OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE Health Secretary Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan has said that government is promoting public health and preventive programmes besides up-grading of health facilities for which the community participation and the role of Lady Health Workers is very vital. He said this during inaugural ceremony of 6-day seminar held at Alhamra Hall on Monday in connection with the Mother & Child Health Week. He said that the theme of this years Mother & Child Health Week is to protect infants from Pneumonia and promotion of mother health. The health secretary said that previously more focus was given on the upgradation of health facilities and establishment of hospitals but now the preventive side and public health would also be given more importance to eradicate diseases. The Lady Health Workers may play an effective role in this regard. He directed the health department officials to prepare public awareness literature in common and easy language so that a lay man could understand health message. It is the duty of lady health workers to convey the message to rural women that the delivery through a skilled birth attendant could save the mother and childs lives. It was a best way to minimize the mortality rate in new born children which is at present very high in Pakistan. UNICEF representative Prof Shakila Zaman, Provincial Coordinator for Family Planning and Primary Health Dr Tahir Manzoor, Dr. Akhtar Rashid Malik and other experts also addressed the seminar. Meanwhile, the Lahore General Hospital (LGH) administration has decided to extend the timings of outdoor patient department (OPD) from 8am to 8 pm. According to a press release, Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI), Prof Dr Tariq Salahuddin took the decision to maximize the medical facilities in the larger interest of the patients. Earlier, timing for the OPD patient was from 8am to 2pm. Dr Salahuddin said that the instructions have been issued to the staff concerned of OPD at LGH to follow the new schedule. He said that the hospital administration has been directed to advertise the new timings of OPD by installing banners at visible sites so that maximum people could utilize this service.