Tuesday, January 18

Covid-19 frontline health workers awarded in Peshawar

PAKISTAN: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) came together to laud the efforts of frontline health workers during the COVID-19 response and awarded them with shields and certificates on Saturday.

IRC and its partner MERF commemorated the efforts of frontline health workers and arranged a colorful ceremony where they were honored with shields and certificates.

Provincial finance and health minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagrah was the chief guest who handed over certificates along with Director General Health KP doctor Naiz Muhammad.

The IRC and directorate-general for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), initiated COVID-19 Emergency response, in the immediate aftermath of lockdowns in Pakistan. The project aimed to support Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to quell the pandemic by strengthening the health system’s capacities, providing mental health and water & sanitation support to the affected population, along with mass awareness campaigns.

EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid funded Isolation Centre and ICUs, established by IRC and MERF were handed over to the Department of Health, KP.

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 Health Department would ensure smooth health care service delivery in Isolation Centers and ICUs to the communities in Peshawar.

Provincial Minister for Finance and Health, Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagrah on Saturday said that two percent of active patients were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and IRC’s supported isolation centers. He said the KP government was constantly issuing instructions to the divisional commissioner to ensure speedy vaccination of the people against COVID-19 along with the enforcement of SOPs to stem the spread of the virus.

Jagrah said the selfless commitment and support of IRC, Medical Emergency Resilience Foundation (MERF) and DG-ECHO has been remarkable and has greatly supported the provincial government in management of COVID-19.

Speaking on the occasion, Country Director, IRC Pakistan, Zainul Abedin, said that IRC Pakistan focused on extending emergency response support.He said the programme was fully aligned with priorities identified in the National Action Plan for COVID-19 Pakistan. 

He added that a state of art isolation center and ICU was opened in Peshawar in 2020 with five ICU beds, 16 high dependency units, and 40 isolation beds where 9,557 patients were admitted with 3.13% Case Fatality Rate. At community level, IRC outreach officers have provided psychological first aid to 8859 men and 8274 women in community. 

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This project has also supported provision of human resources, screening tests, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Mental Health Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) in government supported facilities, which is being handed over to Health Department. Throughout the project intervention, the Government of KP has supported the cause to save and preserve life by striving to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to help alleviate the suffering of masses currently facing the ongoing pandemic. It is pivotal to pause and express gratitude to frontline heroes and thank them for their dedication and sacrifices they make every day in isolation centers, ICUs and in communities. Our intervention blossomed due to the efforts of our heroes and support of the government. We are glad to know that this intervention will be further supported by the provincial government of KP.

Speakers at the ceremony echoed the message that as our milestones were celebrated, everyone must remain vigilant and strictly observe all public health measures – wearing masks, maintaining physical distance from others, keeping our hands clean, and ventilating closed spaces to prevent the spread of the disease.

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