Govt to take innovative steps for improving health sector: Dr Zafar

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ISLAMABAD, Apr 23 (APP):Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Dr Zafar Mirza on Tuesday assured that the government will take innovative steps for improving health sector of the country.

Addressing the officials of the ministry after assuming the charge as state minister on Tuesday, Dr Mirza said that provision of health facilities to the masses and protecting them from various diseases was the responsibility of government.

He said that as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the ministry will take measures towards strengthening the healthcare delivery system. He said that only policy of merit and transparency will be preferred and implemented.

Dr Zafar Mirza was serving at the post of Director Health System Development at World Health Organization Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean based in Cairo Egypt which was responsible for 22 countries spread over Middle East, North Africa and Western Africa.

The post portfolio cover Universal Health Coverage, Primary Healthcare, health governance and financing, health workforce development, Integrated health service delivery, pharmaceuticals and health technologies.

Dr Zafar Mirza also served as acting World Health Organization Representative in Islamic Republic of Iran.  He also remained Team leader Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property at WHO Geneva.

Dr Mirza remained Regional Adviser Essential Medicine and Pharmaceutical in Cairo. He served as Founding National Coordinator in The Network for Consumer Protection in Pakistan.

With having Eisenhower Fellow (2004), Britannia Scholar (1994), Masters in Public Health (London), Dr Mirza had been on the faculty of Boston School of Public Health, Joint Faculty of World Health Organization Harvard Medical School and Federal Health Services Academy of Pakistan.

Dr Mirza’s important national contributions includes Prohibition of Smoking in Enclosed Places and Protection of Non-smokers Health Ordinance 2002, The Protection of Breast-feeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance 2002, first National Essential Medicines List, first National Medicines Policy and conceptualization of Drug Regulatory Authority.

Dr Zafar Mirza has number of national and international publications including co-authoring a millstone joint publication by WHO, WTO and WIPO promoting access to medical technologies and innovation – intersections between public health, intellectual property and trade. He also led development of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Development Strategy for Ethiopia.