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Continuity, sustainability needed in policies for success of Punjab AIDS Control Programme: Minister

May 1, 2014

Punjab Minister for Health Saleema Hashmi has said that there is a need for continuity and sustainability in the policies for the success of Punjab AIDS Control Programme.

She further stressed the need for multi-sectoral coordination between organizations, researchers and implementers for programme and policy design. She recognized HIV as an acute issue that could develop into a major issue in the years to come if left unchecked.

She was presiding over the Programme Science Groupmeeting of Punjab AIDS Control Programme in a local hotel. Others present at the meeting included the Programme Manager of Punjab AIDS Control Programme, Dr Salman Shahid, Dean, Institute of Public Health Prof. Dr Muaz Ahmed and other representatives from UN agencies, USAID, World Bank and ActionAid. In the meeting, Dr Farhan Emmanuel introduced the Programme

Science Global Programme, followed by Dr Tahira Ezra Reza's presentation where she spoke about the proposed Programme Science activities in Punjab.

The Programme Science Group memberships were also finalized in this meeting. Dr Salman Shahid, Programme Manager PACP also updated the participants about the activities and HIV response of PACP in Punjab.

Meanwhile, Punjab AIDS Control Programme and Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba also conducted a seminar in collaboration with the Institute of Public Health as a part of the Human Resource Development Programme. The chief guest of the seminar was the Vice

Chancellor of the University of Health Sciences, Maj. Gen. Muhammad Aslam, others present at the seminar.

The main objective of the seminar was to introduce the Human Resource Development Programme, whereby representatives from NGOs, IPH, researchers from civil society and the HIV programme participated to improve their capacity in the realms of research, epidemiology, public health and programming.

The seminar was opened by Dr Maaz, Dean of Institute of Public Health, where he elaborated on the mission, achievements and goals of the IPH. Next, Dr Farhan Emmanuel, Associate

Professor of the Center for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba presented about the emerging HIV/AIDS epidemic globally and in Pakistan. He informed the participants about the current status of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan, risk settings, gaps and opportunities. Next, Dr Tayyaba Rashid, Treatment Coordinator PACP, presented information about the services and treatment provided by the government in response to the HIV epidemic. Dr Muhammad

Shahid Iqbal, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, IPH also presented about infectious diseases and the causes and necessary response needed by the Public Health sector to deal with such issues. Dr Salman

Shahid, Programme Manager PACP, also presented an overview about the government's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Lastly, the Chief Guest also spoke about the merits of designing HIV programmes and researches according to the strengths of the institutes available and trying to overcome the weakness and be astute to acknowledge opportunities.

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Source: Daily Messenger (Pakistan)

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