LAHORE - Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has directed to intensify Contact Tracing of Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS patients and enhance the registration of all confirmed patients in a high-level meeting of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department here on Thursday. 

Present in the meeting were Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Captain (retired), Usman Younis, Additional Secretary Development Omar Farooq, Additional Secretary Technical Dr Asim Altaf, Director Hepatitis and Infection Control Program Dr Khalid, Director TB Control Program Dr Saeed AKhtar and other senior officials. 

The Minister reviewed the progress of TB Control Program and Hepatitis & Infection Control Program with a special focus on performance during the corona pandemic. The Secretary PSH Department presented overall review of the programs. The Minister directed that Contact Tracing in close family members must be immediately scaled up to effectively control the spread of Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis. 

She was told that the provision of TB medicines remained uninterrupted during the corona pandemic. 

She said that private labs must be included in the registration process through IT-based solutions as the consolidated data will help draw the realistic picture of incidence and prevalence. 

The Minister said, “The registration of childhood TB patients must be increased as this area requires serious improvement. Medicine cards must be provided to patients receiving Hepatitis, HIV/AIDs and TB medicines. 

Lady Health Workers must be engaged in creating awareness about the disease. Stringent monitoring mechanism must be put in place to stop over-the-counter sale of TB medicines as drug-resistant strains posed a serious challenge. 

All medical stores must be directed to make conspicuous display of a message that TB medicines would not be provided without proper prescription.” 

The Minister also reviewed the progress on the issuance of cards to patients of HIV/AIDs, TB and Hepatitis. 

Secretary PSH Department said, “The barcoding and registration mechanism has been finalized for issuance for medicine cards. 

The only lab confirmed patients will be issued these cards. The process has of registration of patients is being intensified.”