ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome met the Federal Health Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan in Islamabad on Thursday.
The US Ambassador to Pakistan was accompanied by USAID Mission Director Kate Somvongsiri.
The US ambassador termed the cooperation between Ministry of National Health Services and the US government as exemplary.
Dr. Nadeem Jan expressed gratitude for US government’s support in the health sector; it has been robust, uninterrupted and purpose driven, he said. In this context, he made special mention of continued support of US Agency for International Development and Centers for Disease Control.
The meeting discussed cooperation in various contexts of initial two rounds of Pak-US Health Dialogue and resolved to continue further collaboration.
The health minister shared the purpose and intent of Pakistan hosting the first Global Health Security Summit.
The agenda is for the world to be prepared before a pandemic strikes. Representative sample of countries from all continents of the world are being invited to the summit.
Dr. Nadeem Jan emphasized that health must remain apolitical and it is his narrative that he continues to promote to foster cooperation and collaboration amongst all stakeholders. The importance of health diplomacy in this day and age cannot be over emphasized.
“I believe that diseases have no borders nor do viruses discriminate between races and nationalities hence the need to forge a unified stand against them”. We look forward to strengthened government to government cooperation with the United States and firmly believe in productive partnership for the benefit of our people, shared the minister.
Health is the best interface between public and state hence contributing immensely to strengthening the bond between society and state.
The minister shared that Universal Health Coverage was close to his heart and he has taken the initiative to revamp primary health-care system which will reduce the burden on secondary and tertiary care facilities. We are currently revamping 430 Basic Health Units with the support of WHO in the first phase, shared Dr. Nadeem Jan, adding that an initiative is under way to digitalize the whole health system.
Both sides discussed at length the cooperation in fighting malnutrition in Pakistan.
Dr. Nadeem Jan said we would like to pool resources and conduct mapping exercise to determine the area and community most in need and allocate resources accordingly.
The US ambassador showed keen interest in the area and affirmed commitment to the cause emphasizing a targeted approach to malnutrition.
It was agreed to for technical group to further discuss collaboration in this regard between the two sides. Pakistan continues to fight the last remnants of polio with strengthened resolve. There is strong civil-military coordination. We are targeting wild poliovirus through a localized, laser focus and integrated approach.
Dr. Nadeem Jan spelled out his vision for utilizing the asset of 250,000 polio workers for more integrated health interventions.
The US ambassador affirmed commitment to support Pakistan’s health sector in diverse areas including nutrition, maternal and newborn health, control of infectious diseases and family planning.
The ambassador was informed that mobile laboratories provided as support by US government were deployed in the provinces and are playing an important role in the control of epidemics.