The Steering Committee meeting of PKLI was held on Friday 9th June, 2017 at the (PKLI & RC) Secretariat. Khawaja Salman Rafique, Minister of Health, Government of Punjab and Prof. Dr. Saeed Akhter, President & CEO, PKLI&RC chaired the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to evolve a unified strategy for elimination of hepatitis in the province in line with the Government of Punjab’s hepatitis control program and global health strategy on viral hepatitis. The meeting noted that all the stakeholders should work in synergy for early enactment of Punjab Hepatitis Prevention and Control Act. This will provide implementation of policy on all aspects such as hospital waste management, dialysis, auto destructive syringes, use of sterilized instruments and vaccination of exposed and vulnerable segments of the society.
Khawaja Salman Rafique highlighted the immense importance of the PKLI’s project and stated that in view of complex situation of hepatitis prevalence, we feel there is a need for an independent structured program and legislative framework for healthcare professionals of Pakistan where the latest findings of hepatitis are translated to daily clinical practice based on local and international key opinion leaders, focusing on local and regional challenges and solutions. Khawaja Salman Rafique showed concern before the participants that, there is an urgent need of role clarification of responsibilities between PKLI & RC, Government of Punjab and Tertiary Healthcare Department. This will help in avoiding any duplication of efforts to public service. Dr. Saeed Akhter mentioned Pakistan can immensely take benefit from the experience of other nations like Egypt and Georgia, who have been successfully combating hepatitis. He added PKLI is being planned to operate laboratory section under structured code of network that will cater to the growing number of hepatitis patients in far flung areas across Punjab. This robust database plan is being planned under sentinel sites of state-of-the-art PKLI & RC. Khawaja Salman Rafique and Prof. Dr. Saeed Akhter ensured that uniform policies and protocols with respect to diagnosis and treatment that is vitally important in line with the subject of making hepatitis free Pakistan.