Shahbaz stresses need for efforts to control thalassaemia


LAHORE: Stressing carrying out maximum efforts and allocating adequate resources to control thalassaemia, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Thalassaemia Prevention Programme is successfully going on in 18 districts of the province and that its scope will also be extended to the whole of province.Also urging the need for an effective awareness campaign to help control thalassaemia, the chief minister said that clerics could also play an effective role in promoting awareness against thalassaemia. He also said that a law on thalassaemia control would be enacted with consultation of experts. 
According to a handout, the chief minister was addressing a seminar at the Postgraduate Medical Institute to mark International Thalassaemia Day on Thursday.
Appreciating organisers for holding the event, he said that it would be very helpful in promoting awareness to control the disease. 
He directed his adviser on health, Khawaja Salman Rafiq, to submit recommendations within two weeks after consulting experts so that necessary legislation could be made for the prevention of thalassaemia. 
Appreciating the efforts of Khawaja Salman and his team with regard to polio vaccination, the chief minister said that polio disease had tarnished the image of Pakistan throughout the world but that no case had been detected in Punjab during 2014. 
The chief minister said that funds required for the completion of the Punjab Institute of Neuro Sciences project would be provided during the current fiscal year while the adviser on health along with the department secretary would submit a detailed report regarding Amirud Din Medical College after visiting the college.
The chief minister praised the efforts of Punjab Thalassaemia Prevention Programme Project Director Prof Shamsa Rehman and her team for achieving glorious results with limited resources. He said that a third party audit of the project would be arranged through the World Health Organisation or any other international agency. 
Amirud Din Medical College Principal Prof Anjum Habib Vohra welcomed the chief minister. He also stressed the need to raise awareness for prevention of the hereditary disease. 
Prof Shamsa Rehman expressed the resolve to make Punjab a thalassaemia-free province and said that a DNA lab had been established to provide free diagnostic facilities to the people.
Children’s Hospital Dean Prof Masood Sadiq said that free treatment was being provided to the children suffering from thalassaemia at the hospital. He said that all tehsil and district headquarters hospitals would be linked through satellite to provide treatment to thalassaemia patients.
Governor of Sistan Balochistan calls on CM : Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that strong relations based on history, civilisation and culture exist between Pakistan and Iran and that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s upcoming visit to Iran will further promote and strengthen economic, trade, cultural and bilateral ties between the two countries.
According to a handout, the chief minister was talking to Ali Osat Hashmi, the governor of Iranian province of Sistan Balochistan, who called on him on Thursday. 
The Iranian ambassador to Pakistan and the Iranian consul general were also present. 
Governor Hashmi said that the people of Pakistan and Iran were bound together in strong bond of love and affection. He invited Chief Minister Shahbaz to visit Iran. The chief minister accepted the invitation. 
Outgoing US consul general calls on Shahbaz : Outgoing US Consul General Nina Maria Fite called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday. 
According to a handout, Chief Minister Shahbaz said that Ms Fite had performed her diplomatic responsibilities in an efficient manner. He welcomed the new consul general, Zachary Harkenrider, who was also present, in Lahore. 
Ms Fite said that she was returning with pleasant memories of Pakistan, especially of the city of Lahore. 

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