The Sindh government, with targeted efforts on child health, has managed to drastically reduce the infant mortality rate from 104 to 46 per 1,000 live births over a period of five years, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. The chief minister said these figures were mentioned in a survey supported by the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) – 202.
This was said on Friday as he spoke to the media after attending a ChildLife Foundation program held to celebrate 100,000 telemedicine consultations in Sindh at the civil hospital. The program was attended by Health Secretary Zulfiqar Shah, Childlife CEO Dr Ahson Rabani and others. The CM said his government has focused on children’s health and succeeded in reducing the infant mortality rate.
“This is a great success of our child health programs, launched through a public-private partnership,” he said. He said that in 2018, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Sindh as the 6th best partnership in Asia. He recalled that his government’s partnership with the Childlife Foundation began in 2010 with the aim of improving emergency care for children.
“In 2018, free emergency service was introduced in five public hospitals in Karachi and now no child in the city is more than 30 minutes away from free 24/7 emergency services “, said Murad. The CM said nine emergency care for children were set up in hospitals in Karachi, Hyderabad, Benazirabad, Larkana and Sukkur in 2019, where more than 900,000 children were treated annually.
Murad said that our partnership with Childlife Foundation has now resulted in the establishment of Telemedicine Satellite Centers to improve service in District Headquarters Hospitals (DHQ) or Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals (THQ), as 2/ 3 of our population lives outside major cities. “In 2020, the telemedicine service was extended to all districts in the province and from December 2022, it will be further extended to all THQs,” he said.
Murad Ali Shah said the milestone of 100,000 telemedicine consultations has been reached. “The telemedicine system avoids visits to big cities, saves critical treatment time and a huge financial burden on parents,” he said. While answering questions from the media, the CM said that the PTI government had failed to strengthen the national economy.
He said the PTI leaders had no vision to get the economy back on track. Earlier, the CM visited the telemedicine control room and witnessed the telemedicine procedure. He said once the fiber optic cable is laid in rural areas, the whole province will be connected through telemedicine systems.