LAHORE: Punjab Governor/Chancellor Punjab University Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that he is taking the issue of spread of hepatitis and usage of drugs and vowed to make campuses free of hepatitis and drugs. He was addressing the launching ceremony of hepatitis and drug free universities program at Al Raazi Hall here on Thursday. The ceremony was organized by PU Department of Social Work in collaboration with Sarwar Foundation in which Mrs Parveen Sarwar, MPA Massarat Jamshed Cheema, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhter, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, Government College University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, Lahore College for Women University’s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Bushra Mirza, DSW Chairperson Prof Dr Syeda Mahnaz Hasan, Hepatitis Control Program Manager Dr Khalid Mahmood, Dr Zeeshan Danish, faculty members and students participated in the seminar. Addressing the ceremony, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar stressed that we can make great achievements through collective efforts. He said that no nation or country could progress without public private partnership and a strong system of transparency and accountability. Citing an example of a success story of public private partnership, he said the affairs of Jinnah Hospital had improved manifold since eminent industrialist and philanthropist Mr Gohar Ejaz had taken over the charge of Chairman Board of Governors.
He said that it was a matter of serious nature that we did not have accurate facts and figures about an issue and without knowing the exact statistics, we could not develop a comprehensive plan or strategy to cope with the issue. He said that we must know about the exact state of affairs of hepatitis and usage of drugs in order to curb these menaces. He said that the government would collaborate with Brig (r) Ejaz Shah to eliminate drugs from the society. He said that the government would conduct tests for hepatitis free of cost and provide free treatment to the patients. He said that hepatitis was a silent killer and it could be fatal.
He said that once former British Prime Minister Tony Blair informed him that he had read the Quran three times. He said that since the non Muslims were taking benefits from the Holy Quran, why not the Muslims should benefit from their own book. He said that we decided to teach Quran with translation in the universities and I appreciate PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmad who took lead in all academic spheres and in COVID 19. He urged the media to play a role in prevention of such diseases. He also urged the young people to spare at least 10 percent time out of their total social media usage time for creating awareness against such diseases. He announced a plan to establish a Hepatitis Elimination Centre at universities across Punjab. He appreciated the role of volunteers in this regard. In her address, Mrs Parveen Sarwar said that there was a need to identify target areas and reach them to help the people who were suffering from the diseases. She said that every student should be tested for hepatitis. She said that universities could play an important role in fighting the spread of hepatitis and usage of drugs. She lauded the efforts of 1122 that was playing an excellent role in coping with the COVID 19. She said that more than 16 organizations and a large number of doctors, paramedics and volunteers had joined their hands in this mission. PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmed said that he would implement and preach the vision of the chancellor in the university. He said that the chancellor had always encouraged and helped in resolving the issues being faced by the universities and he was playing an active role in fighting COVID 19. He also lauded the initiatives taken by Sarwar Foundation. He said that the governor had rendered great services for the development of Pakistan. Prof Dr Syeda Mehnaz Hasan said that the Department of Social Work was committed to serve mankind. She thanked the Governor and the VC for their support to promote social welfare projects. She said that the department would make all out efforts to fight hepatitis and eliminate usage of drug from society. Later, souvenirs were distributed among the distinguished guests. Earlier, the governor and others visited the awareness stalls set up by the department. The department also conducted the free screening of 300 people on the spot.