Pakistan’s joint external evaluation exercise a model: WHA


Saira calls on WHO DG, says Pak made tremendous progress in polio eradication


Pakistan was presented as a model to countries attending the World Health Assembly (WHA) as the first nation to conduct Joint External Evaluation of Core Capacities to respond to disease outbreaks and level of preparedness to deal with pandemics.
The recognition came at a special session on International Health Regulations at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Saturday, according to a press release. The session participated by delegates of 59 countries was chaired by Finland and Australia. Pakistan’s Joint External Evaluation exercise was presented as a model for other nations to follow.
Pakistan had initiated the exercise in early 2016 across the country with a team of international public health experts and completed it late last year. Eight different core capacities were evaluated in the year long process. Pakistan’ Director General Health Dr. Assad Hafeez made a presentation, elaborating the entire process.
Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar who is leading Pakistan delegation said transparency has been the hallmark of health reforms in the country which has been recognised at this prestigious global forum. She said Pakistan was ready to share its experiences with any country desirous of strengthening their core capacities as part of the Global Health Security Agenda.
It is also reported that Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar has said that Pakistan has made tremendous progress in eradicating polio. Addressing the meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region at World Health Assembly on Sunday, she said that unprecedented progress has been made in stopping transmission of polio virus with lowest ever case count in last year and only 2 this year so far.
She said that we are carrying out aggressively the surveillance for polio and have established 53 environmental sampling sites which is the largest surveillance network in the world. Our prime minister is leading the effort and there is the strongest of political commitment to the cause. These are our children and we will leave no stone unturned to protect them from this crippling disease said the minister while expressing her resolve.
The minister also spoke at length on Sustainable Development Goals and progress made by Pakistan in developing the five year coasted National Action Plan (NAP) as part of Global Health Security Agenda and International Health Regulations. Pakistan’s track record of dealing effectively with man-made and natural disasters was also shared by the minister.
Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said on Saturday said that the global leader of World Health Organization (WHO) should have sufficient knowledge and experience to address the current and future challenges.
The minister, who is in Geneva these days to campaign for Pakistan’s candidate for the position of WHO Director General, said this while addressing ambassadors and permanent representatives of different countries and member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference in separate sessions, according to a press release issued here.
She said that Pakistan’s candidate Dr. Sania Nishter was the most qualified person for the position. Sania served on several WHO boards and had a clear understanding of the challenges and could work closely with organizations across the world, she added.

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