Islamabad: Caretaker Federal Minister for Health Dr Nadeem Jan on Friday said that an effective and coordinated strategy is being formed by the federation and the provinces for the prevention of the dengue virus to keep people safe from the disease.
Chairing the Inter-Ministerial Health and Population Council meeting, he said that there was a need to develop integrated strategies for disease eradication in the context of lessons learned and experiences from COVID-19 in the country.
The Ministry of Health will ensure all possible support to control the infectious diseases in the country. Federal and provincial governments should re-organize a comprehensive program for the prevention of hepatitis, he said. On Hepatitis-C control, Dr. Nadeem Jan emphasized a joint strategic response with provinces and to launch of the National Hepatitis Control Programme this year.
Through this programme, diagnostic services and the availability of essential medicines to all Hepatitis-C patients will be ensured. He said that the Global Health Security agenda was the top-most priority of the Government of Pakistan. In this regard, for the first time in history, the government will host a Global Health Security Summit in November this year, to which leaders, top experts, and stakeholders from across the world will be invited.
Dr Nadeem Jan, “This is a matter of honour for Pakistani people and institutions and the summit will help Pakistan to finalize its strategic roadmap to tackle health emergencies and epidemics effectively in the country.” He said that the Drug License issuance and laboratories across the country are being upgraded. “We are creating a comprehensive system based on uniform guidelines for elimination and recovery of spurious medicines from the market.”
In this context DRAP will sign a joint MoU with all provincial governments. It was agreed in the meeting to ensure an uninterrupted supply of medicines and effective measures to deal with related challenges, the minister added.
The Caretaker Health Minister Punjab, Dr Javed Akram informed that a Dengue Expert Advisory Group was functional and has played a pivotal role in devising and implementing comprehensive strategies to combat dengue outbreaks. He added that the surveillance systems and community engagement initiatives have not only helped in the early detection of dengue cases but have also raised awareness about preventive measures among the public.
The Caretaker Health Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Dr Riaz Anwar updated that Dengue surveillance activities in the KP province have been diligently conducted to monitor and manage the spread of dengue disease. The province has implemented a comprehensive surveillance system to track dengue cases and identify potential outbreaks.
The Caretaker Health Minister Sindh, Dr Saad Khalid Niaz informed about the enhancement of entomological surveillance, laboratory networks, and the adoption of a multisectoral approach have proven instrumental in reducing the number of dengue cases. He mentioned that the Local Government in the Sindh province has constructed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) at the Union Council level for vector control measures.
Dr Nadeem Jan said, “Let us pledge that the federal and provincial leadership will work together to ensure practical measures to keep the people of Pakistan safe from deadly diseases.” All provincial health ministers and other stakeholders appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of not only bringing all provinces, federating areas, and stakeholders to the same table but also setting a comprehensive strategic direction through an inclusive consultative process. They committed that today’s meeting will become a starting point for an effective collaborative response to tackle dengue, hepatitis-C, and other epidemics in the country.
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