KARACHI/ISLAMABAD   -   Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, on his last leg visit to the Larkana division on Thursday, assessed the flood situation, and witnessed the plight of affected peo­ple either living in the camps, along the main 

roads, or in their houses surround­ed by the water and discussed with irrigation experts and direct­ed them to work out a plan to dis­charge the water through different escapes into river Indus.

“I have visited each and every flood-affected area of the province with the plan to assess and wit­ness the situation so that appro­priate measures can be taken to discharge the water, rehabilitate the displaced people and restore agro-activities to move forward”. 

He said this while talking to the media at different camps and health facilities, said a statement issued here. He said the flood vic­tims living in the camps and along the road were looking to return to their homes if the water was cleared. “This shows that the gi­gantic task is to clear the villag­es, cities, towns, and the roads to pave way for their return,” he said and added the Hairdin drain has flooded the entire bordering ar­eas of Jacobabad. 

Similarly, the villages right from Jacobabad Thul road via Bachro and Thul to Tangwani were un­derwater and people are living along the roads, therefore water has to dispose of, the CM said and added that the natural waterway was the only source to discharge it into canals and then release it into Manchhar and into the River.

“I have formed a team of Irriga­tion experts under Irrigation Min­ister Jam Khan Shoro to prepare a water escape plan and bring it to him so that necessary measures and decisions could be taken to dispose of it to the river. “

This is not a solution to flood­ing one area at the cost of anoth­er, therefore a workable plan was needed, ‘’ he said. 

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the water would be disposed of within one and half months, he told the newsmen at Dokri. 

He added that the level of Man­chhar has come down from 123.5 RL to 120 RL. 

Over 200,000 cusecs of water were flowing into the River and this speed would further accelerate within the next few days, he hoped. Talking about relief work, the CM Sindh said that he had personal­ly met with the people living in the camps and along the roads. “I know they are in real pain and dis­tress,” he said, and added their cries for tents were justified,” he said. Ac­cording to the CM Sindh, the de­mand for 1.5 million tents despite hectic efforts could not be met. 

“We have distributed around 300,000 tents and ordered 600,000 tents but so far have re­ceived the delivery of 200,000 tons. Similarly, the demand for ra­tion was being met but there was a gap between demand and sup­ply. He lamented that he met with some people at the camps where they were sitting under the shade of ‘charpaies.’ The chief minister started his day from Sukkur and went directly to Ratodero where he visited two relief camps, in­teracted with the affected people, and checked the stocks of med­icines and their expiry. He was told by the affected people that there was a shortage of Panadol and Chloroquine tablets. The CM Sindh said that he had already ap­proached different agencies to provide medicines for the treat­ment of malaria, and diarrhea. Syed Murad Ali Shah went to Miro Khan where he visited a mega tent city and met with the people living there. Comparatively the dwellers of the city were living in better conditions. Their buffaloes were enjoying baths in the pond situated along the camp, a mo­tor was installed where children were taking baths, and the ration was provided to them, therefore, they were cooking their food.

‘PARACETAMOL, ANTI SNAKE VENOM IN FLOOD HIT AREAS’

The National Assembly Stand­ing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordi­nation on Thursday directed Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to ensure ample supply of paracetamol and anti snake ven­om throughout the country espe­cially in the flood affected areas. 

Chaired by Dr. Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, MNA in Parlia­ment Housen, the Committee di­rected for penal action against all those who were either involved in hoarding or discontinuing production of the paracetamol. The Committee also directed for holding the National Medi­cal and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) tests on single day throughout the country. 

The Committee was apprised that the pharmaceutical sector had demanded for increase in price of paracetamol, however its request had not been acceded to by the federal cabinet. The Chief Executive Officer DRAP apprised that punitive action had been ini­tiated against the concerned. The Special Secretary of the Minis­try apprised that the provision of medicines especially in the flood affected areas was being ensured. He told that the government had already received sufficient supply of paracetamol by the foreign gov­ernments. The Committee also expressed its annoyance over con­secutive absence of Federal Minis­ter and Secretary from attending the Committee’s meetings. 

The Committee decided to dis­cuss The Pakistan Nursing Coun­cil (Emergency Management), Bill, 2022 (Ordinance XXIX of 2021) (Government Bill) and The ICT Tuberculosis (Notification) Bill, 2022, moved by Ms. Uzma Riaz, MNA, in its next meeting. 

The Committee decided to fur­ther discuss issues related to DRAP in presence of the minister. 

The Committee expressed its disappointment on the perfor­mance of Pakistan Nursing Coun­cil (PNC) terming it a failure to bring the nursing sector at par with the international standards. 

The Committee was of the view that substandard clinical training, obsolete curriculum and lack of quality training institutions were the main reasons. 

The Committee directed the ministry to further ponder upon the legislative proposal in that re­gard and address all the issues pointed out by the committee. The Committee also suggested that the amendments should not defeat the spirit of a regulator. The committee also said that prolif­eration of private institution and lack of monitoring by PNC had de­teriorated the standard of trained human resource. It also asked for a comprehensive briefing on syllabus of all programs and fee structure for all these programs besides monitoring system of PNC. The Registrar PNC apprised the committee about the perfor­mance of the nursing regulator. She informed that 60 percent out of 339 institutes imparting train­ing in the sector were private in­stitutes. She said that 17,485 nurses and paramedics have been enrolled with PNC till date. 

The Special Secretary informed that the PNC had been subject­ed to infighting between its ranks which had resulted in produc­tion of substandard human re­source. He said that nursing and paramedics sector had huge po­tential in local as well as in foreign countries and if standardized hu­man resource as per international standards were produced, it could earn substantial foreign exchange for the country.

Later, the Committee was briefed by the Chief Executive, Is­lamabad Healthcare Regulato­ry Authority (IHRA) that IHRA had been mandated to regulate healthcare sector within the juris­diction of Islamabad Capital Terri­tory. He informed that the Author­ity was keeping vigilant check on provision of best healthcare facili­ties in private as well as public sec­tor facilities. He further apprised that the Authority had embarked on a plan to impart training in lab­oratory services and dentistry and would issue licences to pro­fessional in both sectors. 

The Authority has digitised its processes for issuance of registra­tion of such facilities and handle online complaints, he told. 

He assured the Committee that the standards in healthcare are being set up which would be mon­itored strictly. He also complained about the dichotomy in health ser­vices since healthcare facilities in public sector were being provided by both Capital Development Au­thority (CDA) and ICT. He stressed for bringing entire healthcare fa­cilities under umbrella of Ministry of Health Services. 

The Committee appreciated the performance of IHRA and as­sured that the issues raised by the CEO would be taken up with relevant quarters. The meet­ing was attended by MNAs Nisar Ahmed Cheema, Dr. Samina Mat­loob, Ms. Zahra Wadood Fatime, Dr. Darshan, Mahesh Kumar Mal­ani, Ms. Shamsun Nisa, Dr. Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, Ramesh Lal, James Iqbal, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Special Secretary Min­istry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, CEOs of Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority and Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, Registrar Pakistan Nursing Coun­cil and officers of the concerned departments.