KARACHI: The Sindh government has proposed allocation of Rs 100 billion for the financial year 2017-18 for the health sector, showing an increase of 26 percent. Under the proposals, the allocation is almost Rs 20 billion more than the current financial year’s around Rs 79 billion. The annual development programme (ADP) of health is pitched at Rs 15.50 billion as compared to allocation of Rs 14 billion for current financial year. Moreover, 25,000 new posts will be created at different levels of health management. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday, while presenting budget proposals in Sindh Assembly, said that health remained a priority sector and resource allocation for the sector “keeps on expanding”. Mentioning the major milestones that have been achieved during the current financial year, he said that it was a matter of great relief that no polio case had been reported from Sindh this year. He appreciated all those who were involved in efforts for eradication of polio from Sindh and Pakistan. An important Rs 2.4 billion supplementary budgetary allocation was made to protect the Lady Health Workers Programme. The Federal Government has abandoned the programme, but it is so important and efficient at the grassroots level that it compelled the government of Sindh to step in and own the initiative. “We have initiated the expansion of Lady Health Workers Programme at a cost of Rs 982.31 million. The planned expansion will spread the programme in hitherto uncovered areas with deployment of more than 2,100 LHWs,” Murad noted. Sindh has taken a major initiative by launching multi-sectoral accelerated action plan for reduction of stunting and malnutrition namely ‘Sehatmand Sindh’. An amount of Rs 2.4 billion has been allocated for fast track programme, which aims at reducing stunting rate from existing 48% to 30% in the next five years. Highlighting the performance of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Murad said, “We have increased the grant for NICVD from Rs 1.8 billion to Rs 4 billion for the next financial year. An additional amount of Rs 380 million has been kept for PCI programme for poor patients. Also, we would be providing a grant of Rs 695 million each for satellite centres of NICVD at Larkana and Tando Muhammad Khan.” CM Murad said that Rs 375 million had been earmarked for Mobile Healthcare Units for the next financial year. Provision of mammography machines to all tertiary care facilities had also been proposed. “Building on our successes and as a continuation of our policies we have a detailed roadmap for expanding our health sector,” he said. While unfolding the proposed interventions for the next financial year, the Sindh CM said that grant for SIUT, Karachi has been increased from Rs 4 billion to Rs 4.5 billion. Similarly Grant of Indus Hospital Karachi has been doubled from Rs 500 million to Rs 1 billion. He announced that Rs 690 million for strengthening and expanding the Extended Programme for Immunization (EPI), 2118 additional posts of vaccinators have been created. Also, 300 new Solar ILR Refrigerators will be provided in far-flung areas of Sindh to enhance the outreach of programme. CM announced that Hospital Waste Management Programme would be launched in all major hospitals of Sindh at a cost of Rs 75 million. In Addition Rs 200 million will be kept for upgradation of THQ hospital at Sujawal to DHQ. Murad said that for the establishment of 200 Bedded Hospital and Operation Theatre at GMM Medical College, Sukkur at a cost of PKR 150 million have been kept. In addition, Cancer Ward at Civil Hospital Mirpur Khas will also be established whereas construction of Cancer Ward at NIMRA, Jamshoro at a cost of Rs 107 million have also been proposed. CM said that Rs 400 million have also been proposed for the establishment of Health Management Information System (HMIS) in hospitals of Sindh. For the next financial year, for the establishment of 30 Bedded Paediatrics Intensive Care Unit at Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad, Rs. 50 million have been kept. Rs 62 million for up gradation of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Maternity Home into 50-bed hospital at Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Malir have also been proposed. He announced that during next fiscal year, strengthening and improvement of 50 Bedded Hospital at Surjani, Karachi whereas strengthening of monitoring and surveillance of Health system at a cost of Rs 56 million have also been kept. Hepatitis Control Sentinel Sites increased shall be increased from 63 to 73. About 550,000 School going Children, 400,000 General Populations, 75,000 High Risk Population & High Risk Groups, 25,000 Jail-inmates and 2500 Haemophilic patients vaccinated against HBV, he announced.