The government of Pakistan has decided to increase the number of community-based female health workers from 89,000 to 135,000 within a five-year period

The Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 21–30 May 2023. The honourable federal minister for health, is present at the 75th World Health Assembly.

In his speech to the World Health Assembly, he praised Pakistan for its strong sense of duty and dedication to enhancing the health of its citizens while working to create a more equitable, safe, and healthy global community. On the occasion of WHO’s 75th anniversary, he congratulated the director general, his outstanding team of experts, and member nations.

The founding of WHO by nations from around the world to advance health, ensure global security, and assist the weak marks an important turning point in global cooperation, he said.

“We wholeheartedly appreciate and support the DG WHO report, which outlines the key areas that need to receive attention in the health sector, namely improving universal health coverage, addressing health emergencies, and ensuring the health and wellbeing of our population.”

“We support the report’s recommendation in this regard. The protection from health emergencies, increased access to high-quality medications, strengthened diagnostics capabilities, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and mental health, and strengthened rehabilitation services in health systems are all things we believe are essential for reorienting health systems to primary health care as a strong foundation for universal health coverage”, he further added.

Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Agenda calls for the provision of quality, affordable access to essential healthcare services for all people. In this regard, Pakistan has ratified the Salalah Declaration on UHC, joined the UHC-2030 Global Compact, and set a goal to raise its UHC Service Coverage Index from 52 in 2022 to 62 in 2030.

With increased government investments and the help of its development partners, Pakistan is now moving towards implementing its essential package of healthcare services in 2023.

The government of Pakistan has decided to increase the number of community-based female health workers from 89,000 to 135,000 within a five-year period in light of the country’s health workforce crisis.

Pakistan considers Implementation of international health regulations (IHR) as a priority agenda due to health emergencies such as Covid-19 pandemic, mpox, Polio, floods, earthquakes & heat waves.The MoNHSR&C is aware of how crucial it is to develop and maintain core public health capabilities for effective national responses to public health emergencies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that public health systems around the world have faced difficulties and put other sectors’ capabilities to the test.

The only nation in the region, Pakistan, was forced to deal with another catastrophe in the form of severe flooding in 2022, which caused the displacement of 30 million people, the destruction of crops, damage to the health infrastructure, and a significant loss of $20 billion.

Pakistan has received support from the international community, particularly the Secretary General of the United Nations General Assembly.

The nation is undergoing a second round of Joint External Evaluation to identify the critical gaps and provide key recommendations for developing a health security plan, in order to further strengthen public health systems preparedness for an effective response to pandemics, emergencies, and disasters.

For a more long-lasting response in the nation, we are also committed to creating synergies between health security and universal health coverage.

Although Pakistan has experienced difficulties with its health outcomes, we are determined to keep working tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of our people, which will call for a multi-sectoral approach and community empowerment.

The government has launched a number of social protection programmes to combat poverty and inequality, including the Health Card and Benazir Income Support Programme.

The United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition has provided a new direction for global nutrition action to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in all its forms. Unfortunately, there are a large number of stunted and anaemic children under the age of five, and the prevalence of overweight children under the age of five is increasing.

To address malnutrition and deficiencies in micronutrients, nutrition programmes are being implemented in the provinces, but funding is required. Additionally, in line with WHO recommendations, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased.

Pakistan is making strides towards halting the spread and eradicating the polio virus, with the Prime Minister and Federal Minister providing personal oversight and support. In 2023, there has only been one confirmed case of polio.

To ensure a secure working environment for the frontline Polio workers to reach all children under five, a special plan is being implemented in Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in coordination and collaboration with district administration and security agencies.

A vigorous schedule for the country’s polio vaccination campaign is also being implemented (nationwide & sub-national campaigns). For the vaccination of people travelling between two countries as well as those residing in bordering regions and settlements, close coordination with the Afghanistan Polio Program is kept up.