RAWALPINDI: President Mamnoon Hussain said on Saturday the government was cognizant of the challenges it faced in the social sector, especially health sector, and was making every possible effort to facilitate people in getting quality health care.
“Reaching out to calamity hit people and their rehabilitation has always been our foremost priority”, he added.
The President, however, pointed out that, at times, the efforts were affected by many factors, including the resource constraint. Sometimes, the magnitude and enormity of challenge is so big that no single organization can respond to it on its own, he added.
The President was addressing the first international and third national conference on physical medicine and rehabilitation organized under the auspices of Armed Force Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM) at a local hotel.
He said a `whole of nation’ approach was needed in dealing with issues vital for the well-being of people of Pakistan.
“To put our thoughts into practical action, the Government of Pakistan, the civil society and the armed forces have to work in unison in areas such as rehabilitation services within the health sector,” he maintained.
“These rehabilitation efforts and the will of affected people signify our collective conscientiousness in providing solace to the more vulnerable and needy segments of the society.”
The President, while appreciating the support of international community, called for even greater commitment and support towards such noble causes where the objective of efforts was not political gains, but a service to humanity.
“Let us bring our collective goodness in making such endeavours a success”, he said and added,”Let’s make partnerships, which will ensure the most optimum utilization of resource to develop collaborative rehabilitation networks.”
“Let’s help ourselves – for God helps those who help themselves”, the President remarked.
The President on this occasion also referred to the human and economic losses suffered by Pakistan due to the global war against terrorism and urged the world community to realize its sacrifices in this war and help the country by all means.
He also mentioned the difficulties in the polio immunization drive in tribal areas, and said the global community, while taking any steps for travel requirements for Pakistanis, should take into consideration the country’s sacrifices in the war on terror.
The President welcomed all the participants of the conference, especially those, who had travelled long distances, and said their participation had made the event truly international in its scope, content and significance.
He also appreciated the efforts of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and the former Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani for having patronized the noble cause of developing modern facilities like AFIRM.
“Let me also express my strong desire to see this prestigious organization further grow and flourish under the dynamic leadership of Major General Akhtar Waheed and his team. I also commend their efforts for arranging this international conference,” he added.
The President said Pakistan’s resilience could be gauged from the efforts that it had put in to counter the ill-effects of natural calamities, accidents, and menace of terrorism.
While these unfortunate events have left a tale of anguish and disability at individual levels, there have been consistent efforts made at institutional and collective levels to provide hope to the people most affected, he added.
The President said it was in the aftermath of 2005 earthquake that Pakistan came across the challenge of rehabilitating large number of affected people.
“Thereafter, I am glad to state that we have moved from strength to strength through development of excellent rehabilitation facilities despite our constraints in resources and expertise,” he added.
Earlier, Commandant AFIRM Maj Gen Akhtar Waheed, in his welcome remarks, said the institute was providing rehabilitation facilities to the people injured in natural calamities as well as the war on terror.
He said with 29 specialists trained at AFIRM, a total of 16 departments were providing rehabilitation services to cater to the needs of affected people across the country.
The Commandant AFIRM said experts and delegates from over 20 countries were participating in the conference to share their experiences and expertise in the area of rehabilitation of the persons with various disabilities.
Dr. James Gosney from the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM), in his presentation, highlighted the pre-disaster and post-disaster rehabilitation barriers and the required measures to overcome such barriers, particularly in the developing countries.