Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar on Thursday stressed the need for improving quality of healthcare services for mothers and newborn.
Chairing a high level provincial consultative meeting on quality of care at the time of birth, she urged to look into the social determinants of health and work with multiple stakeholders to address the issue of quality care at the time of birth.
The minister observed that in view of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the target must be to proactively reach women in the periphery as maternal deaths are higher due to lack of access and non-availability of health personnel and staff.
Director General Health Dr Assad Hafeez said that ensuring quality standards and institutionalizing them is the only solution to save mothers and the newborns.
He added collective wisdom learned from all participants from all provinces of Pakistan can help the managers and the policymakers to re- orient the health policies towards providing quality care around the birth, by promoting exclusive breastfeeding and by providing adequate family planning services to ensure quality care during the childbirth and beyond as framed by the WHO’s safe childbirth checklist in the health facilities across Pakistan.
Other speakers emphasized on the Prime Minister’s National Health Program that has helped to overcome the financial barriers.
They added it is the need of time to gain back trust of the community through improving quality of care and its accountability at all levels in the health system of Pakistan.
They said that to ensure quality of care around the time of birth it is essentially important to strengthen the health system by focusing on improving the service delivery and its provision.
The day-long round table meeting involved stakeholders from all provincial health departments, private, and developmental sectors as well as the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and representatives from the academia.