WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the United States are closely cooperating in the health sector that includes enhancing capability of Pakistan to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani said here on Thursday.
At an event organized by the USAID in Washington D.C., the ambassador conveyed profound gratitude on behalf of Pakistan for the TB Champion Award and said it reflected an international recognition of the country’s national achievements in combating tuberculosis.
“It is a matter of satisfaction that our Immunization Programme under the Global Health Security Agenda is being strengthened to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats and has a road map in place with the support of Center for Disease Control,” the ambassador added.
Pakistan currently harbors 5th highest burden of TB in the world and the government in 2001 had decalaed tuberculosis a national health emergency. But as a result of concerted efforts, Pakistan has one of the highest treatment success rates in the world.
Under the National TB Control Programme more than 3 million TB cases have been diagnosed & treated free of cost in 1300 public sector TB care facilities during 2001-2015.
The Ambassador said that Pakistan and the United States are closely cooperating in the health sector, and the bilateral health cooperation was discussed at the highest level between Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President Obama in Oct, 2015.
“Both leaders agreed on the importance of enhancing measurable capability of Pakistan to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases,” he said and added that the two countries have affirmed their commitment to fully implement the Global Health Security Agenda, with a view to advance global cooperation across sectors to counter biological threats.
He expressed his gratitude to USAID which is working closely with Pakistan to improve the health and well-being of the people of Pakistan. USAID has been a longstanding partner in Pakistan. Its programmes target the poor and most vulnerable areas, where communities often lack access to comprehensive and reliable health service delivery systems.
USAID continues to be a key partner of Pakistan’s National TB Control Programme. USAID’s health programmes are increasing access to family planning services, improving maternal and child healthcare, controlling major infectious diseases, providing safe drinking water, and strengthening the capacity of our institutions.
The Ambassador expressed the confidence that with the support of its partners,international and national organizations and private sector, Pakistan will not only succeed in controlling tuberculosis but its eventual eradication.