Punjab initiates registration of barbers to stem blood-borne diseases

LAHORE – The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department in the country’s most populous province has decided to register all barbers, hairdressers, and beauticians to stem the spread of blood-borne diseases including Hepatitis.

According to a report of a private news channel, the decision was made in a joint meeting with the Punjab Hepatitis Control Program.

The action plan includes laboratories, seminaries, and beauty parlors, to get registered to stem the spread of Hepatitis, a liver inflammation caused by Hep. Virus.

Under the Hepatitis Control Program, the health department will issue temporary licenses to barbers after inspection that will be valid for a period of at least three months.

On the other hand, the All Pakistan Hairdressers and Beauticians Association assured full support to the initiative of the PTI-led Punjab government however they also expressed concern as it could root harassment in the guise of inspection.

Besides the strict inspection, some alleged incumbent government that authorities want to impose a tax on hairdressers under the registration process. They also hinted to protest if the government imposes any kind of additional taxes following the registration process.

Let it be known that in many parts of the South Asian country, barbers, quacks and other nonqualified persons also perform circumcision by their own unhygienic methods that include no sterilization and without knowing the consequences.

It is worth noting that the barber registration in Punjab is expected to improve hygiene practice at local saloons that can curb the spread of blood-borne diseases.

The latest initiative is the follow-up of a number of campaigns launched by the Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Health. Earlier, the department has distributed safe barber kits across the province to stem blood-borne diseases.

Earlier, a National Health Survey report estimates more than 150,000 patients of HIV AIDS across the country while more than 70,000 of the patients are from Punjab, while 15,000 are from K-P and Balochistan.

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