per international standards, and creating an overall psycho-social environment of care and support.

The participants were apprised that the ministry is being assisted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as partners in this campaign.

They were informed that ‘We care’ also aimed to sensitize public, including patients and visitors at healthcare facilities, to support frontline healthcare  workers by following preventive behaviors not only to reduce the risk of infection to themselves but also to reduce work burden on health providers.

World Health Organisation Representative to Pakistan, Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala and experts from the fraternity were also present on the occasion.

A special documentary on proper usage of PPE was also played during the inaugural session.