Islamabad, January 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): Addressing at the WHO Executive Board meeting being held in Geneva from 25th to 30th January, Pakistan’s representative Director General Health Dr. Assad Hafeez called for urgent measures globally to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. “The issue of antimicrobial resistance is of grave concern particularly in developing countries and unless addressed proactively can have devastating results”, he said.
We would like to see this initiative taken on priority by the HQ and regions all over the world. The challenge of intersectoral involvement should be well planned and strategized and we welcome the global meeting planned this year for the purpose. Pakistan is working very actively on this issue in general and in particular on MDR TB and will continue to collaborate with WHO.
Dr. Hafeez congratulated DG-WHO Dr. Margaret Chan on containing Ebola epidemic effectively along with extracting useful lessons learnt from it for other regions/countries to follow. It is extremely important to imbibe the lessons learnt into the health systems and focus on IHR implementation across the board in all the countries so that in future the world is not caught unaware and has adequate response mechanisms at hand. This also holds true for emergency preparedness and response mechanism; he said.
The security of health workers is of extreme concern to us and Pakistan has been repeatedly a victim of such attacks. We have not only lost a large number of health and security workers but also lost an opportunity to immunize our children with each recurring incidence. However the pledge to the cause continues depicted by the fact that after the last bomb attack during the campaign in Quetta the Polio campaign was not interrupted.
This speaks of bravery of our workers on ground and the unfaltering commitment of the government. Let me assure that this will continue till we see the tail end of Polio very soon and the government will do its utmost to provide fool proof security to its citizens in general and health workers in particular.
The health system strengthening and universal health coverage is another area of prime importance. It has multiple facets and all the areas require equal attention in order to ensure country’s capacity at the optimal level to provide best quitable health services to its population.
The launch of National Health Program by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in December 2015 is a clear way forward in this direction. The program will cover 3.2 million poor families in the first phase of the program which is tilted towards covering mothers and children along with other marginalized populations.
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