KARACHI-Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while addressing a press conference at Chief Minister House here on Saturday upon the conclusion of his tenure, highlighted the five years performance of his government and spoke at length about police performance, national disasters like COVID-19, floods and development endeavors. He challenged the media to compare the stability and development works of his government with other provincial governments.
The press conference was attended by his cabinet members, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Shah, Mukesh Chawla and Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab. The precarious law and order situation especially in Karachi in the form of street crimes has remained a major challenge for our government. Though organized crimes have been reduced to a great extent, but petty street crimes are yet to be dealt with effectively, he added. He said the Sindh government has introduced multiple reforms in Sindh Police in governance, infrastructure and IT sector, adding that these reforms played a pivotal role in combating terrorism and other heinous crimes in the province.
The overall situation of crime in Sindh improved with a significant decrease in the murder rate, which decreased from 854 in 2018 to 733 in 2022 in interior Sindh despite tribal culture/feuds. Terrorism incidents have also decreased significantly from 51 in 2013 to 01 in 2023, he expressed.
Major incidents like the attack on KPO, the Suicide bombing of Chinese at Karachi University and the killing of a Chinese doctor as well as VBIEDs blasts in Saddar and Kharadar were traced. Attacks on the Chinese Consulate and Stock Exchange were foiled. 898 terrorists were arrested by CTD Sindh, and 27 terrorists were killed between 2018-2023. The floods of 2022 brought unimaginable devastation, causing loss of lives, homes, and livelihoods. The floods that struck Sindh caused massive devastation, impacting 70 percent of the province. Over 2 million houses were damaged or destroyed, leaving 12 million people homeless and vulnerable.
The Sindh government stood shoulder-to-shoulder with its people. We also provided support to farmers with free seeds, raised floor prices, and took measures to ensure water availability during the sowing season. Within a record time of three months, the Government of Sindh worked with development partners, especially the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, in conceiving projects of about US$ 2 billion for post-flood recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.
The Sindh government launched the Sindh Peoples Housing for Flood Affectees (SPHF) with the support from World Bank. This visionary initiative aims to construct 2.1 million multi-hazard resilient houses, employing a beneficiary-driven approach. As of this moment, remarkable progress has been achieved, with 1.3 million validations already concluded. The diligent efforts continue, with the objective of finalizing all 2.1 million validations by the conclusion of August. Under ‘Sindh Flood Emergency Rehabilitation Project’ has so far plugged 208 breaches and rehabilitated 11 small dams, other important drainage works will be carried out in the current financial year.
‘We are also expanding Sindh Emergency Rescue Service 1122 in 9 additional districts. 10 districts were already covered under the Sindh Resilience Project. Moreover, 15 satellite stations on highways and motorways will also be established to address the causalities caused by road accidents. From Covid’19 pandemic to the deadly floods, Shah forthrightly briefs the public on the performance of his government. PPP-led Sindh government’s focus remained on the construction of new roads and the rehabilitation of dilapidated roads. Sindh Road Network Master Plan (SRNMP) has been developed which prioritizes the construction and maintenance of roads in the province. During the last five years, more than 5636 km of roads have been constructed or rehabilitated with funding of more than Rs.174.524 billion.
Besides this, the provincial govt with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADP-funded) Provincial Roads Improvement Project nine roads of 410 km have been constructed for Rs.22.7 billion. Emergency Food Assistance Project (EFAP) of Rs46.3 billion has been started with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Under this project, 1662 km of roads more badly affected by the floods of 2022 would be constructed. The Sindh government prioritized the health sector and doubled the budget to make sure improvement is seen in all three levels of health services: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The Sindh government vaccinated 38 million individuals against COVID-19 achieving a fully vaccinated coverage of 102 perecent for the age of 12 plus years population.
280 million OPDs at primary, secondary, and tertiary health care centers were set up across the province. “We have ensured maternal services round-the-clock by launching 52 round-the-clock labour rooms”, Shah said. More than 1.45 million transfers, through effective healthcare referral systems, have been conducted to date with 96 percent of life-threatening cases. The government of Sindh has achieved 68 percent fully immunized coverage of children aged 12-23 months. Our Oral Poliovirus Vaccine coverage stands at 91 percent with zero cases reported in the last two years. During the floods of 2022, more than 30,000 IDP camps were organized to provide relief to 10 million people affected by the recent floods. “We have also established the first multidisciplinary civilian Centre of Autism (CARTs) for children and adults in Karachi and Hyderabad offering free clinical services, transport, and stipends to children and adults with autism”, he said and added that It is the biggest center in Southeast Asia.
In the past year, a fleet of 230 ambulances was added to the health system through Sindh Emergency Service Rescue 1122 with a Central Command and Control Headquarters in Karachi.
Under Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah’s term, mobile health services for remote areas of 11 districts have been introduced.
Shah told the media, “26 Mobile Hospitals are providing free medical treatment services like OPDs, Operation Theatre, ICU, and Neonatal ICU, OPDs have X-Ray, ECG, Ultrasound, Lab & Other Tests on a regular basis as well as in times of calamities and emergencies.”
Male & Female OPDs are established separately on a 10-wheeler truck to provide complete Diagnostic and Treatment facilities.
Since 2018, mobile hospitals have treated 2,314,160 patients and 266,030 people have been vaccinated.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in their tenure in Sindh provided Rs. 3.4 billion under the Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program and during the last 4 years, 4.6 million people have been vaccinated, including 750,000 schoolchildren.
Under the Grant-in-Aid, various Health Institutions like PPHI, SlUT, NICVD/SICVD, Gambat Institutes, SASIMS, Indus Hospital, SICHN & Proscribed Organisations witnessed a doubled budget from Rs. 32.745 billion to Rs. 66.151 billion.
During the last five years, 71 schemes with an expenditure of Rs. 32.389 billion have been completed in the health sector.
Some major schemes include the establishment of the Provision of Linear Accelerator with Integrated High Field MRI System at DUHS, Karachi, and Benazir Institute of Urology & Transplantation (BIUT) at Shaheed Benazirabad.
The schemes also support the strengthening of the Institute of Medical Sciences at Gambat and have also funded six new Medical Colleges which will be established at Karachi, Lyari, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, and LUMHS at Khairpur.
In addition, Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit in SIUT Karachi has been established and
seven THQs are being upgraded to the level of DHQ Hospital (DHQ) along with the existing facilities.
Furthermore, 39 Taluka Headquarters (THQ) are being upgraded and 41 Emergency cum Trauma Centres in THQ will be constructed.
Sindh Institute of Urology (Sukkur Chapter) has been established for Rs552 million to provide affordable OPD, Diagnostic, Dialysis, and other specialized services at Sukkur.
The years 2020 & 2021 posed a daunting challenge for the government in combating one of the most fatal diseases of recent times which had engulfed the entire world.
The efforts taken on a day-to-day basis to counter pandemic Covid’19 were also presented in Shah’s address to the media. During 2020-21, the government spent Rs. 4.30 billion instantly on COVID-related activities, which include PCR Kits & PPE’s, Cold Chain, Operation Expenses etc.
On 8th December 2019 first case of the fatal disease appeared in Wuhan, China, and on 26th February 2020 first case of COVID-19 having a history of travel from Iran, was reported in Pakistan. The following day a Provincial Task Force for COVID-19 under Sindh CM was operationalized immediately.
The Sindh government had announced the closure of all educational institutes in Sindh and set up a 10,000-bed field hospital at Karachi’s Expo Centre to isolate and treat confirmed patients in less than a month and later imposed a lockdown.
Corona Virus Emergency Fund (CEF) was established. The federal govt on the pattern of the Provincial Task Force, Sindh established NCOC on 27 March 2020.
178 bedded ‘Sindh Infectious Diseases Control Hospital & Research Centre at NIPA, Karachi’ and ‘50 Bedded Hospital at Gulistan-e-Johar Karachi’ were established and made functional by 30th June 2020 at the cost of Rs. 1,990 million.