WHO, Pakistan to upgrade hospitals

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WHO, Pakistan to upgrade hospitals

Being executed with the WHO’s support, the project will have zero financial implication for the Government of Pakistan.

Adil Shaheen

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination and the World Health Organisation on Monday joined hands to refurbish 464 health facilities across the country as a step forward to achieving the government’s “top agenda” of Universal Health Coverage.

In this connection, a ceremony for the signing of Letter of Understanding between the health ministry and the world health body was held at the PM House which also marked the handing over of health equipment worth over Rs 2 billion including mobile health clinics, ambulances, and mobile vaccination vans.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and Caretaker Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan witnessed the ceremony as Secretary Health Iftikhar Ali Shallwani and WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala signed the document.

Being executed with the WHO’s support, the project will have zero financial implication for the Government of Pakistan.

Under the project, the WHO would support Pakistan in renovation of 464 health facilities across the country including 41 in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan, 131 in Balochistan, 64 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 26 in Punjab and 202 in Sindh.

The WHO would support the upgradation of 21 health facilities, 14 labour rooms and six EPI training centers in AJK and GB; 99 health facilities, 26 labour rooms, and six EPI training centers in Balochistan; and 36 health facilities 21 labour rooms and seven EPI training centers in KP.

The project also consists of refurbishing 15 labour rooms, nine EPI training centers and two nutrition stabilisation centers in Punjab; and 150 health facilities, 46 labour rooms and six EPI training centers in Sindh.

The WHO support for upgradation of the health facilities throughout the country will contribute to meeting the objective of Universal Health Coverage besides creating a better image of the government in the public for provision of decent health care services to them.

This support will also contribute to the SDG 3 for good health and also SDG8 which is decent work environment and economic growth.

The project will help strengthening the primary healthcare system and promote the referral system mechanism besides reducing the burden on major hospitals.

Under the plan, the primary health care facilities would be computerised and equipped with around 70 modern facilities.

The upgdaration of such a huge number of health facilities is a first in the country’s history that would ensure the provision of healthcare facilities to the masses at their doorstep.

While, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said that the government would ensure the common man’s access to the basic healthcare, for it being the right of every citizen.

The prime minister, in a meeting with WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala here, appreciated the world health body as well as other partners for extending their support in the reformation of country’s health sector.

He also lauded the WHO’s support for upgradation of health facilities across Pakistan including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

He said the mobile health clinics and ambulances provided by the WHO would help in provision of basic health facilities to the people at their doorstep, even those living in remote areas.

The prime minister was told that the mega project for upgradation of 464 health facilities would complete in two months. Besides providing health facilities, the mobile health units would also be linked with the central healthcare system that would also enable them to refer the patients to the major hospitals.

Later, the prime minister also witnessed the signing of Letter of Understanding between the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and WHO, and also inspected five ambulances, a mobile clinic and two vaccination vans donated by the WHO.

Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday ordered the police authorities to take strict action against the drug dealers supplying drugs and narcotics in and around the educational institutions.

Chairing a meeting regarding issues related to Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) here, the prime minister said protection of life and property of the citizens was the primary responsibility of the state.

The meeting discussed in detail the ICT’s administrative issues, law and order situation and anti-narcotics’ issues.

He also directed the concerned authorities to take special measures for the protection of schools besides taking necessary steps on priority basis for the establishment of Dolphin Force in Islamabad.

The meeting was briefed in detail about illegal encroachments, the development projects under Capital Development Authority, performance of the ICT Police and other issues.

The prime minister ordered to immediately resolve the problems created by the showrooms established in various parts of the city to trade vehicles that cause problems of traffic and parking in the respective areas.

A comprehensive plan of a Car City should be made at a suitable location for the exhibition, auction and sale of vehicles in Islamabad, he instructed.

PM Kakar also said that an effective strategy should be devised to reduce the traffic pressure in the city.

The meeting was informed that 160 new buses would soon arrive in the city that would help making the public transport system in the city more effective.

The prime minister directed that a central digital system should be made for registration of cars in all cities across the country including Islamabad.

Fitness certificates should be issued for old vehicles based on the internationally accepted environmental pollution standards, he said. He also directed to make the system of issuance of driving license more effective and transparent across the country.

With respect to Margalla National Park, the prime minister said an indiscriminate operation should be conducted against illegal encroachment on Capital Development Authority lands including Margalla National Park.

With respect to the law and order situation in the capital city, PM Kakar was told that during current year, crimes rate had reduced significantly. The prime minister directed to dives an effective strategy to ensure protection of the citizens.

The meeting was informed that the e-challan system had been fully implemented in Islamabad by using modern technology and safe city cameras.

The meeting was attended by senior government officials including the caretaker interior minister.