PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has approved funds of Rs450.8 million for overcoming shortage of teaching staff in schools and colleges of the merged tribal districts.

The Planning and Development Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday also approved construction of 16 new colleges with an estimated cost of Rs4.9 billion.

The approval was granted in the meeting of the Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP). The meeting approved RS450.8 million fund to overcome shortage of teaching staff in schools and colleges of tribal districts

The meeting also approved construction of a girls degree college at All Qila Maidan in Lower Dir district.

Agreement for improving health services

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday for the launching of an integrated maternal, newborn, child health, and immunization pilot project.

The MoU was signed by Peshawar Medical College (PMC), KP Health Department, Trust for Vaccines and Immunizations (TVI), Prime Foundation (PF), Aga Khan University, Karachi and the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Canada.

The purposes behind the project are to improve the MNCH practices and services, particularly in the coronavirus context including routine childhood immunisation, improved breastfeeding practices, handwashing promotion, best possible sanitary practices, and optimal diarrhoea management, to enhance community engagement and knowledge to improve care-seeking behaviours and health behaviours, to create a replicable model of private health sector engagement that can be adopted by the government for the long-term sustainability of the interventions and to assess the feasibility of adopting an electronic birth and immunisation registry.

The 18-month pilot project will focus on improving the health of women and children. The project will concentrate on rebuilding health and immunisation systems that have been disrupted or halted due to COVID-19.

The project will be delivered in two high-risk union councils (UCS) of KP where health practices, immunization coverage and health infrastructure are sub-optimal. It will engage private-sector health care providers including medical practitioners and physicians in the targeted UCs to optimise the quality of maternal and child health services, nutrition interventions, and coverage of routine immunisation.

The project team will coordinate with the expanded program for immunisation (EPI) to arrange vaccines for private practitioners to ensure free-of-cost vaccination services at their clinics.