Health professionals link prosperity to children’s health

LAHORE   -   Children are the cornerstone of any nation’s future, and their health and well-being are paramount. These views were expressed by Principal Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) Professor Al-Fareed Zafar during the closing ceremony of a comprehensive training workshop on children’s diseases at the Lahore General Hospital here on Saturday. The workshop was jointly organized by the UNICEF and the Punjab government. The event highlighted the critical need for parental awareness and professional commitment to safeguarding the health of newborns. The workshop, which saw participation from over 200 doctors, nurses, UNICEF experts, and other medical professionals, focused on preventative measures and treatment of childhood diseases. Distinguished speakers, including Prof. Akmal Naik, Prof. Muhammad Shahid, Prof. Faheem Afzal, Prof. Nudrat Sohail, and others, discussed key topics such as infant health and breastfeeding. The event also featured a question-and-answer session, providing an interactive platform for participants. Professor Zafar underscored the alarming mortality rates among infants in Pakistan, attributing deaths to diseases like pneumonia, measles, and diarrhea, as well as complications from malnutrition.

He stressed the necessity of heightened awareness and proactive healthcare practices among parents to combat these issues. “It is crucial for parents to understand their responsibilities towards their children’s health, including the irreplaceable benefits of breastfeeding and the importance of completing immunization schedules,” he remarked. LGH Medical Superintendent Dr. Faryad Hussain introduced the Baby Friendly Initiative, aimed at promoting breastfeeding through the establishment of dedicated feeding corners in hospitals and government offices. He announced plans to prioritize the creation of such a space at Lahore General Hospital, ensuring mothers can nurse their children comfortably and securely.

Gynecologist Professor  Faheem Afzal reiterated the importance of educational outreach as a life-saving service. Prof. Al-Fareed Zafar highlighted that in situations where breastfeeding is not possible due to maternal health or other factors, alternative nutrition should be recommended by healthcare professionals.

The ceremony concluded with Prof. Zafar distributing shields and certificates to participants, expressing hope for continued collaboration with UNICEF to advance the health awareness campaign.

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