LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday said hepatitis was a fatal and serious issue, while the Punjab government was taking all out precautionary measures for prevention and cure of this disease.

Talking to Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America Managing Director Dr Maqbool Arshad, who called on him, the chief minister said an awareness would be created among the people regarding preventive measures against hepatitis in order to check the spread of this disease.

Shahbaz Sharif said all segments of the society would have to come into the field to combat hepatitis effectively. He said a vigorous campaign against hepatitis would be launched under an effective strategy. He directed that a comprehensive plan for prevention against hepatitis, precautionary measures and creating awareness against this disease should be chalked out and a detailed briefing be given to him in this regard within four days.

“This deadly disease can also be controlled through proper and safe disposal of hospital waste,” the chief minister added. He directed that screening of blood for transfusion in private laboratories should be ensured at all cost in order to control spread of hepatitis. He further directed to evolve an effective programme to control infection in hospitals and all surgical instruments should be properly sterilised so that hepatitis virus was not transmitted from one patient to another.

Advisor Khawaja Salman Rafique, Shaista Pervaiz Malik, health, environment, and social welfare departments’ secretaries were also present on the occasion.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif said implementation of the ongoing schools reforms roadmap project in the province with the cooperation of international institutions was yielding positive results.

Presiding over a meeting held with regard to reviewing the progress of ongoing Punjab Education Reforms Roadmap in the province, on Wednesday, the chief minister said besides provision of quality education, other educational facilities were also being provided to the students through this organised progarmme.

“Promotion of education is top priority and maximum resources will be provided for this purpose. Provision of resources for education is not an expense rather it is a useful investment,” the chief minister added. He said cooperation between DFID UK, CIDA and the Punjab government for achieving educational targets was a welcome step.

The chief minister said Punjab government was determined to provide education to every child of the province. He said we needed to march forward in educational field in an organised manner.

Shahbaz Sharif said keeping in view the present crises of energy, a progamme had been chalked out for providing solar lights to matric students in government schools under “Ujala” programme so that they should not face any problem in their studies during loadshedding.

While directing to ensure provision of potable water and toilet facility in schools, the chief minister said toilet facility should be provided in girl schools on priority basis. He warned that the officers showing poor performance in the educational reforms programme would not be tolerated. The Chief Minister stressed the need for formulating foolproof transfer policy for overcoming the shortage of teachers.

He asked British educationist Sir Michael Barbar along with team of Punjab should review the transfer policy of the teachers. Sir Barbar, while giving briefing about the educational reforms programme in schools, informed the chief minister that this programme was going on successfully in the province and the efforts of the Punjab government in this regard were commendable.

MNA Saira Afzal Tarar, head of DFID in Pakistan George Tarkington, planning and development chairman, finance secretary, Punjab examination commission chairman and other officers were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Jamiat Al-e-Hadith Ameer Prof Sajid Mir called on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday and exchanged views on current political situation in the country, with special reference to the upcoming election, new provinces, the government policies among the other matters.

During the course of discussion, the chief minister informed Sajid Mir of a programme which the Punjab government was implementing for the welfare of the people in addition to spending all available resources on solving problems of the masses.

Allama Sajid Mir appreciated the development projects launched in Punjab for the uplift of the people.