Dr Zafar shares health reforms agenda at World Health Assembly

ISLAMABAD, May 22 (APP):Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Zafar Mirza in address to the 194 nation World Health Assembly in Geneva Wednesday shared government’s vision and agenda for change to effect a turnaround the health sector in Pakistan.

The minister informed the world body that the mission of the government is to promote health, keep Pakistan and the world safe and serve the vulnerable communities, says a fax message received here from Geneva.

He added within the framework of Universal Health Coverage, the priorities of the government are making Pakistan Polio free as soon as possible and effectively addressing the high burden of some communicable diseases besides life course approach with intense focus on mother and
child-care, nutrition and reproductive health.

Dr. Zafar Mirza made special mention of the government’s Sehat Sahulat Program and free quality health services being provided under it in 62 districts to poor families with plan to
extend it to the entire country by 2020.

He added other priorities included prevention and control of non-communicable diseases with renewed emphasis on effective tobacco control and other risk factors and enhancing capacity and preparedness to deal with all kinds of health emergencies.

Dr Zafar said, “Having spent 15 years in WHO and now taking over as a Minister of Health three weeks ago, I have been actively reviewing the health situation in my country and setting my priorities.” 

He said they were in the process of developing a model health care system in Islamabad Capital Territory for Universal Health Coverage for which they have now signed an MoU with WHO.

He assured that people’s rights to health would be realized by establishing public sector investment in health as a priority in macro-economic policy, by fully respecting federal and provincial mandates in health, by strengthening essential public health functions in the country
and by active involvement of society at large.

He added results would be also achieved by ensuring multi-sectoral collaboration to effectively dealing with risks and determinants of health and by investing in family practice based primary health care as a foundation of Universal Health Coverage with enhanced domestic resource mobilization and with the continued cooperation of development partners.