IHR implementation is Pakistan’s top agenda, says Federal Minister

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Abdul Qadir Patel on Wednesday said that implementation of international health regulations (IHR) is the top priority of the government to tackle Covid 19 pandemic, mpox, Polio, floods, earthquakes, and heat waves.
During sideline meetings at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the minister said that the government is cognizant of the fact that building and sustaining essential public health core capacities are critical for national responses to public health events, said in a press release.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that not only public health systems across the countries have been challenged, but it has also tested the capabilities of other sectors and reflected on the level of preparedness of our health systems against pandemics and public health emergency events.
He said that Pakistan is the only country in the region while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, had to shoulder another disaster in the shape of massive flooding in 2022, displacing 30 million people, destroying crops, damaging health infrastructure and causing considerable loss of around US$ 20 billion.
“We highly appreciate the Global Community and especially Secretary General, United Nations General Assembly, for supporting Pakistan.” He said that in order to further strengthen public health systems’ preparedness, for an efficient response to pandemics, emergencies and disasters, the country is undergoing a second round of Joint External Evaluation to identify the critical gaps and provide key recommendations for developing health security plan.
“We are also committed to developing synergies between health security and universal health coverage for a more sustainable response in the country.”