PESHAWAR, Nov 20 (APP): Pakistan Pediatrics Association of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa celebrated World Children’s Day-2022 in collaboration with UNICEF, here, on Sunday.
The event, participated by pediatricians, healthcare professionals, students, teachers, children and parents, was held at the Khyber Institute of Health Hayatabad Peshawar. Taimur Khan Jhagra, Minister for Health and Finance KP was the chief guest on this occasion.
Welcoming the guests, Prof Muhammad Hussain, the President of PPA, KP, highlighted the importance of World Children’s Day. He said that Nov20 marks the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This convention is the most ratified human rights treaty in the history of the world and it is a day to reimagine a better future for every child. Prof Inayat Khan, Director of Khyber Institute of Child Health, said that the children of today are the future of Pakistan and if we invest in their health and education, it will be reflected in the form of a better tomorrow.
He lamented the fact that the health indicators of Pakistani children are far from satisfactory. A large number of our Children are suffering from ill health and malnutrition and are dying from vaccine-preventable diseases and other infections.
He said that unfortunately, there was no operational hospital for the children of KP. The under-construction Hospital in Hayatabad, being a federally funded project, couldn’t be completed even after 10 years due to lack of funding.
Prof Abdu Hameed, a senior pediatrician, told the audience that the Convention on the Rights of the Child had guaranteed equal rights to all children without any discrimination. These rights include the rights to survival, development, protection and participation but unfortunately, many children in Pakistan were denied these rights and they suffer in isolation.
He stressed the importance of early commissioning of the Children hospital Hayatabad so that children in KP could have access to high-quality specialist care. He expressed the fear that Children Hospital could fall prey to the ongoing conflict between the Federal and Provincial governments. Prof Ashfaque Ahmad Khan, the founder of Pediatrics and child health in KP, also addressed the audience. He said that besides other reasons, the population explosion was a major factor behind many socio-economic ills, including poor child health, childhood malnutrition and rampant child abuse and neglect.
Dr Inam, Health Specialist UNICEF, in his speech expressed deep concern about the poor health indicators of children like a high infant and neonatal mortality and low immunization coverage. He stressed that the government needed to enhance its budgetary allocations for the health and education of children.
Taimur Khan Jhagra, Minister for Health and Finance, assured the audience that the KP govt was committed to expanding access to health care to the masses. He said that the Sehat Insaf Card had empowered the poorest of the poor to access high-quality medical treatment.
Taimur said the KP had an extensive network of healthcare facilities ranging from Basic Health Units to Tertiary Healthcare Facilities. The Challenge was to enhance the quality of services and build people’s trust.
Quoting the example of Bacha Khan Medical Complex, Swabi, the Minister of Health, said that under the MTI an average hospital was fast transforming to a Centre of Excellence in health care. He assured that the KP govt would provide bridge financing to complete and operationalize the Children’s Hospital Hayatabad by mid-2023.
Earlier, the Children from Bloom Field Hall School Peshawar presented a colourful tableau on children’s rights, Children from Bloomfield and SOS Village Hayatabad made powerful speeches on child rights and protection. Dr. Gohar Amin, General Secretary PPA KP, thanked the guests for their participation in the Children’s Day celebrations.
He urged the audience to take a pledge to ensure that all children in Pakistan enjoy equal rights and be given the opportunity and resources to reach their full potential.